Sunday, September 6, 2009

Foraging in Fall


As we head towards fall, it is a great idea to practice foraging for wild edibles in your area and storing them for winter. This can be done in many ways:

*Spring water - this should be a priority. Spring water is an awesome way to connect to your local environment and allow your body to "receive" the vibrational imprint of the area & the Earth's energy. If you have not been able to find a spring in your area, send me a message and I may be able to guide you to a spring in your area..

*Wild herbs for tea – this would include things like nettles (one of my favorites ~ makes a super mineral rich blood-building tea & can also be juiced or just eaten), horsetail, red clover, goldenrod, plantains, comfrey, sumac berries, mullein, coltsfoot, mesquite (in the desert), wood sorrel, chickweed, alfalfa, wild lettuce (the sap can be dried and made into a natural opium substitute), yellow dock root, burdock root, Solomon’s seal root, mullein root, evening primrose, kinnikinic, hawthorn leaves/berries, partridgeberry, etc… (There’s SO many!)

*Nature’s super medicinal herbs – for the treatment of dis-ease: Elder berry (berries & flowers earlier in the year; be careful with all other parts of the plant as they contain cyanide in larger doses and can be toxic. Elder is also called “Nature’s medicine chest), elecampane root, aster root, poke root (great for draining lymph system rather quickly and for the immune system in general. The roots can be made into a poultice which my herbalist would use externally to treat breast cancer; please treat this plant with caution, as a typical dose for a root tincture would be a few drops – the shoots are edible in the spring if cooked & the berries are supposedly edible excluding the seeds which are poisonous from the cyanide. I don’t recommend you eating the berries, although I have, it’s too risky if you’re new to wild foods..), Echinacea (whole plant – esp. the roots), goldenseal root (this is a rare and endangered plant, you are very lucky if you find one so it is best to plant them rather than harvest them in this case.

*Mayapples are ripe now and delicious! Don’t mess with any other parts of this plant if you are not an experienced herbalist as they can be pretty toxic.

*Food – acorns. White oaks are the most edible, since they contain the least tannins, although black oak will store longer. The way the Native Americans did it was to burry them underground until they were black or soak them in a cold running spring to help remove the tannins. Chestnuts, beechnuts, walnuts, butternuts, & others fit into this category as well. Seaweed is a great sur-thrival food. Berries can be sun-dried and eaten all winter long. The list goes on and on..!

*Medicinal mushrooms – and don’t forget that chaga!

Happy foraging! :)


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