Monday, July 25, 2011

A Harvesting We Will Go!!

The weather has turned the mullein and the Saint John's Wort into little yellow flower factories!  It's a perfect time to be harvesting both here!  They both grow wild and are often found in dry, gravelled areas.  There are some growing along the back roads here in the countryside.

A Young Mullein Plant
Photo by waldopics on Flickr
Mullein Flowering
Photo by gmayfield10 on Flickr
Mullein Flowers
Photo by nc_hiker on Flickr
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a soft, peaceful plant with an affinity for aiding in lung and bowel complaints.  Both leaves and flowers are used in medicinal remedies.  Harvest the younger leaves in early Spring and the blossoms in the middle of the summer.  When looking for information to share about this lovely plant, I found this great link to Ryan Drum's overview of three wonderful herbs, Nettles, Horsetail and Mullein.

Saint John's Wort Plant
Photo by gmayfield10 on Flickr
Saint John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is also a bright, cheery plant to harvest on a warm summer morning... if you don't mind competing with the bees!  You'll know you've found it if you hold one of the leaves up to the sun and it has little pin holes all over it!  This plant is widely known for its use in treating depression and there is much research available on this plant as a result.  This plant has a wealth of uses and is a staple in my apothecary.
Saint John's Wort Flower
Photo by carinemily on Flickr

"Aromatic, astringent, resolvent, expectorant and nervine. Used in all pulmonary complaints, bladder troubles, in suppression of urine, dysentery, worms, diarrhoea, hysteria and nervous depression, haemoptysis and other haemorrhages and jaundice. For children troubled with incontinence of urine at night an infusion or tea given before retiring will be found effectual; it is also useful in pulmonary consumption, chronic catarrh of the lungs, bowels or urinary passages. Externally for fomentations to dispel hard tumours, caked breasts, ecchymosis, etc." ~Grieve

Yarrow Flowers
Photo by beautifulcataya on Flickr
While you're out wandering around looking for these yellow fellas, keep an eye out for the lovely white Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) also in bloom right now!  I have a posey of that hanging up drying right now too!!

Whew, it's been a busy weekend!
Wishing you a happy harvest!
Val :)

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