There is still time to participate in our herbal bingo for the month of May 2018. Head over to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages to find the post for each day of May and figure out with help from the clue and photo what the herb for each day is. Download a bingo table here, print it, and mark off each herb with it’s posted date. For info on prizes and how to get your winning card to us, visit our previous blog.
With so many herbs to share with you, we decided to start to share them a bit before the end of the competition. Be sure to comment with any questions you have bellow.
May 1: Yarrow
Clue: I may look like wild carrot but I am very different. Use my leaves when you get cuts or take small amounts of a tea made from me to help lower your fever.
Yarrow has many uses such as reducing fevers as well as healing cut skin. It is a classic styptic herb, stopping bleeding on contact and it can be found growing often on lawns and in gardens. The flowers vary from white and purple to yellow. The leaves are used topically or in tea. They can be infused in oil to make a salve but the leaves are usually already available if you just walk outside. It is very common to find this herb on your lawn.
May 2: Wild Yam
Clue: I love to support women with their hormonal issues but don’t be too discouraged to work with me. I am related to some of your favorite foods.
*the photo shared is a related species and is not the variety that is used medicinally*
This plan can sometimes appear to be more like a vine and less like a leaf (shown here). Wild yam’s root is decocted for 45+ minutes to get the best medicine out. In addition to be used for reproductive health, wild yam is also an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. Back in the Civil War, this plant was used for every condition you can think of. It is most commonly used now topically in creams as an estrogen replacement therapy.
May 3: Goldenrod
Clue: Don’t hate me if you have allergies. It may not be my fault but I sure can help you if you make me into a tea.
Growing up in New England, it was common to hear people talking about having allergic reactions to the pollen’s of goldenrod. After moving out of that region I saw more and more people using goldenrod tea to treat allergy symptoms. I have since not noticed myself having a seasonal reaction to goldenrod, making me agree with what I have read of other pollen causing the irritation and goldenrod being a more effective treatment. It makes a lovely sun tea or cold infusion and will brighten your table as a centerpiece flower. I have even seen it used in wedding bouquets.
May 4: Angelica
Clue: Millennia ago you could have used me to fight the plague but not today. Today you are more likely to use me to support your respiratory system or arthritis and gout symptoms. Take care when wild crafting me and identify me correctly as many of my cousins are poisonous.
There are two different plants that have the common name angelica: Angelica sinensis and Angelica archangelica. Angelica sinensis is also known as Dong Quai or Chinese angelica. The species here is Angelica archangelica. Be careful in identifying it as other plants in this family can cause allergic reactions when touched as well poisonous symptoms if ingested.
May 5: Field Mint
Clue: I like ditches, and bad soil, and I will grow wherever you don’t want me. I don’t taste nearly as good as my cousins but I am still a great diaphoretic herb for when you are sick with a fever.
This mint does not taste amazing but in a pinch you are going to be able to find it just about anywhere to use to help with a fever. Remember, all mint plants can be identified by their square shaped stem and just about all mints have a diaphoretic action. You can dry it or use it fresh. Just be sure that your dog didn’t pee on it recently.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultations visit The Dancing Herbalist.com.