All entries for our Herbal Bingo Game are due on June 10th, 2018 so get yours in today. 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.
May 11: Reishi
Clue: Can’t you see I am a mushroom! I like the yuck and guck and as a result I like to help you heal some of your most detrimental woes including cancer and other sever illnesses that attack your immune system.
Like most mushrooms, reishi likes to grow in the icky areas, particularly on older, rotting wood like this tree stump. While it is hard to tell from this photo, reishi has a stalk and then a half moon disk (visible) that makes up the fruiting body of the fungus. Most mushrooms are not recommended to be wildcrafted unless you are a well researched mycophile due to the challenges of identifying mushrooms and their safety. Reishi can easily be purchased from your health food store already processed for consumption as medicine or to be made into delicious chocolates.
May 12: Woolly Betony
Clue: I am so soft to the touch, just like a lamb. Kids love me to be in the garden because of this. You may also want to use me as an anti-inflammatory but who would do that when I am just so much fun to play with as a plant.
This is a plant that I personally do not use as medicine, for no good reason. I love to find it in gardens and play with the soft leaves. I hope you will add it to your garden as well and let us know what you learn to do with it.
May 13: Skunk Cabbage
Clue: I am one of the first things to come up in the woods in the spring. You will notice me by my large purple flower. But don’t come too close, I stink!
Every spring I look for this plant and I enjoy seeing it peek out. The large flower looks like a purple cone coming out of the ground and does not smell the most pleasant. This plant grows in boggy wet areas, often at the bottom of slopes in the woods. After the flower goes by, the large leaves will come out and depending on the health of the bog, the plants may be as wide as 3ft from leaf end to leaf end.
May 14: Lady’s Mantle
Clue: As my name suggests, women may love to use me, especially during their time of the month for pain and cramps. I am also very astringent so you can also use me for diarrhea and for sores in the mouth.
This astringent herb is used as both tea and tincture commonly for spotting between periods as well as to lighten flow during menstruation. It can be used in a woman’s tonic herb to keep the cycle regular and uneventful all month long. It should not be used during pregnancy but it may be used as a partus preperator during the last month to help your body prepare to deliver a baby. As with all herbs used during pregnancy, be sure to consult with both your physician and your professional herbalist to make sure you do not have any complications.
May 15: Blood Root
Clue: I am a rare plant in the woods and you must be careful to not hurt me because I will hurt you back. When you spill my blood on you it can corrode your skin, removing warts and even some cancers. Please don’t use me though. I am going extinct.
This plant, while it looks plentiful from this photo, is getting more and more rare to find in nature. Help support United Plant Savers and their mission to keep our rare medicinals from going extinct. This plant, when it’s stem is broken will release a red sap. This sap can be put onto warts and other skin lesions as a corrosive agent to kill the cells it is applied to. It has been used for the treatment of skin cancers but this should be taken extremely cautiously due to the obvious damage and pain that can be associated with using this herb in treatment. Always consult with both your physician and a professional herbalist before using blood root in your treatments.
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.