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Herb of the Week for 10th Nov 2006

Elven Field Trip

Herb of the Week for 10th November

By Lynn Kirkland


Elven Field Trip for 10th Nov
By Lynn Kirkland

Spring growth is upon us, bringing the joy of rebirth in the garden after a period of winter dormancy.
The appearance of fresh green leaves and fragrant flowers is accompanied by an explosion of the plants that are often called weeds.
To a herbalist weeds are “wild herbs’ and with a change of attitude to these plants you may come to embrace them (or at least some of them) for the very useful plants they actually are. Instead of cursing them and stressing out about how to get rid of them, if you learn about their uses you will look on them with different eyes.

Our resident elven herbalist, from Herbitton, the elven community at the herb farm, conducts field trips at this time of the year to teach the little elves how to identify the useful plants and what to use them for.
He sits among the plantain growing on the roof garden of his home at Herbitton.
Plantain or ribwort, is regarded as nature’s green band aid.
I have featured this weed on many occasions when taking guided tours at the herb farm. I explain to our visitors that this is a perfect example of why we need to allow some weeds a place in the garden.
For me, the main benefit of plantain is it’s usefulness as a drawing herb.
Wrap a leaf, smooth side against the skin, around a finger with a splinter.
Plantains drawing ability will painlessly draw the splinter to the surface.
For infections and boils you can make a leaf poultice by folding the leaf into a pad (again remember to put the smooth side to the skin) and tape in place. When infection is present you will need to change your leaf poultice every two or three hours. Keep applying your plantain poultice until the infection is drawn out.
The same method works well with blind spots.

So as you can see weeds really are a must-have in the garden. And if anyone raises their eyebrows at your change in garden habits then you can tell them that the weeds they are having an attitude to are your valued wild herbs and educate them on their usefulness.

Grove Road, RD10
New Zealand


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