Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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What's With All The "Worts"

 

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

So what's with all these weird names with the suffix "wort" like St. John's Wort, Mugwort, Birthwort, Lungwort and so on? Well, "wort" derives from the Old English wyrt, which simply meant plant. The word was used in the names of herbs that had medicinal uses, the first part of the word denoting the complaint against which it was specially useful. But, by the middle of the 17th-century -wort faded from everyday use.

Just wanted to share an interesting fact today...Enjoy!

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

 

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Munching Miner's Lettuce

 

Jessica Morgan, M.H.The Spring brings so many yummy greens that we shouldn't be afraid to eat. Take the time to identify some of them so you can enjoy this free and nutritious bounty that the land has to offer. One of my favorites, Miner's Lettuce is rich in vitamins A and C plus many trace minerals. I find this gem yummy, juicy and pleasant to eat.

Miner's Lettuce, also known as Claytonia perfoliata, winter purslane, spring beauty or Indian lettuce, gets its name from the California gold rush miners who often ate it to help prevent scurvy. It's native to the western mountains and coastal regions of North America but is most common here in California in the northern San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.

 

Miners lettuce sprouts in the Spring and usually prefers cool and damp conditions. I usually spot it first in sunlit areas after the first heavy rains. The most prevalent abound in shaded areas and can last into the early summer. Much like most lettuce varieties, they tend to dry out and die back from summer heat.

It can be eaten as a leaf vegetable like any other green or lettuce. I like to eat it raw while Spring gardening or in salads. It can be substituted for spinach which it resembles in taste as well.

If you live where this plant grows, I encourage you to hunt for some Miner's Lettuce for your own salad bowl or soup pot. It's a tasty seasonal treat and you will enjoy both the picking and the eating of it.

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

 

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Chaparral: 11,000 Years of Skin Protection?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.Chaparral is one of the most widespread plants found on the desert floor, and some of them are noted to be the oldest living plants in the world. Expansive areas of these shrubs are found growing throughout the desert in western San Bernardino County, and some near Ridgecrest Ca are estimated to be 11,000 years old. Botanists believe that many of surrounding plants are clones of these original plants. Chaparral is regarded as one of the most adaptable desert plants in the world; as it was one of the first to grow back in Yucca Flats after the 1962 nuclear bomb tests done there.

Also known as the "creosote bush," Larrea tridentata is a flowering evergreen shrub that's native to Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. One interesting characteristic of this plant is that it produces a sap that prevents competing species from growing near it. So this is why we usually see just this plant species in Chaparral populated ares. Also, its extremely bitter taste keeps it safe from animals that would otherwise graze upon it. The common name Chaparral derives from the Spanish chaparro, meaning "evergreen oak," and the name "creosote bush" comes from the smell that the plant exudes when it rains.

As a medicinal herb, Indians of the Southwestern desert regions used the sap as a sunscreen, as the sticky resin is known to screen against ultraviolet radiation. The dried herb, when brewed in tea has been used for numerous aliments and appears to help the body rid itself of parasites as well as chemical toxins. Internal use is not recommended unless under the care of a qualified health care professional. Chaparral contains saponins and medicinal qualities that are especially beneficial to the skin. Applied to the skin, chaparral can have a remarkable healing effect on dandruff, eczema, herpes, cold sores, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis.

I know most people don't consider the creosote/turpentine aroma of the Chaparral pleasant, but non the less, I like to recommend Chaparral for use in herbal shampoos, salves and skin washes as it really is a miracle worker on the skin. Looking for Chaparral Leaf? Find it here in my Local Harvest Store.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 
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