“This is one of the most esteemed plants of the herbalist”
(Juliette Levy, 1966)
Dandelion is a beautiful if much under-estimated wild plant, most commonly referred to as a "weed". Dandelion brings so many gifts, including its medicinal qualities such as the highly beneficial detoxifying action of its root, as well as the great nutritious qualities of its leaves and flowers. A flower sacred to St Brigid, it cleanses the soil and provides food for the hungry bees in springtime, at the time when few other plants are in flower.
This sweet-smelling medicinal herb grows abundantly near rivers
and lakes, and flowers between June and September. It is sometimes referred to as a "herbalist's antacid"
and can be very helpful for treating various stomach conditions, as well as being a natural pain-reliever (the origin of aspirin). Queen of the Meadow is one of her other names...
Also known as "Herb-of-the-seven-cures", Yarrow has been traditionally used to staunch bleeding and was a popular woundwort (a herb that helps heal wounds of various kinds). It is anti-inflammatory and diaphoretic (promotes sweating), and has many other medicinal qualities. This beautiful, sweet-smelling wild plant grows abundantly here in the west of Ireland.
The joyful yellow flower, wild Primrose, so abundant in our woodlands and fields in springtime, has an array of medicinal and culinary uses (not to be confused with the garden varieties, Primula obconica and Primula praetensis).
The two sacred trees of Ireland's hedgerows, Blackthorn and Hawthorn often grow side by side, both protected by small sharp thorns and both producing beautiful delicate white flowers (Blackthorn in April and Hawthorn in May) The dark-blue Blackthorn sloes are traditionally used to make sloe gin, as well as a highly medicinal tincture and syrup.
To be continued...