When I have the chance to meander down a country road I do. As I trek the byways of rural Logan County I gaze upon the wild flowers growing abundantly wherever Mother Nature has chosen for them to sprout.
It is in Four of these plants, and their medicinal uses that I base my third blog upon. Now you might wonder why talk about plants growing in Illinois…what does that have to do with Medieval Europe. Well I can assure you that the plants I write about this day, are the same plants I see when I have trod upon fields in rural England. I would venture to think, that if they are growing wild along side rural English roads in 2019, they were growing in rural Medieval England too.
My disclaimer, while all of the information contained in this blog is factual, it is written purely for intrinsic value. No information should be used to cure any medical problem or condition. Should you have any medical problem or condition, please consult your own physician.
White Clover/Trifolium repens:
It is a good alternative medicine for fevers, Bright’s disease, colds, flu, eye ailments and for consistent coughing. They are used traditionally to cleanse the whole system. It is a good remedy to purify the blood and to treat boils, ulcers, gout, abscess, menstrual conditions, leucorrhoea (whitish discharge from the genitals of females), rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, scrofula and other skin diseases.
On the culinary side, the leaves may be used as salad and white clover seeds may be parched and grounded to be used as desired. It is safer however to boil the leaves instead of consuming it raw because the leaves are more digestible if they are boiled for about ten minutes.
If you are thinking of adding the leaves to your soup, then it is advisable to reap the leaves before it blossoms. Also, the seed pods as well as the flower heads that are dried can be beaten into flour which is highly nutritious. The flour can also be used in other ways such as sprinkling it on cooked rice as well as steeping it in herbal tea.
Use the blossoms or leaves to make the tea. Place half cup of dried blossom or leaves in boiling water and allowed to stay for up to fifteen minutes.
Pink Clover/Trifolium pretense:
Pink clove oil is an essential oil derived from various parts of the pink clove plant through steam distillation. It’s used as a natural remedy for many ailments because of its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. The distinctive smell and much of its power are due to its main ingredient, a powerful chemical called eugenol. In addition to its many abilities, this chemical also acts as an anesthetic and antibacterial agent. Pink cloves are also very nutritious and contain vitamins and minerals that can improve health in numerous ways. The oil can be used internally or externally but should be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil in some cases, such as for topical use.
Red clover has a reputation as a medicinal herb in relieving many menopausal symptoms.
It has especially been used to reduce hot flashes and night sweats during menopause, an effect that is most likely due to certain flavonoids found in the herb.
These flavonoids are estrogen-mimicking substances known as phytoestrogens that may contribute to maintaining normal estrogen levels during menopause.
Even though red clover can maintain estrogen levels at their optimal it can also be used to reduce high estrogens levels.
Wild Strawberry/Fragaria Vesca:
Wild strawberries, on the other hand, are delicious. They taste more like the strawberries you might pick in your garden or buy at the grocery store, though arguably better. Though they’re small in size, true wild strawberries are bursting with flavor. Plus, they’re extremely good for you. These low-calorie treats (only 45 calories per cup!) contain more Vitamin C than an orange, and are naturally cholesterol- , fat-, and sodium-free. They contain tons of folic acid and polyphenols and can even inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Wild Strawberries are smaller than their commercial look-alike, but they are actually sweeter as they ripen more quickly. They usually ripen in late spring or early summer and can be found in both undisturbed rural areas as well as more urban ones.
Ever since ancient times, all parts of wild straw berry have been used as herbal medicine. The leaves and roots have been used in herbal teas to improve bile and liver function, to treat inflammation of the bowel, and the berries have been used as a diuretic and an herbal remedy for gout by dissolving kidney gravel and stones. It is also recommended wild strawberry tea as a remedy for summer colds. As well as for ailments related to the liver.
Wild strawberry infused water is used for soar throats and bumps/sores in the mouth.
Goldenrod/Solidago virga Aurea:
Goldenrod is native to Europe. It can be found along roadsides and in open fields.
Goldenrod has been an abundant, well-known medicinal herb for centuries, both in the Americas and in Europe. Goldenrod mainly acts as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent. It has been used internally to treat a variety of ailments, including kidney stones, urinary tract infections, bladder inflammation, digestive problems, colds and flu, sore throat, laryngitis, fatigue, and surprisingly, hay fever and allergies. By method of steeping the leaves into teas, and steaming the leaves to extract essential oils. Externally, the leaves were boiled and used them topically as an antiseptic and astringent for wound healing and relief from eczema, arthritis, and rheumatism.
Those who are pregnant or have serious heart problems should steer clear of this plant.
I hope you have enjoyed reading the Third blog in the Caer Gwyn series. Please feel free to share the provided link to whomever you might think would enjoy reading it as well.
Yours in continued service to the crown,