Plant, Herb, and Tree Lore

Your source for botany & lore

Olympic National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099), Washington. Exploring Olympic Peninsula - Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Olympic National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099), Washington.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi: Kinnikinnick ~

Name: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. Kingdom: Plantae; Angiosperms; Eudicots; Asterids; Order: Ericales; Family: Ericaceae; Genus: Arctostaphylos

Common Name: Bearberry, Kinnikinnick, bear berry, pinemat manzanita, arberry, bear’s grape, crowberry, foxberry, hog cranberry, kinnikinnick, mealberry, mountain box, mountain cranberry, mountain tobacco, sandberry, upland cranberry, uva-ursi

General Description: Because the plant is very much a favorite foodstuff of bears, it has earned the name “bearberry”. This wonderful plant is part of the Manzanita genus Arctostaphylos. It is named after the Latin term uva-ursi or meaning “grape of the bear”. It is a small procumbent woody ground cover shrub that grows between 5-30 cm high, growing evergreen shiny, small, thick, stiff alternating leaves that stay green for 1-3 years before they fall off the bush. The bottom of the leaves are lighter green than the tops. The shrub blossom white to pink flowers from May to June that also bear a red berry fruit measuring 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter that persist on into early winter. The stands of this bush can be extremely dense and hard to get through, though rarely growing taller than 6 inches. The erect branching twigs emerge from long flexible prostrate stems produced by single roots.

Locality/Cultivation: This shrub can be found appearing as one of three species of dwarf shrubs belonging to the genus Arctostaphylos. It is commonly used in gardens as an ornamental. Leaves are harvested during the summer and dried for use in extracts, infusions, teas, and tablets.

Common Uses: Bearberry is edible, but mealy and bland in taste. It is a major ingredient found in the Native American smoke mix called “kinnikinnick” (means “mixture” in Algonquin) and mixed with Tobacco by the First Nations peoples. The berries have been gathered by many people as a food. It is used as an ornamental plant in landscaping and to help control erosion.

Medicinal Uses: It has been identified as having a narcotic or stimulant effect when smoked. The leaves are used in herbal medicine. Some of the constituents within it are hydroquinones that are labelled hepatotoxic. It has been used in urinary tract infections. First labelled in medicinal applications by Gerhard in 1763, and first documented in the Physicians of Myddfai a 13th century herbal. It appeared in the London Pharmacopoeia in 1788. Marco Polo thought the Chinese used it as a diuretic. In Europe the leaves are used as a phytomedicine. While edible, large doses have been said to have caused fever, vomiting, nausea, chills, back pain, and tinnitus. Should be avoided by those pregnant or possessing kidney issues.

Magical Uses: Native Americans smoke it in a cermonial mix called “kinnikinnick” and use it both as a smudge or smoked in a sacred pipe carrying the smoker’s prayers to the Great Spirit. When creating the “kinnikinnick” it is often ixed with non-poisonous sumac, inner bark of red osier dogwood, chokecherry, and alder.

Folklore:

Spirituality: In ceremonies, Native American mixed bearberry with dogwood, chokecherry, and alder into a mix called “Kinnikinnick” that was used spiritually as well as medicinally, and seen by white Euro-American settlers as a narcotic (though sometimes mixed with tobacco and granting that effect). Early colonial European hunters, traders, and settlers used the mix as such too. While Eastern tribes also used it as a smoking mix socially, they did so ceremonially. The Ojibwa smoked it mixed with dried powdered room of Aster novae-angliae L or red willow or spotted willow.

Bearberry or Kinnickinnick. Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany. he author died in 1925, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923.

Bearberry or Kinnickinnick. Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany. he author died in 1925, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 80 years or less.
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923.

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Olympic National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099), Washington. Exploring Olympic Peninsula - Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Olympic National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099), Washington.

Name: Mahonia aquifolium

Common Names: Oregon Grape, oregon-grape, oregon grape-holly, oregon holly-grape, oregongrape.

Description: A common species of the flowering evergreen shrub Berberidacea. Plant grows to 1 meter high x 1.5 meter in width has large pinnate leaves that grow approx. 10-50 cm in length with 5-15 spiny leaflets, and it flowers yellow clusters in racemes that are approx. 5-20 cm in length. Tends to have spiny, evergreen foliage with yellow flowers in the autumn, winter, and early spring. Produces blue-black berries.

Locality: Primarily from the Pacific Coast of North America. Name “aquifolium” means “holly leaved” referring to its spines.

Growing: Popular in shady or woodland environments. Resistant to summer drought and tolerates poor soils.

Culinary/Common Uses: Often used as a popular garden shrub or as an ornamental. Berries are edible and high in Vitamin C. Aboriginal peoples ate the berries in small quantities and mixed them with other sweeter fruits such as Salal. Today used to make jellies or mixed with salal. Its juices have been fermented to make wines. The inner bark of the larger stems and roots produce a yellow die, the berries a purple dye.

Medicinal Uses: Although edible, the plant contains berberine which can cause vomiting, lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate, lethargy, and other effects if eaten in large quantities. Native American tribes have used it to treat dyspepsia. Some etrats have been used to treat inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis.

Magical Uses:

Folklore: State flower of Oregon

Religion:

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Southeastern Oregon near Bonanza. Can you ID this lichen?

Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Phosphorous green tree lichen.  Can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1931. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Phosphorous green tree lichen. Can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1931. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Unknown phosphorous green tree lichen - can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1931. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Unknown phosphorous green tree lichen – can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1931. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Unknown phosphorous green tree lichen - can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1931. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Unknown phosphorous green tree lichen – can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1931. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Unknown phosphorous green tree lichen - can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1931. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Unknown phosphorous green tree lichen – can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1931. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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yellow flowers in the scrub lands near Bonanza, Oregon. Can you ID me?

Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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From scrublands near Bonanza, Oregon. Can you ID Me?

white flowers - can you id me?  http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1939. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

white flowers – can you id me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1939. Surveying near Bonanza, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 20, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Can you identify me?

04 24th, 2016

This new spring blossom along the scrub-land floors of southeastern Oregon – near Bonanza, Oregon. Anyone have a clue as to what plant this is?

unknown flower - can you ID me?  http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1921. Adventures near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

unknown flower – can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1921. Adventures near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 22, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

unknown flower - can you ID me?  http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1921. Adventures near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

unknown flower – can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1921. Adventures near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 22, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

unknown flower - can you ID me?  http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1921. Adventures near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon - Nevada - California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409.    To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

unknown flower – can you ID me? http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1921. Adventures near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Exploring the Oregon – Nevada – California Borderlands: Chronicle 21 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken April 22, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Bitter Root: Lewisia rediviva Pursh
Lewisia rediviva Pursh [ Plantae: Angiosperms: Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Caryophyllales: Portulacaceae: Lewisia: L. rediviva ]

Common Names: Bitteroot, Bitter Root, racine amere, spetlum, spetlem, naamtcu, Ktanxa, naqamcu, mo’otaa-heseeo’otse, black medicine

Localities:
Commonly found in open shrub or grasslands, low lying forests in lower elevations upwards to sub-alpine terrain atop gravelly to heavy dry soils. Found throughout southern British Columbia, eastern Oregon and Washington near the Cascades south towards southern California, east to Wyoming, Montana, northern Colorado and Arizona.

Description:
Bitter root is a small low growing perennial herb that is common in North America, especially in grasslands within low or moderate elevations. Bitter root when mature, exhibits a white to pinkish flower late May / early June. It possesses a fleshy taproot with simple or branched base leaves and a leafless flow stem ranging from 1-3 centimeters in height. Flowers form at the tip of the 5-6 linear bract whorl ranging from 5-10 mm in size brandishing a single flower on each stem with 5-9 oval to oblong shaped petals approximately 18-35 mm length. Once mature, the plant produces egg-shaped capsules with 6-20 rounded seeds.

The explorer Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, wrote in his journal describing the plant as cilindric and as white as snow throughout, except some small parts of the hard black rind which they had not seperated in the preperation [the roots] became perfectly soft by boiling, but had a very bitter taste, which was naucious to my pallate, and [I] transfered them to the Indians who had eat them heartily.

Species:
Lewisia rediviva Pursh

Cultivation:
Wildcrafted. Harvested throughout history by Native American tribes, especially in the Pacific Northwest.

Common Uses:
Bitter Root was a well known foodstuff utilized by various Native American tribes such as the Flathead Indians, Shoshone, Cheyenne, and others.

Culinary Uses:
Various tribes consumed the roots, often used to accompany grouse (Ktunaxa). The Ktunaxa ate bitter root with sugar while others ate it with salt. The root was often boiled in preparation. Native American women would dig up the plant, preferably before it flowered, cleaned the roots, boiled them, and mixed it with meat and/or berries. Hunting expeditions would take patties made from the pulverized root packed with deer fat and moss. Sometimes a sack of bitterroot would bring enough high trade value it was traded for a horse.

Medicinal Uses:
According to the Organic Facts website, Bitter root possesses the ability to relieve pain, eliminate respiratory irritation, calm the nerves, purify the skin, detoxify the body, regulate blood sugar, and settle upset stomachs. It is said that bitter root can be used to slow the pulse of the heart acting as a soothing agent effecting circulation, blood vessel dilation, and relief of excess stress upon the cardiovascular system and helpful preventative for atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. As a pain killer, utilized as an analgesic rub on injuries, headaches, and general muscle soreness. Eaten or added to tea could reduce inflammation of the lungs and respiratory system, loosening phegm and mucus, showing success with gout, arthritis, and gastro-intestinal disorders. Eaten it has been said to soothe sore throats. Rubbed on the skin or added to cleansing agents is well known to protect the skin from infection and decay, stimulating growth keeping young and beautiful skin tones. It is also a diuretic to detox the body from excess salts, fats, water, or toxins in the system – protecting health of the kidney. It has also been reputed for healing upset stomachs, often remedied by chewing the leaves or eating the roots to stop gastro-intestinal disorders.

Magical Uses:
The Lemhi Shoshone believed that the bitter root possessed a small red core in the upper taproot possessed many magical powers, especially one used to prevent bear attacks. It is also seen through history as a resurrection plant, because of its ability to revive each year back to life. It was because of this, that botanist Frederick Pursh gave it the latin species name Rediviva, a Latin word that translates to brought back to life.

Folklore and History:

Originally gathered by the Cheyenne, Shoshone, Flatheads, and other tribes in the Pacific Northwest. The use spread to the French trappers and became known as racine amere (bitter root). Meriwether Lewis ate bitter root in 1805 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition and labelled “Lewisia rediviva” by the botanist Frederick Pursh. On February 27, 1895 bitter root became the official state flower of Montana.

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Oregano-wikipedia

Article/Research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research www.technogypsie.com

Genus species: Origanum vulgare. Plantae, Angiosperms, Eudicots, Asterids, Lamiales, Lamiaceae, Origanum vulgare.

Common Names:Oregano, Carvacrol, Dostenkraut, Hulle dOrigan, Mountain Mint, Oil of Oregano, Organy, Origan, Origano. Oregano comes from the Anglo-Italian word Origano possibly originating from the Latin Organum relating to the Greek origanon meaning an acrid herb, or deriving from mountain and delight in or joy of the mountains. The exact origin is unknown.

Locality/Location/Environment: Native to the Mediterranean as well as Western/Southwestern Eurasia. Transplanted around the world and very common house plant in the United States

Where to Obtain: The Tree Leaves Oracle The Tree Leaves’ Oracle. Essential oil: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?p=6661. Dried Herb: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?p=6825.

Description: Oregano is a perennial herb belonging to the common species Origanum species as part of the Lamiaceae mint family. It can grow upwards of 20-80 cm in height displaying opposite spade-shaped, olive-green leaves approximately 1-4 cm in length. While it is commonly known as a perennial, it can also be found as an annual in colder climates with human intervention as it doesnt naturally survive winter conditions. When blossoming, Oregano displays a myriad array of 3-4 mm long purple flowers produced in erect spikes and can often be mis-identified as wild marjoram (or sweet marjoram its sister Origanum majorana). Marjoram and Oregano share much in relation so it is common to mistake the two. Another sister species is Syrian Oregano (Origanum syriacum). Numerous sub-species and strains of Oregano have been created throughout human intervention primarily to create different flavors, scents, aromas, and tastes. Some sub-species have variations in its leaves and stems such as the Aureum with golden foliage, Greek Kaliteri hirtum with small, hardy, dark, compact, thick, silvery-haired leaves containing purple undersides. Lippia graveolens, also called Mexican Oregano does not belong to the Oregano family, nor the mint it is more closely related to the Vervain family verbenaceae. Also it is used by some as an Oregano alternative like Marjoram.

Cultivation: It is most commonly planted in early spring, often as early as February, within recommended spacing of 30 centimeters in dry or loamy soil exposed to full sun. Oregano loves a hot dry climate but can survive in most conditions especially with human assistance. Oregano can grow in mildly acidic (ph. range 6.0) variably to strongly alkaline (ph. range 9.0) soils however will be more successful within a 6-8.0 PH range. Easy to begin from seed, it can also be propagated from cuttings off an established plant. When first planting, place in well-drained soil under relatively warm conditions. It is a great companion plant in vegetable gardens. When it reaches approximately 4 inches, it is suggested to pinch or lightly trim the plant to make it denser and branch again. Do not over-water, best to just water when the soil feels dry. Be wary of aphids and spider mites that are attracted to this plant. Watch for root and stem rots. When ready to harvest, especially for culinary use, do so before flowering to keep flavor. Drying hang upside in bundles. Once dried keep in airtight container. If keeping fresh, freeze in the freezer during winter.

Culinary: A very popular culinary herb, Oregano can be found in most kitchens. Some describe its taste to be similar to that of thyme, with a strong zesty flavor. Its leaves possess more flavor when dried rather than fresh. It possesses a warm, aromatic, slightly bitter taste. When shopping for Oregano, you can tell the better quality ones from poorer variants by its ability to numb your tongue. Most cooks and culinary specialists will recommend a different strain of Oregano than the common Origanum vulgare which is known for its pungent and less remarkable taste. The Aureum sub-species has a golden foliage and mild taste. Greek Kaliteri is common in Greek cooking known for its flavor and pungency. A common culinary herb throughout Indo-Europe, it is also widely used in the Mediterranean, as well as the Philippines and Latin America. Oregano is most common in Italian-American cooking especially with pastas and pizza. It became popular during World War II when it gained its nickname the pizza herb as soldiers returning brought back the herb and added to their pizzas. It is also a very common herb to be used to spice up meat, fish, and grilled, roasted, or fried vegetables. In Turkey its commonly used to flavor meats, especially lamb and offered as a condiment in kebab restaurants. The Greeks use it commonly in their salads and the lemon-olive oil sauces when barbecuing fish or meat. The Philippines use its aroma to get rid of odors from boiling water buffalo and adding flavor.

Common Uses: Cooking and a Culinary Spice. In gardening it is commonly planted as a companion plant, ornamental, and as ground cover. When flowering often used in decorations and within artistic wreaths. Oregano oil is used topically as an insect repellent. The tops of the plants are used to produce a reddish-brown dye. The leaves can be used as a wood polish when rubbed over wood.

Medicinal: According to folklore Oregano has numerous medicinal qualities. Through the ages it has been listed as a powerful antiseptic. It is a folk cure for stomach and respiratory issues. In Austria it is used as a tea or ointment to treat gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract disorders as well as to treat the nervous system. The Greeks use the sister Origanum dictamnus (Cretan Oregano) for sore throats. In Herbalism and folk healing, Oregano is used to treat coughs, asthma, croup, and bronchitis. It is also known to relieve heartburn and bloating, menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary tract disorders, UTIs, headaches, and heart conditions. Its Oil is taken internally to treat colds, flues, arthritis, sinus pain, allergies, intestinal parasites, swine flu, earaches, and fatigue. It is also applied to the skin for acne, athletes foot, oily skin, dandruff, canker sores, warts, rosacea, ring worm, spider bites, insect bites, gum disease, toothaches, muscle pain, varicose veins, and psoriasis. Some claim its ability to ease seasickness. It is believed to be a natural antihistamine and drank as a tea to relieve hives or other allergies, often mixed with tarragon, basil, chamomile, and fennel. Added to the bath, some say it will relax sore muscles and help one unwind after a long day. Made into a tea and used as a mouthwash has claims to ease sore gums and toothaches. Add the oil to massage oils to aid in muscle aches.

The U.S.A. Federal Trade Commission in 2005 sued firms claiming its ability to treat colds and flu saying the representations were false or were not substantiated at the time the representations were made and that they were therefore a deceptive practice and false advertisements. The result of the suit required in America that one could not advertise Oregano for its health benefits without reliable scientific evidence accompanying it. A ridiculous outcome since it has been known for its medicinal attributes for hundreds of years. Oregano possesses polyphenols and flavones. The essential oil is composed primarily of monoterpenoids and monoterpenes. Oregano is composed of numerous compounds, the most common being carvacrol and thymol as the major composition, with lesser compounds including p-cymene, y-terpnene, caryophyllene, spathulenol, germacrene-D, etc. Oregano is known to interact with Lithium. Preliminary science suggests the chemicals within Oregano might help reduce cough and spasms. Science also suggests it could help digestion by increasing bite flow. There is also some preliminary science suggesting possibilities of fighting against bacteria, viruses, fungi, intestinal worms, and parasites. Clinical research also suggests its treatment for high cholesterol when taken after each meal for three months could reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Other science have determined Oregano oil might kill the intestinal parasites Blastocystis hominis, Entamoeba hartmanni, and Endolimax nana. Some suggest 200 mg of oil of oregano three times daily for 6 weeks for intestinal parasites.
Potential side effects: While Oregano is determined to be likely safe when ingested within the common amounts found in foods containing it, it is determined possibly safe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin in medicinal amounts it has been noted to cause stomach upset, especially in excessive amounts. Those allergic to plants in the Lamiaceae family also have noted allergic reactions in its use. Oregano is cited as possibly unsafe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts during pregnancy and breast feeding. It has a reputation of possibly causing miscarriage. Those with bleeding disorders or those about to enter surgery are recommended not to take Oregano due to the possibility Oregano can increase bleeding. Those preparing for surgery should stop use at least 2 weeks before surgery. Since Oregano can possibly lower blood sugar levels, use of Oregano by people with Diabetes should consult a physician first. Oregano use might cause effects similar to diuretics. Since Oregano interacts with Lithium, it can also decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium causing side effects. If taking Lithium, consult your physician before using oregano.

Magical / Mythology / Folklore: Medicinal and folk-healing properties are abundant in folklore about Oregano, especially in relaxing nerves and settling upset stomachs. Some claim the Assyrians utilized Oregano in 3000 BCE. Folk remedies claim it being a poison antidote, headache cure, asthma ease, and relief for insect bites as well as stings from scorpions. It is believed that Aristotle noticed would eat the leaves of an oregano plant after eating a snake thinking this would be an antidote to poison. Through Shakespearean lore, it was thought to cure overdoses of opium and hemlock. Oregano is used in magic, ritual, and ceremony. In Ancient Greece, it was an element in weddings as the crowns the wedded pair would wear would often be oregano laurels. During the middle Ages, the herb was planted around graves so departed spirits could be at peace. Those seeking psychic dreams would wear Oregano leaves on their heads. It was commonly carried as a charm for good luck and health. In spell craft, it is an ingredient for promoting happiness, luck, health, protection, letting go of a loved one, deepening existing love, and tranquility. Outside the home, it was grown to protect the house from evil. Oregano tea would often be prescribed by healers to assist patients in letting a loved one go. Oregano is believed to be ruled by Venus and the element of air. It is one of Aphrodites herbs. Oregano represents joy (possibly from its namesake joy of the mountain) and is used during rites imbued with celebrating happy occasions such as love, romance, marriages, or the passing of loved ones to find happiness in their next life.

This article is continuously being updated and revised. Please check back often for more research, links, references, photos, and content.

To obtain the Essential oil, visit http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?p=6661

To obtain the dried herb, visit http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?p=6825

    References:
  • Bespoke Spices 2015: undated “The History, lore, and Uses of Oregano”. Website referenced 6/6/16 at http://www.bespokespices.com/history-of-oregano
  • Collins Dictionary 2014 Oregano
  • Francis, Meagan HGTV 2015: undated “Herbivore: Get a Dose of Good Luck by Growing Oregano”. Website referenced 6/6/15 at: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/herbivore-get-a-dose-of-good-luck-by-growing-oregano#sthash.NBESNnYy.dpuf
  • The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2015: undated Oregano”. Website referenced 6/6/15 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano
  • USDA undated Origanum vulgare L. oregano. Plant database http://plants.usda.gov
  • WebMD 2015: undated “Oregano”. Website referenced 6/6/15 at http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-644-OREGANO.aspx?activeIngredientId=644&activeIngredientName=OREGANO
  • Wikipedia 2015: undated Oregano”. Website referenced 6/6/15 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano.
  • Witchipedia 2015: undated “Oregano”. Website referenced 6/6/15 at http://www.witchipedia.com/herb:oregano

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071413-063
Hopewell Mounds, Hopewell, Ohio

Echinacea spp.
Plantae: Angiosperms: Eudicots: Asterids: Asterales: Asteraceae: Asteroideae: Heliantheae: Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, etc.

Common names:
echinacea, purple coneflower, coneflower, American coneflower, American Cone Flower, Black Sampson, Black Susans, Brauneria Angustifolia, Brauneria Pallida, Comb Flower, Coneflower, Echinacea Angustifolia, Echinacea Pallida, Echinacea Purpurea, Echinaceawurzel, chinace, chinace Angustifolia, chinace Pallida, chinace Pourpre, chinace Purpurea, Equincea, Fleur Hrisson, Hedgehog, Igelkopfwurzel, Indian Head, Kansas Snakeroot, Narrow-Leaved Purple Cone Flower, Pale Coneflower, Purple Cone Flower, Purpursonnenhutkraut, Purpursonnenhutwurzel, Racine d’echininacea, Red Sunflower, Rock-Up-Hat, Roter Sonnenhut, Rudbeckie Pourpre, Schmallblaettrige Kegelblumenwurzel, Schmallblaettriger Sonnenhut, Scurvy Root, Snakeroot, Sonnenhutwurzel.

Location/Environment:
Native to North America. Endemic to eastern and central North America especially in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. They are drought-tolerant perennial plants growing up to 4 feet in height growing from taproots except purpurea that grows from a short caudex with fibrous roots.

071413-065
Hopewell Mounds, Hopewell, Ohio

Description:
Named from the Greek word echino meaning “sea urchin” due to the way the large spiny central disk of the flower appears. There are nine known species of Echinacea most of which are native to North America. Most common species is Echinacea purpurea. It is the genus of a group of herbaceous flowering plants of the Asteraceae daisy family with nine species all called coneflower. They possess large showy heads of composite flowers blooming from early to late summer. The species E. tennesseeosis and E. levitate are endangered species.

Cultivation:
The roots, leaves, and stems are used fresh or dried for teas, capsules, to make an extract, juice, or poultice. In addition to medicinal cultivation they are used as ornamentals. The erect stems are unbranched, with both basal and cauline leaves arranged alternately, leaves are normally hairy with a rough texture having uniseriate trichomes but sometimes they lack hairs. Basal leaves nad lower stem leaves have petioles and as leaves progress up the stem the petioles decrease in length. Some species have linear to lanceolae shaped leaves while others have elliptic to ovate shaped leaves. Flowers are collected together into single rounded heads that aterminate long peduncles. Corollas are pinkish, greenish, reddish-purple or yellow and have tubes shorter than the throats. Pollen is normally yellow. 3-4 angled fruits are created tan or bicolored with a dark brown band distally.

Medicinal:
Traditionally used to enhance the immune system as a natural antibiotic, best used for colds, flus, and other infections. Some also use it for wounds and skin problems including boils and acne. Scientifically it has not been documented officially for dependable effects on immune system. Some have stated allergic reactions to the plant including rashes, increased asthma, and anaphylaxis. Sometimes gastronintestinal side effects have been noted. Used for fighting infections, common cold, and other upper respiratory infections. Often taken during the first sign of the cold or flu hoping to keep it from developing, while others take it after getting a cold hoping to make the symptoms less severe. It is reputed to reduce cold symptoms, including flu, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, genital herpes, bloodstream infections (septicemia), gum disease, tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, and diphtheria as well as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), rheumatism, migraines, acid indigestion, pain, dizziness, rattlesnake bites, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Others have reputedly used it applied to their skin to treat boils, abscesses, skin wounds, ulcers, burns, eczema, psoriasis, UV radiation skin damage, herpes simplex, bee stings, and hemorrhoids. It is believe to activate chemicals in the body to decrease inflammation that might reduce cold and flu symptoms. Laboratory research states it does stimulate the body’s immune system but has not been proven to be effective in people.

Magical/Mythology/Folklore:
Traditionally used by the Great Plains Indian tribes and followed in use by European settlers. It was reputedly used by the Kiowa for coughs and sore throats, for sore throats by the Cheyenne, for headaches by the Pawnee, and other tribes as a analgesic. Native Americans supposedly learned of the most potent form Echinacea angustifolia by observing elk seeking out plants and consuming them when sick or wounded and identified those as “elk root”.

071413-066
Hopewell Mounds, Hopewell, Ohio

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