Saturday, October 1, 2016

Re-thinking weeds; Introducing Motherwort

Do you have any weeds in your yard that you pull out year, after year, after year....and they just keep coming back?

I totally feel your pain.  From the very first spring when we moved into this house (9 years ago now) I've been pulling this dreaded prickly weed gem from the tiny garden bed just off the deck thinking it was only there to annoy me and make more work.

But you know what they say about the way we see things right?  When we change the way we see things, the things we see change.  I think it was the fantastic Dr. Wayne Dyer who said that.

So before you carry on for years like I did pulling a gift out and tossing it away, look a little deeper and see what you might be missing!

This is the book I found my beloved Motherwort in.  I can't say enough about how much I love having this book as a reference.  If you're in another part of the world, I'm betting there's a book for your area as well. 

It took me no less than eight of those years, pulling, and pulling and pulling to come to the realization that it MUST be good for something!  If it was going to be so darn insistent, I might as well identify it and see if I could use it.  You see, over the time we've lived in this home, I've become more and more interested in learning the ways of my grandmothers, and great grandmothers and so on, especially the mentality of using what is given to you.   I'm all about the FREE. lol

One summer the kids and I decided we'd study the how the Native Canadian's lived off the land, and this opened my eyes to seeing things differently, but it was still several years after this and much time studying complimentary medicines and getting interested in herbalism before I had the Eureka moment this summer that lead me to identify some of my "annoying weeds".  Last summer I learned about Goldenrod, and I'll share some of that with you in another post.

For now, I'm going to share my love-affair with Motherwort. :)

This prickly plant is a treasure trove of 'ancient' medicine, and it grows everywhere!  This year instead of pulling this weed, I actually transplanted some it, and now this fall I'm harvesting seed to share and keep for future.  I don't spray my lawn or gardens with anything chemical, and since we've now lived here 9 years, I feel fairly safe in using my own Motherwort for it's therapeutic benefits.  Please be aware of where you may be harvesting from.  If it's not clean land, I wouldn't trust the plant for making vinegars or tinctures, or infusions.

I turn to Susun Weed most often to learn about herbals.  She is an ABUNDANCE of information!
I'm not an hearbalist, so I won't go on about the beneficial properties of Motherwort, I'll let the expert speak to you through her site.  As I get more and more aquainted with herbals I'm using, I'll be happy to share my experiences with them.  For now, I'm just a baby in this, and I'll defer to the expert.  ;)

These prickly little burrs are the seed pods.  To harvest the seeds I've found it best to cut off these dry stems, and invert them in a tall glass jar and just tap them against the inside of the jar.  The seeds will fall out, but some of the prickles will come off too.

Once you separate the seeds from the prickles, they can be left to further dry out in your dry home for about another six weeks before putting them in a paper envelope and then storing them in a glass jar with an airtight seal.

Honestly, these things just GROW.  You can 'broadcast' (just toss the seed on the ground), and they're likely to germinate.

I highly recommend checking out the link above to Susun Weed's site.  (What a fortunate name she has!) lol

I have so far dried some of my Motherwort for infusions, and I have also put some of the fresh leaves and blossoms this spring into ACV (apple cider vinegar) to make a lovely medicinal vinegar.  I've used this vinegar to make Switchel, and salad dressings.  I'm needing to get some more Vodka soon, so I can also put some of what's left to tincture.

I hope this encourages you to change the way you look at the things in the garden that may annoy you now a little differently, and see how they just might be a blessing in disguise. :)

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