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Portland Nursery

Medicinal Plants!

For centuries if you were sick you relied on the healing properties of plants to help you get better.  These days we have forgotten about some of those plants and the benefits they can provide.  GardenTime TV met with Laura Alvater at Portland Nursery to check out some of the plants that are commonly used in the landscape for their beauty but also have a medicinal purpose as well.

The first one she pulled out for us was the Motherwort, used for uterine health, then Arnica which is used to treat bruising. She then showed us Rue ‘Jackmans Blue’, which, in addition to its lovely ornamental effect in the garden, can be used to aid digestion.

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The Chinese have long used plants for medicinal purposes and we moved to the Goji berry which is used as an overall health tonic since the berries are loaded with antioxidants.

Another Chinese herb is Dang-shen also used as an overall health tonic and wellbeing. It is a relative of ginseng and is prepared in many different ways for use. Lavender was next on the list and this one is well known to most people. Its fragrance has a calming effect on most people and it can also be used to promote the healing of scars. 

Laura then moved to the Monarda (Bee-balm) which is an antimicrobial and can help prevent the onset of colds if used in a tea with Echinacea.

The next plant was one that William tried just to see what it would do. The Toothache plant (Spilanthes acmella) has a numbing effect when eaten and can be used for toothaches and teething. William is able to report that it works!  It was hard for him to finish the story because his mouth was so numb!

We finished the story with Yarrow and Blueberries. Yarrow is known as the ‘Nosebleed plant’ because it does slow and stop the bleeding of minor cuts and blueberries are not only loaded with antioxidants, it makes a great tonic for overall men’s health. We recommend that you don’t start eating the flowers in your garden right away.

Always check with an expert herbalist before you start using the plants for medicinal purposes. If you have questions, you can check with the experts at Portland Nursery or with Laura at Mostly Medicinals.

(Originally aired on GardenTime TV. See the GardenTime web site for more videos and information about the show)

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