Winter Medicine from our Land

It’s happened a few times, right after I wake up in the morning, or after I come in from the cold. A tight feeling in my chest that sends a signal to my brain to say, “here we go, that’s congestion, and we’re about to get sick.” At another time in my life I would have felt hopeless, but learning the land where I live has served me in growing an herbal arsenal, which has been an incredible resource in many moments where I would not have otherwise known what to do.

Goldenrod is more commonly known for its super powers with healing kidney and liver issues. It’s a diuretic, good for expelling toxins; and it has a reputation for helping to heal urinary track infections. It is high in antioxidants, as well as helpful in mending burns, eczema and other topical wounds. The Zuni used it to treat sore throats, other indigenous groups use it for snakebites (Fischer-Rizzi, 127). Goldenrod's medicinal capabilities are extensive, but because I am prone to upper respiratory infection it's usefulness as a decongestant and cold remedy stood out to me right away. 

When my daughter Francesca, our dog Budderball, and I came inside last Tuesday after hours of shoveling, playing soccer in the snow, and building a snow fort, I felt tightness in my chest that I knew could turn into a cold. Instead of feeling dismayed, I felt a little excited knowing how well Goldenrod has worked for me in the past and feeling blessed by the opportunity to use plant medicine that grows near our home.

Goldenrod can be found across the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia; there are upwards of 80 different varieties, ranging in their healing gifts and abilities (Fischer-Rizzi, 127). Hanging from the rafters in our kitchen, I keep an assortment of herbs we harvested locally. We foreage for Goldenrod in early fall. The flowers and leaves must be gathered each year in order to retain potency (128).  Dried Goldenrod is beautiful, and I Iove the way it looks in our kitchen!

Simple Goldenrod Tea 

To make tea, I cut the flowers and some of the leaves from the top down. I use about 1/4 cup of dried leaves and flowers to 2 cups of water. After boiling, I cover the pot and let it set it to steep for at least 10 - 15 minutes, likely more. There are many awesome ways to work with Goldenrod, it can be made into a tincture, infused in honey (yum), has usefulness in aroma therapy, and can be made into a salve or poultice for topical use.  

Goldenrod tea has worked wonderfully, helping to keep us well through winter. I look forward to learning to use it in a number of different ways as Francesca and I continue to grow with this land. Learning and using the herbs here keeps me feeling grateful. All of the wonderful herbs we have right at our finger tips give me a feeling of love~ that I am being nurtured and cared for by this land.

If your interest is peaked by Goldenrod but finding your own herbs feels like too much or if you don’t have Goldenrod and don’t want to wait until next fall to get started, you can find it bulk here on amazon.

Love and Blessings!




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