by Jesse Boudreau
Jesse’s native New Mexican wild plant medicines for health through winter and how to prepare and use them: (Yarrow, Mullein, Osha, mushrooms)
Yarrow is excellent for the Blood. If you ever have a wound simply mash fresh yarrow in your mouth or apply dried yarrow to it. It works like an herbal band aid. Yarrow often keeps some of its fresh green leaf on through the winter. Dried and steeped in hot water it makes an excellent and tonifying tea. Good for alleviating fever as well as combating the flu.
Mullein is a large candlestick with the yellow flowers and soft leaves.The tea is good for digestive ailments. As a wash the tea is excellent for skin problems like rashes or wounds. The vapors from a strong fresh leaf tea is excellent for congestion.
Osha has been used by indigenous peoples as well as the Spanish settlers as a cure all. It has strong antiviral properties and is excellent for combating cold or flu if taken when first symptoms start. It is particularly good for respiratory ailments. One may eat the leaves or pick and dry them for the winter. Most of the medicine is in the root. Eat the root fresh or dry and use as a powder or as a tea. One can also chop up the root and infuse it in honey. This will preserve the osha as well as impart the plants medicine into the honey.(warning: osha looks alot like hemlock which is deadly poisonous so only harvest it with someone who knows the plant well)
Polypore mushrooms like the wood conk that grows on live trees in the mountains of northern new mexico has adaptogenic, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. This means that they are good for combating disease and tonifying the system. Make a tea by boiling for 1-2 hours(decoction). Also excellent for maintaining an ember for fire.