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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Trillium Sessile one of Missouri's Edible Wildflowers


Trillium is a fairly common wildflower in Missouri although some types are endangered throughout the country.  I've never seen Trillium prior to finding a large area of it near Caplinger Mills, Mo a few years ago.  American Indians used the root powder to stop bleeding during childbirth.  Its also been reported have been used to stop other forms of bleeding including nosebleeds. Some sources say the Native Americans drank tea for multiple ailments.  The bruised leaves are also used for boils or skin eruptions in the form of a poultice.
 The flower has three green leaves that sometimes appear mottled.  The flower is a deep, dark red color other types of trillium have white flowers and green flowers.  The trillium flower has three petals pointing straight up and open slightly as the flower ages.  The stamen is usually yellow.  Its common name is Wake Robin, toadshade.  HIGHLY EDIBLE TOO!!  The leaves taste like sunflower seeds and are a great addition to salads!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

LEARNING TO LIVE A NEW LIFESTYLE!! AND HOW TO GET THE REST OF YOUR CLAN TO FOLLOW!?!

THE LIFESTYLE OF HIGH-TECH IMMERSION AND JUNK-FOOD NUTRITION IS A DIFFICULT LIFE TO LEAVE FOR ANY HUMAN, BUT WHEN YOU DECIDE TO CHANGE THIS LIFESTYLE HOW DO YOU CONVINCE YOUR FAMILY TO JOIN THE JOURNEY?  

Most of us know that reducing our "carbon footprint" is the "right" thing to do.  Most of us know that eating whole foods, organically produced without genetic modification is better for the environment and our health. Most us know we should exercise everyday in some form or the other.  The list goes on....and on...and...Well, you get the point.  

  I've seen the paradigm countless times as a Registered Nurse.  We have countless patients that come to the ER on the brink of death with totally preventable, chronic illnesses!  The diabetic patient in renal failure due to non-compliance with their diet or the patient in respiratory failure that just can't seem to quit smoking...the stories are endless.  We seem to be built with a static mechanism that prevents us from changing; even when the consequences are fatal.  

So, when we have a life-altering epiphany and we see a change must be made, how do we handle it? Do we file it away and take the familiar path of least resistance? Do we change subtly and "ween" ourselves into it?  Do we get fired-up and become an activist, committed to changing ourselves and the World? 

 I know the struggle to change my own lifestyle has been a huge hurtle!  I had the epiphany, I know the path I MUST take!  I've dabbled in educating myself and others!  I've made little changes here and there!  I've battled with this for a few years now and made multiple relapses into old patterns with a myriad of excuses!  It's hard enough to change my own behaviors, let alone try to sell my family on the idea of change?   I can't think of many 12 year old boys that want to harvest wild herbs with mom instead of playing Call of Duty online with friends and can't think of many nine year old boys that want to give up McDonald's for salads and granola.  

I'm sure I'm not the only one trying to make the sell!  Slowly but surely the conversion will happen, I'm just that dang stubborn!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lobelia Illegal to smoke! Proven effective as nicotine replacement to quit smoking, but banned anyway!



Lobelia is an herb or wildflower with many uses.  It's been used as a sedative, an antiasthmatic medication,  and used to help folks quit smoking.( Please see above link). I researched this chemical and found out it is illegal to smoke Lobelia for medicinal purposes since the early 1990's. 
Apparently, Lobelia contains a chemical that some say could be dangerous when smoked as a nicotine replacement and other government officials just think smoking any herb, despite it's therapeutic properties,  is simply blasphemous and should be outlawed immediately!  Personally, I can't see how smoking Lobelia could possibly be more dangerous than Chantix!  Nearly 3000 people reported mental status changes, psychosis, suicidal ideations, etc the first four years Chantix was on the market. And, its still on the market!!!!  Raking in millions! 
Lobeline is the medicinal chemical contained in Lobelia that decreases your desire for nicotine.  Lobelia Inflata (I believe) contains the highest content of lobeline.  It can be purchased commercially and grown in flower gardens.   The flower in the photograph above is  Lobelia Cardinalis which can also be purchased commercially for flower gardens as seems much more attractive to me.
  According to some sources Lobeline has shown promising outcomes in tumor therapies and methamphetamine withdrawl.  So, why is it illegal to smoke?  Maybe someone smoked 10 plants and then reported to herb as toxic?  If that's the case than why isn't poison ivy illegal to smoke??  It's not illegal to eat 10 quarter pounders in one sitting even though we know you will probably get sick ?  Why is it illegal to smoke an herb that has beneficial uses?  Of course, if you abuse ANY natural medicine or herb you may get sick, but why make it illegal to smoke??  Maybe someone has more insight to share? 

Friday, February 15, 2013

SPRING FEVER


 I like to country cruise, much to my boyfriends dismay, and hijack various botanical samples / food / etc.  When he's willing to drive me about, listening to my constant botanical chatter, I find the most amazing things!  Last fall I snagged some HUGE puffball mushroom heads out of an old field.  I know, its not cool to steal mushrooms, but I am guilty!  

I'd never had them before last fall.  My sister and I used to kick them around when we were young.  They are in prime kicking form when they turn all brownish-green and powdery, but I had no idea you could ear them when they are young.  

RECIPE:  Prep is a snap!  Just peel off the outside thicker layer (if you want) I didn't do this step and they tasted just fine.  Then, soak em salt water for an hour if ya want.  Cube them and saute in butter with salt, pepper, and a little diced onion.  I thought they were awesome.  I tricked my kids into eating them and they thought they tasted like scrambled eggs (and they do).  I also added them to beef stew...really good stuff! 

I can't wait til spring!!  See next page for pictures