Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Food and Medicine on our doorstep

Today, our Botanical Medicine class was introduced to a new way of appreciating our surroundings. Our naturopathic guide began the tour before we even got 20 feet from the school by pointing to 3 types of herbs bravely growing in one of the cracks in the concrete.

Later in the Don Valley, which is across the street from CCNM, we were told the dietary benefits and medicinal effects of Lambs Quarters, Stinging Nettle, Linden trees, Jewel Weed (Touch-me-not), Golden Rod, Yellow Dock, Plantain, Woody Nightshade, Wild Lettuce, Dandelion and many more.

It is amazing to me how the Dandelion is the most feared intruder into a lawn and yet at the same time it is one of the most healthy plants (every part of the Dandelion has tremendous dietary or medicinal qualities). This irony is unfortunately representational of much of North America's transition away from the natural and gravitation to the pharmaceutical.

Bring along one of Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guides to edible or medicinal plants for your next adventure to the local park. You might be surprised to find what is on your doorstep!

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