Celebrating Healing Plants - Issue # 4 - Fireweed (Epilobium Angustifolium)

in #ecotrain2 years ago (edited)

I love the appearance of these lovely magenta flowers along our ditches and on ground that has recently been cleared by fire. Fireweed will be one of the first to populate a burned area and will flourish, thus the name Fireweed.

closeup of fireweed resized.JPG

Not only is it a healer to Mother Earth, it begins the healing process after fires by preparing the soil for the willow and popular that will follow, but it is also great to heal burns to your skin plus other skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, acne or other wounds. It's the leaves and flowers that are used for these conditions.

Other uses for the flower is an infusion that can be gargled for sore throats plus if you squeeze the juice out of the fresh petals this has strong antiseptic properties to ward off infections.

If you combine the flowers with leaves it can be used for insomnia, and for headaches bought about by nervousness or make a poultice with them to fight inflammation of the throat, ear or nose.

A decoction made from the leaf could soothe stomach problems and was used to treat ulcers, colitis and gastritis.
These decoctions were also used for mild diarrhea, even the diarrhea that comes about when you change your water.

A cool decoction made from the whole plant was used for simple hiccups, asthma and whooping cough.

Decoction Recipe

Use 1 ounce of the whole plant including the roots
Add to 1 pint of water
simmer for 20 minutes.
Dosage - take 1 tbsp. every five minutes

Sun Infused Fireweed Flower Oil

Place young flower heads and buds of fireweed 3/4 full in jar
Cover with melted coconut oil
Place lid on it and shake daily
Let sit in the sun for 2 weeks then strain.
Also leaves can be macerated and placed in oil to make a salve or ointment.

Add the strained oil to salves and ointments for burns, cuts and ulcerous sores or make into suppositories for hemorrhoids, anal fissures and prostrate inflammation.

Some preliminary studies show fireweed as having potential to treat prostate cancer.

Fermented Fireweed Tea

Pick off a bunch of fireweed leaves from stem of fireweed and let them become a bit wilted but not dry.
Roll or crush the leaves in your hand (You can do about five leaves at a time) Set in a dish.
Leave the leaves to oxidize and develop flavor - any where between 2 - 12 hours depending on your preference for flavor.
Ferment the oxidized leaves by putting into a glass or ceramic container and put a similar sized container on top that can seal the leaves into the lower container, give it a push down to compact the leaves, but have it sealed just enough that it will protects it from off flavors but will still leave some oxygen available to them. Let sit at room temperature for 2-3 days again depending on your preferences.
Stop the fermentation by drying the leaves in an oven at between 90 - 120 degrees Fahrenheit or you can also use a dehydrator set at those same temperatures. Stir the leave about half way through the process for even drying.
Store in a cool dark place in an air tight container.
*Note - tea will continue to cure in the containers and will develop a milder taste if left to cure for another 2 to 4 months.
Brew up some tea and enjoy it's tonic effects. The antioxidants found in fireweed can benefit the digestive system, the urinary system, the circulatory system, the endocrine system, the immune system, plus it can also benefit the lungs, and the skin. So have a brew and be healthy!

bee on fireweed resized.JPG

Fireweed flowers are attractive to both bees and hummingbirds plus the fireweed honey is prized by honey connoisseurs. Also the young shoots can be harvested in the early spring, lightly steamed and eaten like asparagus. The fragrant flowers which contain nectar can be harvested as soon as they open and made into a lovely jelly.

The beautiful fireweed plant not only has many medicinal benefits and it is edible but it can also be used to make cordage from the outer parts of the stem and the seeds can be used as a fire-starter or as a cotton like stuffing.

In my book "Sundew Moonwort" by Robert Dale Rogers, he quotes HILARION giving the Fireweed the Spiritual Properties of

having the ability to connect the soul with higher levels. It isn't of much use to the majority of souls now on earth, but for seekers and those whose spiritual vibrations are already heightened. A tea made from the whole blooming flowers will produce energies in the lower bodies; which open the soul to input from the higher realms.

Blessed be.

Pictures were taken with my Canon PowerShot A495.

Sort:  

Thanks for posting this. I just bought 5000 Fireweed seeds to plant next spring. I want to try making tea and my bees are looking forward to the flowers.

We also bought Hyssop and Phacelia. If they all come up our garden will be beautiful next year.

We have the fireweed and hyssop growing wild and quite plentiful. I'm sure your bees will love them and you will love the honey! Where abouts do you live? If you lived in Canada I could have sent you some seeds free.

I'm in central Virginia. Fireweed is not naturalized here. I don't know if it will be hard to grow.

Posted using Partiko Android

You may want to give the seeds a cold treatment to get them to germinate. It's recommended to mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60-90 days before planting. they also need light to germinate so you just press them on top of the soil. I would make sure to gather some seeds in the fall too to make sure you have some if they do not germinate naturally for you there in Virginia.

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

Upvoted.

DISCLAIMER: Your post is upvoted based on curation algorithm configured to find good articles e.g. stories, arts, photography, health, etc. This is to reward you (authors) for sharing good content using the Steem platform especially newbies.
If you're a dolphin or whales, and wish not to be included in future selection, please let me know so I can exclude your account. And if you find the upvoted post is inappropriate, FLAG if you must. This will help a better selection of post.

Keep steeming good content.
@Yehey

Posted using https://Steeming.com condenser site.

That's so much for the upvote! It does help to keep me posting quality material.

Woo! Love your post, dear valued NM member! We've given you a full upvote with a chance to be featured in the weekly curation. Hope this helps you continue to write such amazing posts. We've also resteemed it. We encourage you to keep using the #naturalmedicine tag so we can more easily find you.

If you're a supporter of all things natural healing, and haven't already got on board our collective, you might like to read our introductory post here. We'd also love to welcome you on Discord here!!

Thanks so much for the upvote and resteem. Loving the #naturalmedicine and the encouragement we get to keep on posting quality material.

Cool @porters!
I didn't know about the medicinal properties of this plant!
Thanks for sharing!!!

/FF

Ya I always just recognized it for being one of the first to populate open grounds like from fires and I just love it's beautiful bloom then the other year I got my first try of fireweed honey. Loved it! Then hearing about the fermented tea and all the other benefits. I knew I could eat the young shoots and that is what made me look deeper into the medicinal qualities.

@porters
"Fireweed honey", sounds like a good name for a band or maybe a singer/song-writer!!! =)
I just hope people who are less experienced use a field-guide before doing wildcrafting...

/FF

Yes, that's the big thing about using common names. People know totally different plants with those common names. That is why I include the Latin name and pictures so hopefully it saves some of the confusion.

That was a good thing! =)

/FF

I had no idea it had so many properties! It makes perfect sense when you think about how the plant prepares the ecosystem. Pioneering plants--the ones that come first after a fire--have so many incredible properties. I have mainly studied the pine tree for how it prepares the area for other types of plants.

Interesting. I never thought of the pine tree preparing the area for other plants for we live in a pine meadow and the trees are over 100 years old. All the needles and pollen they shed does help to build the sandy soil they are growing in. Tell me more about how they prepare the area for other plants. I'm curious.

Basically, pioneering species create the conditions for others to grow. Usually they are hardy varieties that can withstand direct sun and poor soil. They start to grow, creating shade for the plants below and transforming the soil with their needles/leaves. They usually eventually die off when the other species of the area have the right ecosystem and become strong enough to survive completely on their own. Sometimes you see a few remain or in areas where the poor soil is a result of the location itself, not an external event like a fire, they remain the dominant species.

There are a number of pioneering species that have been identified. Here is a nice article about them.

Great! thanks so much for the info!

I am allergic, but we hand pick and dry them to sell to those in the states who what to benifit. My kids split the profits since they helped pick. We pick my hand.
Thanks for sharing all the benefits 💗

Interesting. I never knew there was a market for them. They are so abundant. I just enjoy there beauty and harvest for myself and family.

There really isn’t a high demand. But we have had a few people request them. So we only keep a few ounces on had. We are not selfish like a lot of the locals who take way more then they need.

It's nice to be able to harvest from the wild but it is definitely necessary to do it ethically so as not to diminish the supply. What other plants to you harvest where there is a market for them? I had never heard of the market for the fireweed.

Chaga but we don’t go out and be jerks about it like a lot of people.
When we pick the flowers we take only half, that way the bees still have flowers.
I have seen people strip fields of all flowers, just so they can make fireweed jelly. 🤢
We sell it by the ounce. We get maybe a two or three orders a year, not many. What we don’t sell we give to the birds.

Chaga is a big thing here too. It concerns me when people basically rape the wilds for profit. I do believe in harvesting in a sustainable fashion to supplement your income but not doing it driven by greed. Then the plants can't sustain themselves. How unfortunate folks would strip a whole field of the flowers, how do they figure they will reproduce themselves?

I agree, people should be doing it in a more sustainable way.
I don’t think people really care anymore, it’s all about the present with them. What they can get out of the earth right now.
Remind me of the berry rakes and how they destroyed thousands of berry bushes. I pick only by hand.

Oh ya, I remember the berry rakes! what a shame and for folks to have such disregard - not very in tune with nature!

Hi @porters!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 1.885 which ranks you at #26873 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has improved 1 places in the last three days (old rank 26874).

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 373 contributions, your post is ranked at #160.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • Only a few people are following you, try to convince more people with good work.
  • The readers like your work!
  • Good user engagement!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

Thanks for the upvote and the advise I'll work on getting more people to follow me!