My Apothecary - Spruce Tips

in homesteading •  6 months ago

I have decided that Mondays I will be sharing My Apothecary.
I have been foraging for plants for many years, and I have decided to share what I have been collecting.
This is also helping me get everything catalogued and organized. Seems like a win win for everyone!

Please know that I do not sell my remedies, and I am not a doctor. My advice is to research everything. We should always be mindful in what we do to heal our vessels, our body. Many of these remedies are good for the spirit to. We are all spiritual beings, the plants are just and connected to mother earth as we are. Even more so.

It is very important to honour all beings, with respect and love. There have been times that I have gone to pick medicines, and I have heard NO. I offer the tobacco and give thanks for the wisdom.

Everyone has the knowledge to their own path of well being.


source

Benefits of Spruce Tips:

rich in minerals such as potassium and magnesium
high in Vitamin C
relieving coughs and sore throats
upper respiratory ailments

Now is the time!!!!

We love these little guys. We collect them and eat them daily, until they are no longer soft on the tree.
We add them to our water bottles, to our smoothies, to our salads, make pesto, make jelly, and add it to many of our soups, stews, stirfries, and pastas!
I dehydrate them by the the bushel full in good years. Please remember to take only a third. The animals need them as well. I tend to leave the lowest branches loaded for the critters. Moose eat a lot of them.
I also harvest for the animals here. I add to their feed in the winter. The rabbit LOVES them.
Most of us are mineral deficient, so this is a great addition to the diet. They have a mild citrus taste.
It is a go to for the cold and flu season.
The very first winter here, we caught a very bad cold. We had little supplies, and I was very nervous, on how to beat the cold. I made spruce tip tea with a little honey, and we were on the mend within 48 hours. Others were down and out for 2 weeks. It was one of my first go to plants in the bush. I now blend old mans beard, labrador tea and spruce tips for a powerful tea.

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I use it fresh, dried and as a tea. You can also freeze them. I don't have a freezer, until winter.

Dried
I pick the plants around 10 am. After the dew and moisture are off the plants. I hang them upside down in small bunches to dry in a warm area out of the sun. You could also use a dehydrator. I also lay them out on a sheet, off the ground, they dry fairly quickly. I run my hands through them to mix them around, to dry evenly.

Tea
Using fresh or dried flowers/stems/leaves, lightly crush and add to boiled water. Let steep for desired time. Teas are good for internally. I also use strong teas for baths, compresses, and washes.

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Wow! Thank you for this @earthmother. Such great content. I love that you share what you find with the critters. I've got a few things growing in my garden and the critters get their fair share too -- except maybe the cherries... they tend to sample most of those before I get a lookin :P

I'm too late to upvote this post but I'll make up for it with one of your more recent ones.

@foxyspirit told me you posted regular apothecary content. Consider me a new fan.

Thank you <3

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Thank you so much for your support!! I really hope that people find it helpful. xoxo

Ah collecting for winter. Yes now is the time. We collected a few but not near as much as we did last year. We just missed the last of the spruce tips around here. My youngest son is out for a few days so I am distracted with him right now. Oh well there is always next year.

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lol I say that all the time! Next year... :) Ebbs and flows! How nice to have the babies back in the nest for a few days. :) Ours are just opening now. So we will see what we get done. With us foraging every day...we just never know what we will come home with. :) Huge love to you and your family!!

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I really like your idea of foraging every day but I never seem to get there. I have to plan foraging days. I think I am going to spend the later part of the week foraging in the bush. Get some good herbs. We ran out of raspberry leaves last year so that is my main goal. I am also going to go out and do some mushroom picking oh and alphalpha. Yup it sure is time to get out there. Hugs to both of you as well. Enjoy your day :)

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We ran out of greens this winter too. :/ hoping that we will be able to get enough for this year! alphalfa? Is that wild? I am going to have to go look that up!! Wonder if we have it here? I hope the mosquitos have lessened! Have a fabulous day!!

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Alphalpha is from the neighbours field. It was planted by a farmer a few years ago and now it just keeps coming back. I have also used alphalpha sprouts in my smoothies. I love to have it in my morning smoothies. It gives me so much energy. You could probably get some seeds and plant them for yourself.

Our mosquitoes have dropped a bit. At least it is tollerable now. How about those flies? Are you still having trouble with them?

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i bet that alfalfa would grow wild here. I just might plant some along the bush road in. I throw the dandelion seeds, plantain seeds, and dockweed seeds all along ...for harvesting :) free weeds!

the black flies will be done soon, the blueberries are flowering. Then it will be back to 'normal' lol
Glad that you are finding relief!

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I love all those free weeds. It is so great that we can forage for our food.

It will be great that the black flies will be done soon for you. That will make it easier to go out and do things.

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Great post once again! :)
I tried spruce tips for the first time this year and I enjoyed them, they reminded me of something..I couldn't quite put my finger on it though.
I added some to the beef ribs I had simmering over the fire at the cabin last week and also to the fish I fried.
I should have collected more right than and there, it is past their time for this year now. Next year I will be more ready for them!! :)

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aren't they awesome and tasty!! I think they are a bit citrusy! Ours are just starting to pop this week. Looking forward to another year of yummy goodness. I love that we dont have to grow it, just harvest responsibly. :) You getting everything into the ground? we are going to have heavy frost sunday night. so monday everything will get transplanted

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Yes, I just wish I didn’t miss out on harvesting them this year!
I have gotten stuff into the garden but....there is these little black/gold beetle looking things that ate my cabbage, cauliflower, beans and radish tops. It hasn't touched the beets, peas or zucchini though or yet...

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japanese beetle? did you try diatomaceous earth? or dishsoap with water?
That is too bad when the critters get more than you do!!
i am up against a goat this year LOL

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That may be them, I just looked them up.
Thanks for the tip, using a dishsoap/water spray I will give it a try.
I haven’t tried the diatomaceous earth, another thing I will be looking into! :)
A goat, lol, aren’t they always super mischievous?!

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this is the first year with a goat. She is due anyday. We love her to bits, hoping that she will be able t help us clean up the underbrush. :) Hoping that will keep her out of trouble. she already thinks that she is a dog...LOL

I use diatomacaous earth for many things. even for deworming ourselves and the animals. I even put it in the dirt baths for the chickens to keep the critters off off them. I hope that you are able to get those bugs under control!! all that work to get things going!!

Excellent info! I was just gathering images and information for foods and medicines I can gather here in the boreal forest of Canada. I had heard of using the spruce needles for tea but never looked much past that. It's great to share this information and it inspired me to share my project on gathering from the wild. Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your apothecary posts!

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Thank you!! I am in northern ontario in the boreal forest! So much goodness!! I am glad you are sharing! Will head over and take a peek at your blogs!