Medicinal Herb Identification Photos

| Modified: Jun 05, 2018
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Medicinal Herb Photos

All over the globe little plants of seemingly infinite variety show up that few know what to do with. They might be enjoyed for their beauty or hated for their pervasiveness. Some plants are indeed poisonous, yet among these "weeds" are an amazing array of healing herbs. Medicinal herbs have been used for thousands of years. Unfortunately, in modern times with chemical medications, the simple and powerful healing in plants is often overlooked or forgotten.

Herbal medicine is nearly always less expensive than pharmaceutical medicine. Herbs, used responsibly, usually do not have side effects or risks of addiction.

It behooves you to learn to identify medicinal herbs. You may be able to make use of them to heal yourself or your loved ones. Beginning to recognize medicinal plants will also give you a greater appreciation for the power contained in them.

Do you have a picture of a medicinal herb? Please share it with us!

Comfrey Photos

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 04/04/2017

Here is a picture of my comfrey plant...

Horsetail Herb Photos

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 07/17/2017

Here is a picture of horsetail I took on the way to a friend's house. Horsetail, also known as shavegrass, grows in stalks and looks kind of like bamboo, but much smaller. Each of these tall skinny stalks is close to the diameter of a pencil.

Horsetail has a lot of silica in it. It is used in formulas to strengthen the bones, teeth and nails. It is also useful for some bladder issues.

I have used horsetail in homemade tooth powders for tooth remineralization.

~Mama to Many~

Jewelweed Herb Photos

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 08/07/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Jewelweed is flourishing near me right now. It grows along roadsides; usually with a good bit of shade and water nearby. Harvested fresh it can be made into soap, tincture or salve to treat poison ivy and other skin issues.

The plants are about waist high. They are delicate and cannot be dried for future use as with many herbs. Jewelweed is also not to be used internally.

Poke Herb Photos

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 08/07/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Here is a close up of pokeweed.

Poke is tall now in TN; some plants are 6 feet tall!

This picture shows the bright magenta berry stem. Most of these berries have been picked clean by the birds. They will digest all but the seeds and then pass the seeds along for new poke plants next spring. The seed is the most dangerous part.

The green berries are not ripe. The deep purple berries are ripe. Some people will swallow a berry a day and let the seed pass through (the seed is the most toxic part, other than the root.) The berry a day is for arthritis.

Poke root tincture is used by some for Lyme disease, a DROP at a time. (Not a dropperful.)
Poke root oil is used for breast tumors.

In the spring the leaves used to be boiled in three changes of water for a "tonic" food. If the plant is taller than a foot, the plants are too old to harvest the leaves, so they say.

Poke berries make a fun homemade ink for children, with supervision of course.

Poke is a perfect example of "the dose makes the poison." Poke is classified as poisonous, but when used carefully by those who know what they are doing it can be a great benefit.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc

Hey there Mama to Many;

You didn't mention in your medicinal review of Polk, that you can EAT is so good. Young leaves as you describe, cooked like you would spinach. Yum. With cornbread of course. (NOT older leaves which apparently begin to turn toxic. Once I nibbled on an older leaf...just a bare taste, and got a bit nauseous.)

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile , Tn

DAVE,,,,,,,,, poke sallet is what our ancestors cleaned out with. Poke sallet in the fall and sassafras roots in the spring. You have to boil and pour off the water several times least you spend the day in the John. Usually the poke greens were mixed with scrambled eggs. We have poke at our lake home but the berries are still green and have not started to turn. I would guess that Mama's picture was from last fall. Birds, raccoons and opossums gorge on the berries. They swallow the seed but do not crush it and they scour it out to start a new plant. Same thing happens to poison ivy berries and it the reason it is so hard to control. It looks as if they had already hit this bush. I do appreciate the pictures, as wild herbs and plants are not my forte.


Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Robert Henry,

Believe it or not, I took that picture yesterday! I am surprised that though we are in the same state our growing conditions are a bit different here, at least this year.

I found out today that free ranging chickens can help with the poisonous snake population. My kids and their friends are building a fort today. One of the friends noticed a very large worm in one of our chicken's mouths. Upon further inspection, they realized it was a small copperhead. The chicken ate its head off. (Sorry to be graphic.) These are older chickens. They don't lay many eggs but they are sure earning their keep in pest control. They are also entertaining.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc

To Robert Henry re Polk;

That's not how I've eaten it. With a young leaf you do just like any other green. If a little older to be safe, I'd do as you say. I've eaten young Polk many times without multiple boiling and pour off. The trick is .... the leaves must be YOUNG. With no sign of stalk turning color to that reddish tint which evidences an older plant.

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn

Dave,,,,,, thank u, my Dad told me that and that's what I' be always done. Live & learn. --ORH---

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile , Tn

HI U BUZZARDS DOIN,,,,,,,,, wow, have I been messin my mess kit lately or what? Dave had to set me straight on Poke Sallet. Guess my ancestors picked the wrong leaves. I just did what they said. I also flubbed up on the laundry detergent. I know what Clorox and Purex used to be. What does that tell us? We are all human and are not infallible. I thought I was going to be smart in 4 years or so, but now may have to set a new goal. I missed 65,75 and thought I'd make 85, but now that is in doubt.

Took a bushel of tomatoes to church Sunday and folks loaded up. We offered them apples and pears at our little farm this Saturday. Got a feeling that few will show up 'cause they have to pick um. Hope they prove me wrong.

Reminds me of an ole tale about a traveler who came to a cross road and there was a fella from Ten Mile lying in the shade of a tree. The traveler ask which way to Knoxville and the fella raised his leg and pointed his toe to the right fork. The traveler said, " if you can do a lazier stunt than than that, I'll give you a half dollar". The local said, " put it in my pocket". That about sums it up about folks this day and time. " PUT IT IN MY POCKET".

My Tractor Driver thought that when we retired, we would just coast out. She is finally convinced that we would have been dead a long time ago if we had done that. You have to have a reason to keep on keeping on. We do what we do because if it were not Kim Jong-un, it would be somebody else, so we are getting prepared.


Ribwort Plantain Photos

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 06/05/2018

I recently harvested a bunch of plantain and dried it. I was using some to make a salve today and put the rest in my “plantain jar” for future use.

The plantain jar had some plantain that I had bought at a local herb shop. I had not been happy with it. It had a lot of stems and if was brown in color. Below is a picture comparing the two.

The miral is to use good herb sources. While it is ideal to harvest your own it isn't often practical. But good sources are out there. Mountain Rose Herbs has always had fresh herbs. This local shop used to be good but they recently changed owners.

It can be hard to tell if herbs are fresh. Some are brown when you dry them. But fresh herbs will smell fresh. It is worth asking someone you know for good local sources.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 04/20/2017
5 out of 5 stars

It is spring and the plantain in my yard is abundant! I tend to use it a lot in the spring, too. If I get an insect bite I grab a piece of plantain and squish it and rub it on the bite. I can't quite believe how well it works.

My son burned his hand on the lawnmower last week. It was a second degree burn and hurt a lot. I picked fresh plantain leaves and scalded them. Then I cooled them. I put salve on the burn and then put the cool wilted leaves onto the burn and bandaged that up. Voila! No more pain. I did this morning and evening for 5 days until the skin was healed up well enough that he no longer needed it.

Money could not buy a better remedy than this plant I pick for free. I am attaching some pictures so you can look for it in your yard if you don't already know what it looks like. This is the broad leaf kind and looks kind of like lettuce. It could be used in salads!

~Mama to Many~

The Herb Mullein

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 04/27/2017

I took some pictures of some mullein plants that are growing wild on the edges of our pastures. You will often see this plant along roadsides. It is sometimes mistaken for the lamb's ear plant as both are have leaves that are fuzzy and somewhat light in color. Mullein grows in more of a rosette form, though. When the plants produce stalks and flowers it is easier to tell them apart. I hope to send some pictures of my mullein plant with stalks and flowers at some point.

I love mullein. It is gentle an mild tasting. The leaves make a wonderful tea for a cough. The flowers can be used in an oil for earaches. The most remarkable thing to me about mullein though is the roots. A tincture from the roots, applied topically to the spine is thought to help increase the synovial fluid. It has worked for me in the past. Herbalist Jim McDonald suggests 5-15 drops of the tincture internally to help "unkink" the spine. It is also recommended by some herbalists as a treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, which is usually very difficult to treat.

The second picture is a bit blurry but has part of my hand in it so you can see the size of the leaves.

~Mama to Many~

Wolf Oats

Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 05/09/2017

MtM, could you kindly post a picture of Wolf oats? The plant please. I have what I think is them near my place and I'd like to make a tea from them. But I need to be sure it's the right plant.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Oh dear, did I write Wolf Oats???! Pardon me! I meant WILD oats!!

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Mmsg,

Lol. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what wolf oats were; I figured over in Europe you had some unique herbs!

I am away from home but will see if I can get one when I get home. I can't think of having seen any wild oats near my house, but I will ask my son who is quite observant about what is growing in fields near us!

~Mama to Many~

Wyoming Herbs

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 05/10/2017

Dear all,

I have had the incredible privilege of taking a trip with my family to the South Dakota area. Our goal was to spend time together and hike together. On our hiking trips I have noticed some familiar herbs, though the landscape and climate are very different than where I live in TN.

We also hiked around Devil's Tower in Wyoming. I noticed some small mullein plants coming up. Conditions here are harsher than TN, so at least for now, the plants are smaller. I noticed Dandelions are smaller. The Burdock plant I saw was about like I would see at home. And of course the pine trees are stunning.

Burdock leaves can be used as a dressing on burns. Burdock root is a blood purifier.

Dandelion is great for the liver and gall bladder.

I have mentioned mullein benefits often....

And pine, of course....a tea can be made from the needles is a traditional remedy for cough and scurvy. (Some pine trees are poisonous - so do your research before drinking pine needle tea.) And of course, turpentine, made from pine trees has many medicinal applications from treating parasites to arthritis.

Enjoy the pictures - and be on the lookout for local herbs! :)

Photo 1 - Pine Trees at the base of Devil's Tower

Photo 2 - Small Mullein plant

Photo 3 - Burdock leaf

Photo 4 - Dandelion flowers

~Mama to Many~