15 May 2008

Smiffy's Herbal: Blood Root

I managed to ask the right friend, and we have identified our new discovery as blood root.

We missed our chance to photograph it open, because it opened one day and was pollinated and gone the next, but Rod assures me that it does indeed look like the pictures in the books for the 15 minutes it's open.
We've researched it and found that blood root is also called Pauson, Red Paint Root, Red Puccoon, Tetterwort, King Root, and sanguinaria.

It's a perennial, so we can expect it to reappear every year and (hopefully) spread. The root can be used a red dye or stain, and it has medicinal uses, such as in a poultice for sores and excema. It shouldn't be eaten or used in tisanes except by a very experienced herbalist since the proper dose is minute and slightly more than that can be fatal.

Ruled by Mars, and its element is fire. Not surprisingly, it's very protective -- a good thing to have growing around the periphery of our land! The biggest, reddest roots can be used (carried or worn) to draw love or to deflect negativity.

This has been so much fun that I've started exploring a lot of our green neighbors and I am working on Smiffy's Herbal. Not being an herbalist myself, its all going to be very derivative, but it's a start.

We have also hired an herbalist friend, Linda, to come over and guide us on an hour-long herb walk of our land in June. It's an open party, so if you live nearby let us know if you wan to come along. (Linda hasn't said yet how much she charges, but we'll let you know if you voice an interest.)

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