Day 9: Ozark Medicinal Plant Hike

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Today I led a medicinal plant hike with my good friend Eric at Lake Fort Smith State Park.

Photo 2 is a May Apple or Arkansas Mandrake. All parts are poisonous except for the ripe yellow fruit. I’ve also heard it called “loosening root” because the root is a powerful emetic and purgative. Even the smallest amount will clean you out.

Photo 3 is some species of phlox we found growing wild.

Photo 4 is a larkspur.

Photo 5 is a Trillium, also called Low John Root. It’s a wild edible when it’s young and also contains sapogenins which can be used as uterine stimulants. It often goes by the name “birthroot” because of those properties.

Photo 6 is Common Dittany which is used for colds and headaches and when made into a strong tea can help you sweat out a fever.

Photo 7 is my friend Eric talking about a Comfrey plant. It’s often called “boneset” or “knitbone” because externally it can help heal wounds. It should not be taken internally.

Overall it was a wonderful day in the Ozarks.

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