Show 11: Winter Wildcrafting

Show 11: Winter Wildcrafting

Southern Appalachian Herbs: Show 11: Winter Wildcrafting

Hunting for chaga, reishi, old man's beard, white pine, cedar berries, poke root, spotted wintergreen, prickly pear, English ivy and much more.... in January. Snagged the photo from Wiki, BTW... maybe one day I'll get used to carrying a phone in the woods... but probably not!



https://www.spreaker.com/user/13414994/show-11-final

Comments

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    I am constantly surprised by the species you have available. I had no idea that you would be able to find chaga as far south as you are. It is generally thought of as being part of a northern boreal forest. I guess the Appalachians are a southern extension of the northern boreal forest. We have quite a bit in our area but birches here are experiencing an area wide die off. There have been several suggestions but no proof of what is actually happening. So I harvest whenever I am able to find a good stand with outgrows of chaga.

    And reishi! Do you know what species it is? G. ludicum or G. applanatum or G. tsugae?

    Cedars in your area. Is this Juniperus virginiana? In my part of the world, it is called Rocky Mountain Juniper. We have 2 other species here, too. J. communis and J. horizontalis.

    Old man's beard. Usnea. Awesome herb. It makes a great wound dressing; herbal gauze. :) I would like to add a caution here about identification. Make sure it is a light grey-green colour. There is a very similar species that is bright green (almost lime green) that is poisonous. Its in the same family as Usnea. Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina). Get pictures of both and compare.

    English Ivy has become so invasive in south coastal BC that there are volunteer teams that go out into parks to remove the ivy that is taking over native plant habitats.

    Oregon Grape is one of my favourite plants. So many uses. Oregon Grape jelly is one of the finest wild berry jellies that I have ever had. So much natural pectin. It gets to the "set" point very quickly. I have tasted the wine. Its good but there are other wild fruit wines that I prefer. The one I had was very dry so maybe a sweeter version would be better. They are everywhere in my area but they grow so much taller on the south coast.

    Rose hip hairs. I have heard that if you dry the rose hips and then powder them, the hairs get powdered and are no longer an issue. I have never tried this, though. So I would like to hear from anyone else that has done this.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,498 admin
    edited January 2021

    I'm not sure chaga is as common here as the books say... I've only found 3. But, it may be that I'm not good at looking for it yet. What I may do this year is make notes on where all the birch trees are, mostly and spend more time checking the stands rather than just wandering around and getting lucky. The reishi is ganoderma tsugai and it is fairly common. Yes, it is all eastern red cedar here, virginiana, native. But, there are plenty of junipers and other cedars that have been introduced. Good point on the wolf lichen - I didn't even think of that and I have seen brighter green lichens in the woods that do look similar. I've heard that, too about rose hips, but I haven't tried it. In the MM audio files, you can hear him discussing it with a student who ate a bunch and later thought he had pin worms!

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,498 admin

    I'm working on an article on European mistletoe - very useful herb and it is very important that people know not to use American mistletoe!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    I did some research on mistletoe a few years ago and there are several different types of mistletoe in NA that are specific to the trees they grow on (i'm sure there are others besides what I have listed). The first one is very common to my area and can be quite damaging to the timber supply. There are forestry management plans in place to limit the spread but with warmer winter temperatures due to climate change, it is challenging.

    A study has been done by one of the universities here, showing antibiotic activity against several strains of Gram-positive bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus and, in particular, MRSA. There is a patent pending on an antibacterial agent produced from A. americanum. But this is not for home use. It is a lab extract.

    Arceuthobium americanum – Lodgepole Pine Dwarf Mistletoe.

    Arceuthobium laricis – Larch Dwarf Mistletoe.

    Arceuthobium tsugense ssp. contortae – Shore Pine Dwarf Mistletoe.

    Arceuthobium tsugense ssp. mertensianae – Mountain Hemlock Dwarf Mistletoe.

    Arceuthobium tsugense ssp. tsugense – Hemlock Dwarf Mistletoe.

    I look forward to your article on Viscum species.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,498 admin

    Well, I didn't get into that level of detail, but I did make clear the difference between European and American mistletoe.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    I didn't know about Phoradendron leucarpum. Its not found in BC. But you certainly covered a lot about European mistletoe.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,498 admin

    I barely scratched the surface - when I got to 7 pages, I was like, "I have to wrap this up!"