Rocky Mountain Plants

to most people a dandelion is nothing more than a weed an unwanted ...

Yesterday we went to a Chautauqua at the Florissant library to listen to a woman speak about native plants and herbs and their many uses.  This woman, Mary Marques, is a certified herbalist and has been practicing herbal medicine and natural remedies in the Rocky Mountains for more than 40 years.She’s quite knowledgeable and was interesting to listen to.

Flowers Yarrow Achillea millefolium Achillea

Mary began her talk with a story about how years ago there were beautiful, helpful plants all over and people were careful of them.  Then, we got neglectful and began to ignore where we were walking and what we were doing.  The plants were suffering and being destroyed and were at the point of becoming endangered species.  They (the plants) were upset and didn’t know what to do, and so (long story short)…poisonous plants came into existence!  These plants would grow in places where there were people and were a reminder to take time to look down instead of always rushing forward.  Well, we know that poison ivy also grows in places where people aren’t, but if we would all remember the point to the story, we would probably be less stressed and more appreciative of nature.

Mullein ear oil is infused with the flowers of the mullein plant.

Did you know that dandelions are actually members of the sunflower family?  Or that mullein is a powerful anti-inflammatory?  Or that yarrow can stop bleeding?  Rose hips are very high in many vitamins, especially vitamin C, and are also good for a variety of other things, like stomach issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  And how about this one…. Aspen trees are good for sunscreen and also has salicylic acid (in aspirin) like willow trees do.  If you needed sunscreen, you could rub your hands on the white part of the bark and then rub it on yourself.  It’s natural and doesn’t harm the tree.  You would have to get under the bark to get the salicylic acid though, which would be harmful to the tree.

The Chautauguas that are sponsored here are always interesting and fun to go to, but this one was especially informative.  We got a lot of good information and I think it gave us a better appreciation of the plants around us.

Aspen Trees in the Fall
Aspen Trees
Rose Hips

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