This is one of those plants that you step on and don't think twice about. But it is a FAVORITE of mine. You use the leaves for the medicine.
You can find this one in Canada and central and eastern US and it's probably in every back yard.
My 2 favorite ways to use this herb are for bee stings and also to use in my herbal salves.
For the bee sting you can find a leaf, rip it up and add spit/or chew it up and apply to the bee sting. It will help reduce inflammation and pain from the sting. It has worked for me in under 2 minutes.
In my salves I use it for its wound healing, anti-inflammatory, astringent and alterative properties. Any alterative is something that draws out blood impurities which is great for stings and venoms.
The leaf is considered by herbalists to be a useful remedy for cough, wounds, inflamed skin, dermatitis, and insect bites. If you make it into a tincture it can also help with UTI's. So this is another all round favorite.
The seeds can actually have laxative effects like psyllium.
In Chinese Herbal Medicine the seeds clear damp heat or summer heat.
*Remember the cardinal rule of wildcrafting your own herbs. do not take more than 30% of the herbs in a given area. If you are harvesting roots then do not take more than 10%. Also there may be restrictions in certain wildlife refuges, parks and sanctuaries so know before you go. Lastly some herbs themselves, like ginseng are protected and can only be harvested with a license from the state.
Do not ingest anything that you are not 100% certain of from the wild. There are many herbs and berries that look similar. Mushrooms can be especially dangerous.
*This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional.
*You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
*Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem.