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Wild Foraging: A Natural Health and Nature Therapy Experience
(Article taken from the Natural Healing Talk Newsletter)

Occasionally, I like to go on a wild food foraging adventure,
largely for the natural healing benefits it affords me. I enjoy

roaming about the woods and fields looking for tasty treats,
or food plants that can also be used for natural healing
remedies.
Those outings are always good learning
experiences.


I remember a few years back, when my adventure took
me into a mixed forest environment, consisting mostly of
maple, birch, spruce, pine, and the occasional hemlock
tree. The mixed growth cover usually assures a good
variety of small plant cover on the forest floor.

Among the first group of plants I look for, in terms of wild
edibles, are the wood sorrels (Oxalis L.). The leaves are
somewhat sour tasting, with a sweet accent. They make
an excellent addition to a salad, and are also useful for
an herbal tea. Wood sorrels aren't related to the sorrels
and docks of the genus Rumex L., although they do have
a similar taste.

I also found blue violets, Indian cucumber, and sweet fern,
on that particular foraging trip.

The leaves and flowers of blue violet are high in vitamins
A and C. In fact, a half-cup serving of the leaves contains
as much vitamin C as approximately three average size
oranges. The flowers may be used in making jams and
syrups. As well, blue violet was considered a powerful
medicine plant in traditional British and European
herbalism.

The Indian cucumber root is a native american food plant.
However, it should
only be collected in areas where there
are a number of
plants growing. Also, in a non-emergency
situation, only
a single sample should be harvested. As well,
you should
check to see if the plant is on the endangered
list in your
particular area.

The small cucumber-like tuber of the Indian Cucumber,
is white with a crisp texture. The taste is somewhat like
potato, but has added flavour that resembles a cucumber.
I enjoy it a great deal.

The leaves of sweet fern may be dried or used in a
green state to make a pleasant tasting tea. It is not a tea
that you would want to drink on a daily basis, especially
if you are taking prescription medications. However,
sweet fern certainly has a nice flavour, and is fun to sample
on occasion. The tea can be enhanced by adding a wee
bit of lemon juice. 

Spending a few hours in the forest, searching out wild
edibles, is an excellent nature therapy experience. It's
relaxing
and therapeutic to body, mind, and spirit, and a
great
way to grow more fully in both the intellect and the
 heart.


So, why not try a wild edible experience in the weeks
ahead. It is a natural healing exercise that will benefit you
greatly. However, do not over-collect or over-harvest any

wild species. Rather, enjoy the outing, mainly for the
self-growth experience it is!

P.S. Always make certain you have identified plants and
trees correctly.

My Best Regards,

Laurie Lacey





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