When you go for a trip in the wild, it is important to have your first aid kit or medicines with you. You might need them unexpectedly. But what if you are caught in an emergency in the wild without a first aid kit? Then having knowledge about wild medicinal plants can be a huge help.
You can use these plants to treat cuts, scratches and scrapes. Familiarize yourself with the different wild medicinal plants and learn how to use them. Native medicinal plants and non-native medicinal plants are good resources for medicinal purposes; they were used for the past generations and even until now.
The following are 5 plants with medicinal properties that can be found in the wild.
Oak trees are in a lot of places throughout North America, Central America, and in some parts of Europe and Asia.
This tree has alternate leaves and acorn fruits. There are two types of oak tree, the red and white. Red oak tree leaves have bristle, while white oak tree leaves have no bristles. Red oak trees have smooth bark on the upper part, while white oak trees have rough bark on the upper part. Red oak acorns mature in 2 years, while white oak acorns mature in 1 year.
All parts of this tree is edible however, there are parts that contain bitter substances. The acorn of a white oak tree tastes better than that of a red oak tree. Shell the acorns that you gathered. For red oak acorns, you have to soak them in the water for 2 days. Soaking them in the water will remove their bitter taste. Add wood ashes in the water to speed up the process. Boil the acorns, you can also grind the acorns to make flour and use it for baking, or cook the ground acorns until very dark to make coffee.
The bark of the oak tree is the part which is mainly used for medicinal purposes today. This part is used as tea for cough, bronchitis, colds, fever and diarrhea. It is also known to stimulate the appetite and improve digestion. Some people apply the bark directly to the skin in a compress for pain and swelling of the anal region, genitals, mouth, throat and skin.
The bark of the oak tree contains tannins which help ease inflammation and diarrhea.
Broad and Narrow Leaf Plantain
This wild medicinal plant is used as pain reliever for wounds and sores. Wash the whole plant for a few seconds and apply it to your wounds. You can also use this plant to treat diarrhea, all you have to do is boil 28 grams of the plant in 0.5 liter of water and then drink it. You can eat the young leaf of plantain raw, but you have to cook the older leaves.
You can see Plantain in lawns or along the roads, it has leaves of 2.5 cm and its flowers are on a spike which rises in the middle of the leaves. This wild medicinal plant can be seen throughout the world.
This wild medicinal plant has leaves that are jagged in the edge and can grow for more than 20 cm. Dandelions usually grow in sunny places throughout the Northern Hemisphere. You can eat all the parts of this plant. You can cook or eat the leaves raw, boil, roast or ground the roots, and use the white juice in the flower stems as glue. Dandelions are a good source for vitamins A, C and calcium. Dandelions also contain chemicals that help ease inflammation and increase urine production.
The most common medicinal uses of this plant are:
- for loss of appetite
- upset stomach
- intestinal gas
- joint pain
- muscle aches
- increase urine production
- used as laxative to increase bowel movements
- digestive tonic
This medicinal plant has wavy-edged and arrow-shaped leaves, it has pink and purple flowers and it has fleshy roots. This plant can grow up to 2 meters tall. Burdock can be found around the world in the North Temperate Zone. They can be found in open waste areas in the spring and summer.
Burdock contains inulin which is used to improve digestion and recent studies have also confirmed that this plant has a prebiotic property that is good for the health.
Traditionally, burdock has been used as:
- “blood purifier” to clear the bloodstream of toxins
- Diuretic to rid the body of excess water
- topical remedy for skin problems like psoriasis, acne and eczema
- as cure for sore throat and colds (traditional Chinese medicine)
Peel the leaf stalks and cook them you can also eat them raw, and boil or bake the roots.
Nettle plants are often found in moist areas along the stream or at the border of forests. You can find them throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Northern Europe. This plant can grow to a few feet high. It has inconspicuous and small flowers; its stems, leafstalks and the underside of the leaves are covered with fine and hair like bristles. Be careful not to touch the bristles because they can cause a stinging feeling.
Its leaves are edible and also the young shoots. Boil the plant for up to 15 minutes to eliminate the stinging element.
For hundreds of years, stinging nettle has been used to treat anemia, painful muscles and joints, arthritis, eczema and gout.
Today, this plant is used for treating urinary problems, urinary tract infections, hay fever and during the early stages of enlarged prostate. It is also used in compresses or added to creams to treat tendonitis, sprains and strains, joint pain and to ease bug bites.
What other wild plants with medicinal properties can you add to this list?