Ethnobotany [def.] is the scientific study of the relationships that exist between people and plants.

Aside from their aesthetic value, plants have many uses for us humans. They are the basis of most of our modern day products, including medicine.
We decided to offer a quick summary of some of the hidden functions of the plants we chose to showcase in our Reality Rocks! garden.

Acer palmatum – Japanese Maple
--Even though the concentration of sugar is considerably lower than in the sugar maples (A. saccharum), the tree trunk can be tapped for the syrup in early spring.
--And you probably didn’t know that maple leaves can be cooked and eaten, although we have eaten nicer leaves.
--The leaves can also be used as a preservative, packed around apples or root crops to help preserve longevity.

Philostachys nigra – Black Bamboo.
--Harvest the young shoots in spring. Boil them for 8-10 minutes, change water, and boil again. A distinctive taste and aroma.
--Young dried leaves are used medicinally for treating fevers.
--The canes make good plant supports, or for cabinet work and for decorative inlays. The rhizome (root) is used for umbrella handles, wickerwork, canes, musical instruments and various kinds of handicrafts.

Magnolia stellata – star Magnolia
--A famine food only, but the leaves can be cooked and eaten.

Podocarpus ‘Iced Blue’
--Fruit - raw or cooked in pies, cakes
--A decoction of the fruit is tonic for the heart, kidneys, lungs and stomach.

Acorus gramineus – sweet flag
--One can eat the root cooked. First peel and finely chop and soak in several changes of water. A ginger substitute.
--Although safe for consumption, some caution is advised because other members of this plant family are poisonous.

Cordyline – ‘festival grass’
--You can eat the root – baked or brewed into an intoxicating drink. ----The pith of the trunk can be dried or steamed until soft. Sweet and starchy, it is used to make porridge or a sweet drink.
--The plant has edible shoots.
--The leaves contain a strong fiber, used for making paper, twine, cloth, baskets, thatching, etc.
Dodonaea viscosa – Hops bush
--Externally, the leaves are effective when applied to wounds, skin rashes and stings.
--The bark is employed in astringent baths and poultices.

Equisetum hyemale – Horsetail
--A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and promote healing.
--Added to a bath benefits slow-healing sprains and fractures, as well as certain irritable skin conditions such as eczema.
--This plant contains irritant substances and should only be used for short periods of time under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
--The stems contain 10% silica and are used for scouring metal, a fine sandpaper, a polish for brass.
--The infusion from the stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses!
--A dye is obtained from the stem.

Heuchera micrantha – Alum Root
--The root can be used as a mordant used in fixing natural dyes. The root is rich in tannin, is this the active ingredient that acts as a mordant.

Juncus patens
--Stems contain fiber used in basket and paper making, thatching, weaving mats, braided into ropes etc.

Phormium – New Zealand Flax
--The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute.
--An edible and very wholesome nectar is obtained from the flowers. But you’ll need a long straw or a beak!
--An edible gum is obtained from the base of the
--A high quality pliable fiber is obtained from the leaves for twine, fine cloth, paper, nets, sandals, baskets etc. A strip of a leaf is an excellent emergency string substitute for tying up plants in the garden!
--The leaf pulp, after the fibre has been removed, can be fermented to make alcohol.
--A gum found in the leaves is used as a paper glue.
--A dye is obtained from the tannin-rich flowers and seeds, requiring no mordant.

Please enjoy PLANTS.
And be mindful when harvesting and take only small amounts at a time so the population stays strong. It’s best to grow what you need verus harvesting from natural areas.

a disclaimer: We cannot take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

SOURCE, compiled by Sara Mossman for Reality Rocks! Garden.
9/24/2012 10:49:32 pm

Nice info bro


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