Reply To: Foraging Roots

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Malina Tran

1. Make a list of about 8 herbs which are traditionally harvested as roots. If you are unsure, begin by flicking through a simple herbal remedies book and note down those roots which are used as ingredients.
– Valerian: treat insomnia, migraine, fatigue, stomach cramps
– Comfrey: keeps skin healthy (allantoin helps new skin cells grow), reduces inflammation
– Turmeric: treat conditions that involve pain and inflammation, e.g. osteoarthritis (curcumin helps decrease swelling)
– Licorice: eases upper respiratory infecions, treat ulcers, aid digestion
– Echinacea: boost immune function, relieve pain, reduce inflammation
– Yellow dock: help with digestion (anthraquinone has a laxative action), anemia, fatigue, PMS and hormonal imbalances
– Angelica: Angelica sinensis (Chinese) is used for hormonal balance, digestive support, liver detoxification; Angelica archangelica (European) is used for digestive problems, circulation issues, anxiety
– Ginger: help with digestion (gingerol benefits gastrointestinal motility), reduce nausea

2. Find a herbal remedy recipe, online or in a book, which uses herb roots and think of how you could substitute leaves from the same plant. How would you need to change the recipe? Is it possible to use the leaves of the plant (are they safe)?

I’ve found this recipe for comfrey cream for achy joins and muscles: It seems like it could be potentially helpful for me, as I have a history of knee pain. It calls for 1 oz of root, but I believe that the helpful substance allantoin is also found in the leaves. However, comfrey root, when boiled in water, forms a sticky paste which I can imagine is useful for the formation of the cream.