Lately, I have been a girl in love. Wildflowers are climbing over moss and besides creeks and in every ditch and gully from here to the highlands. It’s some kind of heaven. I always forget, every year, just how stunnily beuatiful these empheral moments of color can be. These flowers dissipate as quickly as the fog on the ground of a sunny morning. One moment they are there and the next, they are gone. Perhaps that is why they call them spring empherals. And perhaps that is why I love them so.
Last week I went on my first true wildcrafting trip of the season. A carfull of botany friends and wildliving lovers packed into my car and drove out north to a spot I have heard much about, but had never visited before. Miles and miles on backroads and a forged creek later, we arrived.
There were wildflowers living in every crease of the landscape. It was thrilling! I walked with one hand out in front me like someone grasping at an apparition, and the other planted firmly on my camera.
There was one flower is particular, however, for which I searched. For a year I have been waiting to meet Pedicularis again. I cannot tell you how steadily I watched the slow progression from slate to blue to green with a sole heartug of wonder….”when will Pedicularis peek up once more?” This wild-haired flower is an important and profound medicine. There are people close to me who use this medicine daily for chronic muscular pain. For some, this flower can be a literal saving grace. A nervine, hypnotic, antispasmodic, and amourant, Pedicularis is one of the best skeletal muscle relaxants on the planet. Eat a leaf while you’re hiking and you will most liking feel as chilled out as this bee. This robust flower bursts from the ground in such an inconspicuous pomp and whorl. Once you spot it, however, it will draw you in hypnotized, humble, and spinning.
If you want to learn more about this incredible flower, please visit herbalist extraordinaire 7Song’s seriously wonderful monograph. He’s included pretty much everything you could ever want to know about Pedicularis. Awesome.
Below are two more beautiful spring medicines. Wood anemone (the shy and mesmerizing white flower on the left) is used for panic and anxiety attacks, migraines, and to help ease out of “bad trips.” Wild Geranium root (on the right) is an extremely astringent medicine that can be especially useful for those with IBD, Celiacs, ulcers, and diarrhea, as it helps to tighten the digestive tract.
What more can I say. Is there anything more exquisite than spring flowers? They are born and live as eternally as fawns, wide eyed and full of purpose for just a few foaling weeks. I would happily settle for such an existence. Wouldn’t you?