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Digital Subscriptions > Hobby Farms > Best of Hobby Farms > Foraging for Natives

Foraging for Natives

Take a look around; medicinal herbs are everywhere.
JOEPIE MAYER/SHUTTERSTOCK
AUGUST0809/SHUTTERSTOCK

An herbalist once told a story of a young man who studied plant medicine under the tutelage of a wise teacher. For his final exam, the teacher sent the young man out into the woods, telling him, “Come back when you find three plants that can’t be used as medicine.” The young man spent weeks upon weeks searching for the three plants, but finally returned to his teacher empty-handed. “I’m sorry, teacher, but I’ve failed,” he said. “I can’t find any plants that don’t have healing powers.”

“No,” the teacher responded. “In fact, you have passed, and with flying colors.” You see, medicine is all around us: in our pastures, along our streams and in our woods. When you train your eyes to see more than foliage and bark, you’ll see that the land and its elements are there to support you and help you thrive.

Native plants make especially good medicine because they’ve adapted to the region where you reside, in turn helping you to resist the elements. On your next nature walk, here are some medicines you can forage for.

Cleavers

Cleavers (Galium aparine) seems so delicate, yet it has found a way to get what it needs in tough, shady conditions.

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Best Of Hobby Farms 2018, Healing Herbs, Natural Health Guide, And More......