The love-hate relationship with winter runs in our blood. It can be harsh and unforgiving at times. The huge swings in temperatures become unbearable sometimes and you look for ways to alleviate this pain.
On the contrary, no matter the magnitude of havoc winter has in its luggage, it opens the doors to a world of nutrient-dense herbs that entice you to step into the game of foraging. To me, foraging brings peace to my mind and soul. It can be a good exercise for your body, giving you a much-needed boost of fresh air and physical activity. And the quest above all gives you a reason to strive harder and harder until you get your hands on desired fruit.
I am devoting this blog to the love of foraging brimming in my heart, especially in winter. To counter the cruelty of this season, nature has bestowed us with plenty of herbs that can help counter it with poise. I am sharing the 3 most potent herbs that can be easily foraged to gain medicinal benefits.
Lost in the forest with nothing at your disposal!
It can be tricky to choose wisely and avoid the poisonous berries around you. However, with white pine trees around you have an open field of nutritious benefits to play in. They are pretty easy to identify. They have gray bark with needles growing in a group of five showing a visible pale stripe running down the middle of each needle.
White Pine imparts anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiaging, and stabilizing effects. It is used to treat a great many ailments of the liver, stomach, upper respiratory tract, and kidney. Its needles can be brewed into a tea to enjoy a massive vitamin C boost. You can also infuse it in olive oil and brush it over steaks and seafood to enjoy its signature aroma.
Alternatively, you can simmer it in simple syrup and add it to your cocktails. It can also be used as a dry spice to rub on chicken, fish, or steaks.
Rose hips can be a perfect replacement for fallen blossoms. They are easily identified by their round to oblong-shaped bodies giving orange and red hues. They can be picked when green markings have faded.
Rose Hips can be used in teas and syrups. Alternatively, you can infuse them in your honey, vinegar, olive oil, and alcohol to enjoy a galaxy of flavors with remarkable medicinal perks.
They are rich in vitamin C which serves as a powerful antioxidant that supports a healthy immune response to fight inflammation, oxidative stress, chronic heart diseases, and diabetes type II. It also supports the skin barrier by giving the optimum amount of hydration and boosting collagen. This helps protect against sun damage, hyperpigmentation, signs of aging, wrinkles, dark circles, and inflammation due to acne/rosacea.
Birch trees can be identified by the lenticels on the bark. They can be thick or thin, almost depicting the idea of healed-over gashes. Its bark is thin like paper and can be either white or red, depending on the species you have met with.
Its branches can be flexible and not so easy to snap. If they seem brittle, that means they are dead and completely useless. Birch serves as a powerful herbal diuretic and blood purifier. It detoxifies the bladder and kidneys to support good renal health.
It aids in digestion and metabolism and relieves pain and inflammation associated with joints and other infectious diseases. Use it in your teas, herbal steam mixes, decoctions, and infused oils to seek its benefits.