Plants as Medicine
Wild Willow Farm is excited to welcome you to our self-guided tour! Follow the signs around the farm and learn about each landmark along the way. Thank you to local Chula Vista High School students for helping to create content for each QR code!
For thousands of years, plants have been used in traditional medicine practices by people all over the world. Archeological studies have documented the use of herbal medicine, dating back to 60,000 years ago in Iraq and 8,000 years ago in China. Here in California, records show the Kumeyaay people have utilized the natural healing properties of plants for over 10,000 years. Today we see the growing economic importance of medicinal plants, with thousands of species being traded across the globe producing billions of dollars annually. They also offer traditional medicinal access to communities without access to western medical treatment.
What is a Medicinal Plant?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a medicinal plant is defined any plant which, in one element or more, contains substances that can be utilized for therapeutic/medicinal purposes.
What is a Medicinal Garden?
Also known as a herb garden, a medicinal garden is defined as a garden planted with the goal of serving the needs of your general health maintenance. When thinking of medicinal plants these might come to mind; echinacea, ginger, garlic, mint, and licorice root. Many medicinal plants have been used to for pregnancy care, general nutrition, common illnesses and injury, as essential drugs, as well as for infectious diseases, mental and oral health. Medicinal plants can be easily incorporated into home gardens for individuals to utilize their healing properties.
Here are a few that grow at Wild Willow Farm...
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a flowering plant used in ancient Greece to help stop wounds. So it's a great natural first aid kit in a way. Rubbing the pollen in/on your wound helps stop the bleeding. Yarrow juice mixed with water also helps fight against intestinal disorders. It's said to be named after the Greek hero Achilles because he used this flower on his own wounds. It's in bloom in-between June-September. And takes about 3-5 years to reach its fully grown stage
Sumac (Malosma laurina) is a plant that can be used in more ways than one. It can treat eye problems, or you boil it into a liquid and gargle with it and help with sore throats. Drinking it can help with diarrhea if you use the leaves and the berries in tea. It helps with fevers and it builds your immune system. If you squish it down you can use it as an ointment for poison ivy. This is a great plant to grow if you like hiking. Or camping. It's a great plant to just have on-hand anytime you're in nature, Sumac can live up to 50-100 years before it's reached its full life cycle and they can grow up to 24inches per season. But the highest they've been known to grow is 25ft.
Garlic (Allium sativum) was one of the first herbs to be cultivated about 4000 years ago. It takes 8-9 months to grow. It can always be re-rooted and grown over and over again. Garlic helps fight against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even some parasites. Eating garlic also helps against the urge to relapse and helps fight against addiction. Eating garlic also helps against e coli.
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) helps treat inflammation and respiratory conditions. It also helps prevent heart disease and improves blood circulation while also lowering cholesterol.