What are some medicinal plants in B.C & how they’re used ?

by OB 2020-08

This playlist will explore the different native medicinal plants of B.C. as well as their native and modern uses.

What are Medicinal Plants?

Medicinal plants are plants that have therapeutic properties or beneficial pharmacological effect on the human body.

Medicinal plants are also identified as alternative medicine.

Who used native medicinal plants ?

The First Nation people who lived in B.C. have used medicinal plants to treat aliments for centuries before modern medicine was introduced.

First nation people are also known as the indigenous people. The first nations people are the people who originated from B.C.

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Heal-all (Self heal)

Scientific Name: Prunella Vulgaris

Heal all native uses
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Heal all was often brewed into a therapeutic tea to treat soar throats, stomach aches, urinary and liver problems. Heal all is also used to help calm people having fits. Moreover, heal-all was used as a natural pesticide among the First Nations.

Heal all: modern uses
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Modern uses for  heal-all include using it in an ointment to treat cuts, wounds and bruises

It is also used as an immunity booster , as it has an antibiotic effect.

Stinging Nettle: Native uses

Stinging nettle has been used for decades to treat joint and muscle pains, gout and anemia. The roots and boiled leaf decoction were commonly used on eczema rashes and insect bites.

Stinging Nettle: Modern Uses

Today people use stinging nettle to treat urinary tract infections and early stages of enlarged prostate e.g.(BPH).

Stinging nettle can also be used in a compress or as a medical cream to treat arthritis and tendinitis pain.

Willow: Native Uses
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Not only was willow used for smoking meat, it's ashes can also be used to treat wounds. Willow bark and leaves were chewed as a way to heal sore throats, and manage headaches. Willow is also efficient on fevers

Willow: Modern Uses
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Since willow bark contains salicylic acid, which is similar to a component in aspirin, willow bark can be used to treat headaches. Willow has also been proved to be an efficient placebo.

Oregon Grape: Native Uses

Oregon grape is often brewed into a medicinal tea. The tea can be used to treat aliments such as hepatitis, jaundice,  syphilis, constipation and uterine problems.

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Pear Shaped Puffballs   Scientific Name: Apioperdon pyriforme

Puffballs: Native Uses
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The First Nations would pack large wounds with puffball spores to slow bleeding and help blood clot, puffball spores were commonly used as a coagulant in First Nations culture

Puffballs: Modern Uses
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Pear Shaped Puffballs are considered an excellent edible mushroom, when young and fresh. They are also high in proteins and potassium. Puffballs are said to taste good in stews, soups and pasta . However, make sure to rule out poisonous lookalike mushrooms before consuming.  

Other Medicinal Plants in B.C.

Above are just some examples of native medicinal plants in B.C. There are also a variety of other plants and berries that have medicinal effects. Next time you go out on a hike, maybe you'll find some medicinal gems our beautiful province has to offer.

Click here to find out out more about native medicinal plants in the area.