Thursday, April 1, 2010

she's everywhere and i love her... say hello to glechoma hederacea!

my friend glechoma hederacea is a lovely lady. she lives in my backyard and my frontyard and i see her everywhere i look as spring unfolds. she probably lives in your yard too... but you probably know her by one of her other names -- most commonly creeping charlie or ground ivy, but also known as gill over the ground or lawn pest and/or invasive species. BUT WAIT BEFORE YOU PULL THIS LOVELY LADY OUT OF THE GROUND AND ACCUSE HER OF BEING A USELESS WEED. glechoma hederacea belongs to the lamiaceae family (or more commonly the mint family). right now in the midwest glechoma hederacea is spreading her green leaves everywhere and by the end of april/may she will be in flower. She is an early bloomer along with some other ladies out there right now like motherwort and violet and as she flowers it will be time to gather her leaves and blooms to dry and store for the cold and flu season. this gal has a long history of being used as a general tonic for colds, coughs and congestion and is very effective when used in this way. she has also been shown to be especially useful in treating asthma and also seems to demonstrate anti-inflammatory properties. the herb also has a history of being used in tinnitus, kidney disease and indigestion. and on a historical note, this herb was used by the saxons in the beer brewing process as a flavoring and preservative before it was later replaced by hops. oh and one last thing, she's high in vitamin c! i recommend exploring this herb on your own this summer. put the flowers and top leaves in a salad. gather her and dry for use as a tea. or perhaps you can pull out your anglo saxon cookbook and brew a brew!


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