Saturday, June 20, 2009

Morels and two beauties in the Figwort family

We headed out to the forest today to gather morel mushrooms. My husband brought home a decent amount, but my luck was more in the plant kingdom. It was a hot and dusty day and I headed down to a creek to cool off and found some monkey flower and American speedwell (Veronica americana). Both of them are in the Figwort family, both like to live near streams, and neither of which I had seen in the wild before.

Monkey flower became a dear friend of mine this winter while I was, in technical terms, freaking out about our steep, curvy, icy driveway that I was sure to plummet over the edge of every time I needed to leave our cabin.

Kiva, an herbalist living in the wilderness of New Mexico has the following to say about Monkey flower: (excerpted from her fabulous post on nervine differentials)

Monkeyflower (Mimulus spp.) - Neutral, moist - Flowering tops - Sweet

For sadness and stress accompanied by a sense of joylessness and lack of wonder. A true sunshine remedy that brightens the spirits and can alleviate mild to moderate depression. It has also proven helpful for when someone is wound up on stimulants of any kind, to bring them back to earth from a hyped up, strung out place. Likewise, it can very useful when someone is hysterical to the point of being paranoid, unreasonable and frantic. It won’t sedate them into a stoned out kind of place, merely bring them back to the present moment and solid ground. I’ve also seen it help alleviate chronic insomnia with restlessness and frequent waking.

I am less familiar with American Speedwell or Veronica americana. Another figwort this has opposite leaves and blue flowers with four irregular petals and two stamens. (Most figworts have four stamens).

It's a tasty potherb and is also used as a diuretic, astringent and expectorant for unproductive coughs.

And lastly here are some beautiful morels. You can read more about our adventures on the blog my husband Xavier is overseeing at:


Kiva Rose said...

Beautiful! Monkeyflower is also wonderful for some cases of nerve pain as well.

Speedwell is another interesting nervine (the figwort family has some very interesting effects on the nervous system as a whole).

And wow, your morels look AMAZING. Do you ever dry them, or do you cook and freeze them for later or just eat them all up fresh?

Rosalee de la Foret said...

Thanks for the additional info Kiva. I look forward to working more with these lovelies.

I love fresh morels and dried morels!! Unfortunately I won't be eating a bite of these ones though. Xavier is harvesting wild foods for his month long project in August where they live using only stone age technology and eating only wild foods.

Sidney Trobairitz said...

I would take Morels over Mice, hands down..Never Cry Wolf not withstanding. Although, I suppose Mouse would start to look good if you hadn't had meat in a while..