This weekend we immersed ourselves in all things goldenrod.
This sweet, magical wildflower is truly an herb of many uses. And as I've just begun learning about them, I'm rather smitten.
Each season I challenge myself to fall head-over-heels in love with one new plant.
In other seasons past we've explored nettle, New England aster, yarrow, blue vervain, and monarda. This summer (thanks to the help of an herbalist friend and a few favorite books) it's goldenrod we're discovering.
A plant (dare I say "weed"?) that I've know for my entire life, but one that I didn't think offered us much more than seasonal allergies until a few of years ago.
How very wrong I was!
First, a couple of quick facts:
No, goldenrod is not a weed.
It's a wildflower and an herbal ally. A weed, as we've discussed at length, is "a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." (Or so says Emerson and I agree.) And goldenrod has a plethora of virtues. The more I learn about goldenrod the faster it is rising to the top of my favorite plants list.
Also no, you're not allergic.
Really! It's just a matter of unfortunate timing. You see goldenrod is showy and hard to ignore. And it just happen blooms at the same time as the easy-to-miss yet horrifically-irritating-to-so-many-people ragweed. Want to know when ragweed season begins? Watch for goldenrod. They bloom within days of each other.
And unlike ragweed's abundant, airborne pollen, goldenrod's pollen is sparse and sticky and stays on the flowers until it's picked up by pollinators. So it's not an allergen at all.
Then what is goldenrod?
It's a useful, beautiful wildflower that has so much to offer both bees and people alike. For bees it has nectar and sticky pollen to share. For people it has vibrant fiber color and good medicine to offer.
Here's what we did with ours.
Infused in oil, goldenrod is a wonderful tonic for sore muscles, ligaments, nerves, and joints. Think arnica but better. And growing wild, right here in your own backyard!
Goldenrod also makes a vibrant fiber die that is a dead ringer for the color of it's blossoms. This wool is from our sheep, and I'm planning some cheerful winter woolies from these skeins. Yellow is the easiest color to achieve with natural dyes, but this shade is surprisingly vibrant.
And as a bonus, my yarn smells like flowers. (You don't get that with synthetic dyes.)
Tinctured, goldenrod is helpful for a variety of conditions including kidney and sinus issues and preparing the immune system for winter. Its' a great remedy for UTI's which is reason enough this medicine keep it on hand.
I've never taken goldenrod tincture before but after learning about this powerful herb I really felt called to tincture it.
And dried for tea, goldenrod is a digestive stimulant and good remedy for sinus congestion.
So many wonderful uses from one humble plant. One plant that I'm happy to get to know better this season.
Perhaps a wonderfully wild about goldenrod is in order. What do you say?