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When I’m foraging goldenrod, I prefer to harvest the leaves just before the flowers open or when some are open and others are just opening. Goldenrod is prone to powdery mildew and rust, so choose your leaves with care to avoid infected leaves. In fact, it is best to keep an eye on the overall condition of the plant when foraging goldenrod, harvesting from healthy, robust plants. Harvest the flower heads and leaves at the same time—when the flowers have opened and are bright yellow. Try to avoid any leaves and flower heads that may have powdery mildew or browning. When harvesting, make sure to leave behind some flowering stems so that the plant will continue to grow for years to come. Harvest the flower heads and leaves at the same time—when the flowers have opened and are bright yellow. Try to avoid any leaves and flower heads that may have powdery mildew or browning. When harvesting, make sure to leave behind some flowering stems so that the plant will continue to grow fo
In February 2013, herbal remedies and supplements became more difficult to source in Canada. At that time any natural health products that we’re unable to obtain approval from Health Canada were removed from health food stores and pharmacies. In order to maintain our personal health with natural, life giving herbs and supplements, Canadians now need to grow, harvest, and preserve their own herbs and supplements. To help you take care of your family’s health, Joybilee Farm is providing a series of herbal information posts, so that you can harvest your own herbs and create the herbal medicines that you personally need to thrive. Goldenrod is perhaps the first plant to consider for upper respiratory catarrh, whether acute or chronic. The plant may also be usind in combination with other herbs to treat influenza. Its carminative properties point to a role in the treatment of flatulent dyspepsia. As an anti-inflammatory urinary tract antiseptic, goldenrod may be helpful in cystitis, urethritis, and similar condition affecting this system. As a gargle, goldenrod can be effective for laryngitis and pharyngitis. It may be applied externally to promote healing of wounds. (Hoffman. Medical Herbalism, the science and practice of herbal medicine. Healing Arts Press: Rochester, 2003) As these seasonal changes in nature relate to our own rhythms, I was taught to eat and make herbal preparations according to the season. Incorporating colorful foods like squash, pumpkin, fall apples, and tomatoes is an easy way to eat seasonally, and when it comes to making seasonal herbal preparations, one doesn’t have to look far to see the bright yellow flowers of goldenrod (Solidago spp.) as well as several other fall herbs.
The bright yellow goldenrod flowers have also been used as a natural plant dye plant. These are used fresh since the dried flowers do not produce nearly the same yellow color as the fresh flowers. To use goldenrod as a natural dye, simply cut the flowers when in full bloom and simmer them for at least an hour in water. While your flowers are simmering, prepare your fabric by simmering it in hot water with a mordant. This will help your color stick to the fabric. (Mordants used vary from dyer to dyer. I use aluminum sulfate and cream of tartar, but I have only dyed wool. Check with an experienced dyer to find the best mordant for your fabric.) Next, strain the plant material from the liquid. Finally, soak your fabric in your herbal liquid. Various soaking times will yield different depths of color. When it’s finished soaking, squeeze the excess liquid from the fabric and hang it to dry. Information offered on Herbal Academy websites is for educational purposes only. The Herbal Academy makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. The Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements. (Source: theherbalacademy.com)