Turkey rhubarb (Rheum palmatum, Polygonaceae) Turkey Rhubarb-Rheum Species Turkey rhubarb is a plant that is helpful as a tonic laxative, an herbal medicine taken regularly to help regulate bowel function. Several species are used medicinally, including Rheum palmatum (the photo) and R. officinale. They are closely related to the Rhubarb (R. × hybridum) used in…(Read More)

Arnica cordifolia growing in San Juan National Forest, Colorado Arnica as a First Aid Medicine Summary Arnica is an important first aid plant Its primary action is to reduce inflammation from injuries. Its main use is for soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. It is also used for bruising. It is mainly used…(Read More)

Intro to the IntroAsthma attacks are very common. I see them regularly in and outside of first aid clinics. While they can be serious and in need of immediate medical attention, there are herbal treatments that can be beneficial both during asthma exacerbations and as well as helping to prevent future episodes. As usual…(Read More)

Warning-this article contains graphic photos of staph infections First Aid Station-Herbal medicine and other supplies Definitions Commensal-when one organism obtains food or other benefits from another organism without harming or benefiting the other organism.Exotoxin-toxins released from bacteria that can cause damage and harm.Folliculitis-an infection of a hair follicle…(Read More)

The Botany of Skunk Cabbage


This is an introduction to the botany of Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus, Araceae). It is a common plant in boggy wetlands where I live in Ithaca, NY. It is notable for being one of the first plants to flower in the Northeast, commonly flowering through snow and ice. And botanically it has a couple of…(Read More)

Japanese barberry in early spring What is Japanese Barberry Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii, Berberidaceae) is a common non-native plant in the eastern US. It can be invasive where it is established. I see the largest stands in the Catskills and Hudson Valley region of New York. It is commonly found where I live in…(Read More)

Cataviña, Baja California Preface I originally started this blog to write about my search to find Damiana growing in its native habitat in Baja California, Mexico. But in my regular loquacious manner, it has become a travelogue (and a chance to show off some photos). If it Damiana that you are interested in, just…(Read More)

Preparing the Wild lettuce tincture Pre-Prelude If you are just interested in how to prepare this concentrated tincture, you can skip to the bottom of the page for the directions. There is also a link for a handout with the instructions that can be printed out. Prelude and Story Many years ago, I heard…(Read More)

The Tincture Press


With Diagrams to Build One Tincture Press I currently have two tincture presses. The one featured here is quite large and heavy. I have had it for over 20 years and it still functions well. A few parts needed to be altered and fabricated, mainly the accessories such as the pans, steel plates, and block…(Read More)