Pennsylvania German Powwow

Faith healing and folk magic of the Pennsylvania Germans


The Roadside Apothecary

Posted by Rob Phoenix on April 25, 2021 at 1:40 PM

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about finding Stickyweed (Sticky Willy) on the side of the road near my house. This morning I walked back up to that hillside to check out what other treasures I might find, and I was NOT disappointed!

Here is a picture of the hill (upper left hand side of the picture with the house and barn-like shed on top). The view is from the bar on my patio.

So far, I've come away with Creeping Charlie, which is extremely beneficial in fighting against lung issues, sinusitis, and ear/nose/throat illnesses. I found garlic mustard, which is primarily an antiseptic. I found Dead Nettle (purple nettle), which is astringent and anti-inflammatory. I found Speedwell, which is an expectorant but can also relieve stomach upsets. In addition, I found dandelion and plantain, which are good blood cleansers. I also found yellow mustard seed which is anti-inflammatory and a good pain reliever. There are a bunch of other plants that I cannot yet identify.

Your neighborhood can be a veritable pharmacy of herbs and plants. Many of these grow like weeds and are generally treated as such. The hill where I found most of these is technically my neighbor's property, and once or twice a year they take a weed trimmer and hack it all to the ground. Now that I can idenitfy the benefits to many of these plants, I will do my best to harvest them before they go all scorched earth.

Take a walk around your neighborhood. Pay attention to what is growing alongside the roads. What may first appear to be normal roadside weeds can actually be powerful healing medicine in the right hands. Powwow teaches us to live with our land, so access to these healing plants is such a God-send for me!

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