Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.
⚠️ Lobelia contains a host of toxic alkaloids, including many with structural similarities to nicotine. Overdoses of the plant induce vomiting, sweating, pain, paralysis, low temperature, rapid but feeble pulse, collapse, coma, and even death.“Blue Lobelia – CornellBotanicGardens” https://cornellbotanicgardens.org/plant/great-blue-lobelia/
Tonight I’m going to be blending two different categories on my blog. For the past week I’ve been running the Travler series which is set sometime after the Civil War but before the year 1900. Since one of the characters (Malachi) was a physician prior to returning to the life of a Trapper in the Appalachian Mountains he would have been familiar with vast number of useful herbs. Which allows me to continue the story without skipping a Forage Friday post.
Frost clung to Daniel’s wool cloak as the smell of coffee brewing in the pre-dawn forest aroused him from his slumber. He pushed back his hood slightly and saw Malachi seated on three thick sticks gathered from the forest floor. The sticks formed a low tripod and were laid out in such a way as that they supported each other while holding the big man aloft. Malachi hummed softly as he tended to his birch bark cooking pot that sat directly in the hot coals. “Breakfast is just about ready.” He spoke without even looking to see if Daniel reacted. Daniel couldn’t figure out how Malachi knew that he was awake. But in the short time since he met Malachi he sensed that Malachi was always aware of more than he let on. Malachi sat a hand carved cup on a flat rock next to a second tripod and motioned for Daniel to come and sit for breakfast. As Daniel sat precariously on the three sticks Malachi chuckled a little and handed him his own small birch bark pot full of breakfast soup. The single piece of bark was folded at the corners and the folds were held in place by split twigs. The soup consisted of a broth made from fresh gathered herbs and hen of the woods mushroom. The chicken flavored mushroom was a welcome change to the jerky and dried fruit that Daniel had subsided on for weeks. As he ate his meal he noticed a bundle of blue flowers near Malachi’s pack. Malachi observed Daniel’s curiosity and explained that it was Lobelia. Normally it would die back at this time of year but the heat from large rocks near the falls extended the growing season. It was Malachi’s belief that the Good Lord had caused them to be there in a time and place where they would be needed. Malachi also said that they could be used for breathing problems, to sweat out a cold, heal bruises and skin infections as well as to settle the nerves of anyone in Alexandra’s group who may be hysterical from the hardships of their journey.
Blue lobelia is a close relative of one of the Appalachian Mountains favorite wildflowers. The cardnial flower. Modern science suspects that lobelia may contain a chemical that thins the mucus and makes it easier to cough and expell congestion. Thus in the time frame that our story takes place it would have been used for asthma and other lung ailments. The Native Americans used it in treatment of VD. Because one of the components is similar to nicotine it was used as a wormer as well.
That’s it for tonight’s Forage Friday! Please let me know if you like the format of using fiction to cover the plant’s attributes. Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.
We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.
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