The 23rd Annual Spring Garden Show presented a seminar about Orange County native plants being used for therapeutic and healing means. These plants are important for wildlife habitat, the environment, and human beings. They also save water as well as a perfect substitute for harmful and toxic pesticides. The guest speaker, an ecologist and a landscape designer, gives the audience an overview of native plants.
Native plants existed in Orange County way before Europeans manipulated these plants to cross breed them. These native plants adapted well to the OC climate and geography. The invasive plants tend to take out the non-native plants.
The environment benefits from planting more native plants because it will heal the earth from all the disasters, destructions and contamination intentionally done by corporate greed. They are easy to take care of because they don't need much maintenance. Since these plants thrive in dry climates, less water will be administered. There is no need for using fertilizer or pesticide because these plants have natural defenses against pests.
In Orange County alone, there are at least 1500 endemic species and over eighty-six native plants. Seventy percent of their habitat has already been destroyed. They also have medicinal qualities than can cure some healthy problems. For instance, yarrow, or achillea millefolium, is a part of the sunflower family, and looks like a white flower with a yellow center. It tends to be used for cold remedies, insect repellant, cuts, bruises, and stop bleeding. Alder, or alnus rhombifolia, suppresses tumor growth as well as treats tuberculosis and lymphatic disorders, poison oak, hemorrhages, insect bites, circulation, childbirth, diarrhea, and stomach aches. Buckwheat, or eriogonum philadelphicus, is nutritious and gluton-free, but it is not a wheat schrub. It soothes sore throat. Butterflies tend to like it. Philadelphia Fleabane cures chronic diarrhea, menstrual cramps, gout, epilepsy, headaches, and sores. Coral Bells stops minor bleeding and decreases inflammation as well as cures problems with diarrhea, dysentery, gastric ulcers, and digestive tonic. White sage is good for sore throat, cold, coughing, eye cleansing, incense, congestion, and cold stuffiness. Purple sage is used as an anti-microbial disinfectant, mouthwash, and antiseptic skin rinse. Woolley Blue Curls smells like Babazooka bubble gum. It is good for memory, stomach, kidney, infections, and lipido enhancer. Coffeeberry is a laxative, having similar qualities to coffee, but it doesn't have any caffeine. It is better at cleansing the colon. Coyote Brush is a general remedy, and it is part of the sunflower family. Monkey flower is used as an anti-diarrheal as well as in herbal steam bath for chests, back sores, and wounds. Hog fennel is used for rattlesnake bites, headaches, stomach problems, cold, and sore throat. Yerba mansa is used for muscle aches, sore feet, pain, gonorrhea, syphilis, urinary tract infection, menstrual cramps, disinfectant, burns, cuts, wounds, cold, and asthma.
Gardening can also heal one's mental health because it tends to have a calming effect on the gardener. Chalk Dudleya has a citrus flavor, and it is usually used in salads. Field sedge contains a lot of protein. Rush has a calming effect. Other plants good for mental health include Purple Three Awn, Beargrass, Showy Penstamon, Sycamore, Blue-eyed grass (a part of the Iris family), and Yucca.
For more information on healing native plants, research edible medicinal native plants as well as check out www.backtonatives.org.