How to Forage & Process Horsetail For Medicinal Use

Giant Horsetail is common, edible, and medicinal. You’ve probably seen it scattered throughout parks and near roads without knowing it. City dwellers take note–this is a plant  you can usually forage without taking a drive to the woods! Early to mid spring is ideal for foraging horsetail and other delicious shoot vegetables.

Why Forage for Horsetail?

Courtesy of Ashley Basil


If you get to them early enough, young fertile shoots are a delicious wild vegetable that can be eaten raw. The flavor is juicy and similar to celery without all the stringiness. Fertile shoots are a traditional seasonal delicacy to many indigenous groups, especially on the west coast up through British Columbia.

Shoots should be eaten while young and green. Once they begin to brown, they are no longer palatable. Once leaves appear on the stalk, horsetail is no longer edible, but is great for medicine.


Horsetail is full of minerals and trace elements, filters heavy metals and toxins from the body, helps grow and strengthen hair, and increase bone density. It’s also an excellent natural remedy to strengthen and rebuild connective tissues such as the kidneys, lungs, mucus membranes, hair, skin, cartilage, and sinuses.

Horsetail is more than 35% silica, one of the highest percentages in the plant kingdom. Silica is necessary for calcium metabolism and essential for the formation and repair of bone and cartilage. Only a small portion of silica on the Earth is bioavailable to us (able to absorb in the body), however horsetail is a rich source that we can use.

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How to Harvest & Process Stinging Nettle

Nettle is one of those magical plants that gives us more than the effort we put into harvesting it. It’s no wonder that nettle has been used worldwide for centuries as a potent medicine, documented as far back as Ancient Greece. Nettle can be eaten as a nutrient-dense food, woven into cloth, applied to the skin, drunk as a tea, made into a tincture, or dried and put into capsules.

Growing season is June through September, though in some regions it can be harvested throughout the year.

Medicinal Benefits of Nettle

Nettle contains more protein than nearly all other plant species and is brimming with vitamins and nutrients.

Some useful properties include: anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, trophorestorative to kidneys and adrenal glands,  diuretic, promotes neurotransmitters, and more.

Studies have proven that nettle can be used to relieve certain health conditions, including: arthritis, muscular and joint pain, rheumatism, urinary issues, eczema, hay fever, anemia, and more.


1. Vitamins A, B complex, C, E, K
2. Protein
3. Folic Acid
4. Histamine
5. Anti-inflammatory compounds
6. Dietary fiber
7. Neurotransmitters, including 5HTP (serotonin)
8. Iron
9. Calcium

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How to Gather & Process Dandelion Roots in the City

The act of wildcrafting (gathering roots and herbs) is wonderfully good for the soul, especially for city dwellers. Not only does it take me out for a walk, but it also gives me a mission. It makes me feel like a kid when I’d run wild for hours and pretend to be a scientist or a witch, dig up “medicines” from the Earth. It turns out we really can dig up medicines from the Earth, even in the city.

Dandelion root is a great place to start if you’re not familiar with wildcraft. Dandelion is easy to identify and grows almost everywhere.

Below are a few tips and tricks to help you harvest and process dandelion roots.

Medicinal Benefits of Dandelion Root

-Boosts the immune system
-Fights off microbes and fungi
-Rich in vitamin K, C, A, calcium, fiber, potassium
-Also has iron, B6, and magnesium
-Full of antioxidants
-Digestive aid
-Cleans out the kidneys
-Improves liver function
-Helps to regulate blood sugar
-Lowers cholesterol in animal studies
-Reduces inflammation
-Increases bile production

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5 Easy Plants to Liven Up Your Apartment

Why Plants?

If you’re like most people I know, you’re an apartment dweller. While apartment living can be a fun and convenient way to live in or near a city, it isn’t ideal for easy access to trees and fresh air. Don’t get me wrong–there’s no greater pleasure in life than spending days in my bath robe watching Lord of the Rings and baking cookies–but allowing enough time outside is vital for a healthy mind and soul. Nature is nourishing. According to the EPA, Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors. Even more shocking, air pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher indoors than out. (1)

One of the quickest and most satisfying ways to liven up an apartment (literally) is to add plants to your decor. Not only do plants bring beauty and the feeling of nature to your home, they also provide cleaner air by filtering out toxins.

NASA has lead the way in research on air filtering plants in order to create more habitable living quarters on space stations. Luckily for us, this information applies to our own habitats on Earth. All plants have some purification properties, however some plants are particularly superb at removing the most common household toxins: benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

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