Bioregional Herbalism: 10 Wild and Weedy Herbs of the Pacific NW

The Pacific NW is a stunning and absolutely majestic bioregion.  Think moss covered forests, mushrooms, big trees, drizzle, waterfalls, rivers, and breathtaking mountains.   As a herbalist, it evokes a feeling of awe to see what happens in a bioregion that has a somewhat mild climate(in lower elevations) and abundant rainfall.  Together this equals huge and relatively easy(compared to somewhere like Texas) gardening. In fact, I have found that I have to be very careful to choose what to put in the garden, as things can get very large and spread quickly.  I feel extremely grateful to have been able to have worked in different bioregions as a gardener and wildcrafter and be able to compare and contrast.~Nicole

This list is chosen based on usefulness, general safety, that they can handle people giving them attention, and that they are weedy or at the very least enthusiastic. 

Cedar Leaves

Thuja plicata

Native Tree-only harvest windblown in city

Energetics: Warming and Drying

Actions: Aromatic, diffusive, antimicrobial, immuno-stimulating

Uses: Sore and achy muscles, chest congestion, fungal infections

Reminds us: to be generous and give more than we take

Dandelion Leaves and Root

Taraxacum officinale

Energetics: Cooling and Drying

Actions: Alterative, Bitter, Diuretic, Nutritive(leaves)

Uses: Congestion in gut, constipation, cyctic acne and other chronic skin conditions, blood sugar regulation

Reminds us to think about decolonizing our herbalism-thanks to Lara Pacheco for that one

Comfrey Leaves and Root

Energetics: Cooling, Drying and Moistening

Actions: Vulnerary, Astringent, Demulcent, Nutritive

Uses: Wounds(non-infected), bleeding, sprains and breaks

Reminds us to slow down

Lemon Balm Leaves

Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis

Energetics: Warming and Drying

Actions: Calming, Antimicrobial, Anti-viral, Euphoric, Hormonal

Uses: To help lift the spirits, stop viral infections, and balance emotions/alleviate headaches

Reminds us to be joyful

Nettles Leaves

Urtica dioica

Energetics: Warming and Drying

Actions: Nutritive, Astringent

Uses: Wild food, cooking renders stinging hairs harmless, healing to urinary tract

Reminds us to approach plants and each other conscientiously

Oregon Grape Root

Energetics: Cooling and Drying

Actions: Alterative, Bitter, Antimicrobial

Uses: Indigestion, Gut Infections or any affecting mucosa or skin

Reminds us to connect to our own roots

Plantain Leaves

Energetics: Cooling and Drying and Moistening

Actions: Astringent, Aromatic, Demulcent, Antimicrobial,, Vulnerary

Uses: Wounds,Venomous bites and stings, fungal infections

Reminds us never to overlook the most obvious answers

Rose Petals

Energetics: Cooling and Drying

Actions:Astringent, Aromatic

Uses: Kill infections, soothe skin and heartache-heated conditions.

Reminds us to keep our hearts open, even if it hurts

St Johns Wort

Hypercium perforatum

Energetics: Cooling and Drying

Actions: Antiinflammatory, Vulnerary, Antiviral, Bitter

Uses: Astringent, Antimicrobial, Nutritive(berries), Diaphoretic, Immunostimulating

Reminds us that the light will always break through the darkness


Elderberry Sambucus

Energetics: Warming and Drying

Actions: Astringent, Antimicrobial, Nutritive(berries), Diaphoretic, Immunostimulating

Uses: Berries full of antioxidants and great wild food.  Treats flu, helps sweat out a fever

Reminds us to always honor the little folk of the forest.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.