The full moon of February is known as the Snow Moon because February is the United States’ snowiest month, and this year, even Texas had record snowfall and freezing temperatures.
In fact, many Texans were unprepared for this weather and are suffering right now. To help, you can donate to Feeding Texas or visit the Texas Tribune for a comprehensive list of resources and places to send aid.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the south, spring is quietly making an appearance. Daffodils and spring ground covers, like Creeping Charlie, are starting to pop up. Many people are experiencing cabin fever, and the urge to get outside is on everyone’s mind.
Hiking or taking short nature walks on warmer days can be a great way to combine meditation and aerobic exercise. As the weeks go by this spring, you’ll begin to notice familiar plants and flowers on your walks.
A great way to engage your mind is to become more adept at plant identification of the local flora and fauna in your region. I often use an app like Plant Snap to help identify plants that are unfamiliar to me.
One of my favorite books, The Cherokee Herbal: Native Plant Medicine From the Four Directions by J.T. Garrett, provides a wealth of stories about plant medicine, plant spirits, and plant folklore. I love looking up plant knowledge from this book after I’ve identified or come upon a particular plant on one of my nature walks.
What medicinal plants grow in your region?
Over time, you start to realize that there is plant medicine everywhere, you just didn’t see it before. Given the many challenges of our current medical system, the more we can take our health into our own hands, and learn how many nurturing gifts the Earth has to offer, the more we align our healing with our inner wisdom, physical integrity, and spiritual growth. And we come to see the whole planet as a living teacher and collaborator, rather than an inert repository of resources for our indescrimintate use.
What medicinal plants grow in your region? What new plants will you become adept at identifying this year? Here are a couple you can learn right now!
Indian Pipe (photo in the thumbnail): A member of the blueberry family, Indian Pipe juice can treat inflamed eyes, bunions, and warts. Indian Pipe plant tea can relieve aches and pains associated with colds, while tea made with the roots can treat epilepsy and be used as a sedative. The roots also have antispasmodic properties.
American Ginseng (photo at the top of the post): American Ginseng can be used to tonify digestion, and maintain energy levels. Indigenous Americans commonly used it to care for the elderly, tonify the reproductive system, and manage arousal and desire. Researchers have also started looking into its ability to manage blood sugar levels. Photo by Eric Burkhart.