Yerba Mansa

Madicinal plan to number two is, Yerba Mansa (apologies for the week delay, I got sidetracked with a wedding, out of town). 

This is how the plant appears in bloom.

 Yerba mansa is versatile, it can be taken orally as a tea, tincture, infusion or dried in capsule form. It can be used externally for soaking inflamed or infected areas. It can be ground and used as a dusting powder. 

It can be used to treat inflammation of the mucous membranes, swollen gums and sore throat; it has anti-fungal qualities and a dried powder from the roots can be used for things such as diaper rash and athletes foot. The anti-inflammatory properties make it excellent for treating arthritis and othe inflammatory diseases. 

Mesquite 

As I mentioned Wednesday, I’d be writing about a few of the plants I learned about on my “field trip”.

We’ll start with this guy, mesquite-
This plant has all kinds of uses! 

The medicinal properties of mesquite have long been known and utilized by many native tribes throughout the southwest United States and northern Mexico, including my people, the Yaqui. 

The stems can be used to treat fever. Mesquite bark can also be used for bladder infection, measles or fever. Pods can be used to make an eyewash, prepared as a poultice and applied to a soar throat or can be made into a drink to treat animal stings. Gum, which is exuded from the trunk, can treat sores, burns – including sunburn, stomach ailments and even lice! The leaves can be prepared to treat headaches and bladder infections, amongst other things. The strong wood can be used for building and furniture.

Nutritionally, mesquite has several uses too. Pods, when ripe can be ground into a flour, which can be used in bakes goods or even smoothies and is low glycemic. The green pods can be boiled in water to make a syrup or molasses. A tea or broth can also be made from the pods. The gum can be used to make candy.

Mesquite is my new favorite plant!

Local Field Trip 

Today I went on a botanical walk with a group of volunteers from the Mojave Desert Land Trust at the Big MorongoPreserve. We talked birds, mule deer and focused on indigenous uses of various plant species within the area. 

I learned so much and will be sharing some of this new found knowledge in the coming days, with a small series of posts. For now, here’s a picture of an old car that was long left in the preserve.

Prickly 

This was taken at one of my favorite nearby establishments. A group of very hearty prickly pear cactus and agave, backed up by the adobe wall of bottles make for a little feast on the eyes, whilst waiting to feast. Randomly, I once had a dream I fell into these beauties and a very kind person, who shall remain nameless, painstaking removed the spurs from body.

All the Small Things 

There are times in life when it just seems to go off the rails. Everything that could go wrong seems to and you have no clear answers to anything. It can feel like you’re free falling and if you’re lucky, someone will be there to catch you. 

Yesterday I landed in the arms of my oldest friend and her beautiful little family. We talked, listened and laughed so hard my head hurt. That ache eased in and replaced all the others. It was a reminder of what a rare gift a tried and true friend can be, but when you have one, you’re the luckiest person there is.


I mean, when this little guy is the company you’re keeping, how can anything else even bother you?