Category Archives: livin the good life on the road

Rosehips Along the Oregon Trail!

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This image and more about compass rose.

And a quick sketch in my journal

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It feels fitting to begin with an image of a compass rose. Originally used to help the map reader bear in mind the direction of the winds. It then became a tool to indicate the cardinal directions. This is a modern representation of a compass rose.
The directional points have long been described as the petals of a rose.

This post is about the Rosehips I found while traveling alongside the Oregon trail. So much history, and stories. Some painful. Some a reckoning of western expansion and what effects this had. Migrations were often miles wide. This had a substantial effect on the area and interfered with Native American grazing lands, to say the least.
But, it remains an interesting, if not sometimes painful reminder of past events. Of perseverance and direction. Of the people. Of the roses which remind us of who once were and travelled through
the Oregon Trail.

I found the rosebushes with flowers past bloom, in a half deciduous state with only the Rosehips. But, I immediately recognized the red fruit as Rosehips and the leaves as Rose leaves. Stems adorned with prickles.

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*Please forage with someone who knows and/or bring a guidebook with you.

Always be absolutely certain when foraging.
If in doubt leave it out!

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What are Rosehips Anyway?

According to this site on Wikipedia:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_hip

“The rose hip, also known as rose haw or rose hep, is the fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but ranges from dark purple to black in some species. Rose hips begin to form after successful pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through
autumn.”

(In my photo: This patch of Rosehips was in an area where a lot of leaves had dropped. Less than a quarter mile away were Rose plants that had more leaves.)

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Rosehips are used for foods and beverages.

“Rose hips can be used to make Palinka, a traditional Hungarian alcoholic beverage. They are also the central ingredient of Cockta, the fruity-tasting national soft drink of Slovenia. [2]

…Rose hips are commonly used as a tisane, often blended with hibiscus, and also as an oil. They can also be used to make jam, jelly, marmalade, and rose hip wine. Rose hip soup, “nyponsoppa”, is especially popular in Sweden. Rhodomel, a type of mead, is made with rose hips.”

And according to this wikipedia site there is more info about the rose plant itself.

“A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles.” (Thorns)

“Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa.”

Also this site gives Excellent:
Identification Characteristics!

“The leaves are borne alternately on the stem. In most species they are 5 to 15 centimetres (2.0 to 5.9 in) long, pinnate, with (3–) 5–9 (–13) leaflets and basal stipules; the leaflets usually have a serrated margin, and often a few small prickles on the underside of the stem. Most roses are deciduous but a few (particularly from South east Asia) are evergreen or nearly so.”

“The flowers of most species have five petals, with the exception of Rosa sericea, which usually has only four. Each petal is divided into two distinct lobes and is usually white or pink, though in a few species yellow or red. Beneath the petals are five sepals (or in the case of some Rosa sericea, four). These (sepals) may be…visible when viewed from above… as green points alternating with the rounded petals. There are multiple superior ovaries that develop into achenes.* [4] Roses are insect-pollinated in nature.”

* achenes are dry one seeded fruit. These achenes are surrounded by the hypanthium.

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Here is a Rosehip split in half. It is a closeup of achenes, fibers/hairs and surrounding edible hypanthium. The inside world of a Rosehip!

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Rosa rugosa and Rosa canina are known to make delicious rose hips although there are many rose species that do produce hips.

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Rosehips Along the Oregon Trail

Pioneer Rose or Harison’s Rose
Photograph by Cheryl Netter
From website:
http://www.deborahbedfordbooks.com/harison_rose.html

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I was very happy to find Rosehips along the Oregon Trail.

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Pioneers of the Oregon trail often marked graves of loved ones, who died along the way, with roses which survive to this day. According to the following newspaper article one of the most common of these roses was the Harison rose. A yellow rose. Unfortunately, as I was traveling through, I did not get a chance to see the flowers in bloom. But, I did enjoy the rosehips that I gathered along the Oregon trail. It really got my imagination going. Wondering if the rose bushes I found were tokens of affection for loved ones lost or homesteads along the way. Check out this interesting article about roses and the pioneers who brought rose cuttings with them and preserved those cuttings by sticking the ends into potatoes!

http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2013/07/16/entertainment/02ent%2007-15-13.txt

Also this next newspaper article, written by
Erica L. Calkins for the “Seattle Times.,” gives accounts of pioneer’s experiences.
And, tells of a pioneer descendant, who traces the stories of the women who brought 20 different species along with them on the Oregon Trail!

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19950219&slug=2105943

And here is an interesting article about the unusual ingredients pioneer women used in beverages including Rosehips. It also includes a Native American beverage called Yaupon spiced tea which became popular with pioneers.

http://m.voices.yahoo.com/unusual-ingredients-pioneer-women-used-making-beverages-7957528.html

Roses have travelled from all over the world. From one part to the next. And because of this and native species, roses are, delightfully, common. My life has been etched by the sweet life of roses.

From the wild rose bushes on the Oregon Trail to my discoveries of roses growing wild when I was a child. A favorite memory is of rosehips and rose flowers I admired each time I entered alongside the dunes and pathways to the beach a few miles from my home. They always fascinated me and still delight me to this day.

What are your memories of roses? Rosehips, rose petals, or tea, the prickly thorns…smelling blossoms… we are lucky to share in the stories of roses.

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I am adding to this post. Connecting with my family with a loved one and hospice care.

I found a little time to go to the ocean and I found Beach roses and rosehips! What a blessing!

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I remember beach roses and rosehips from childhood days at the ocean.
So sweet to greet them again now.

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a brief and healing visit to the ocean.

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Roses. Take time to smell the roses!…I’ll be honest it’s hokey but, I can’t resist taking the time to do this! Some smell sweeter than others and it is a sweet experience amidst the hubbub of sometimes pervasive tediousness…  🙂

Awww, the sweetness of rose, soothes.

I can’t seem to find the origin of the phrase…”take time to stop and smell the roses” I was hoping it might have stemmed from Shakespeare but, I haven’t found a direct reference. Funny enough, I grew up hearing this and thought it was an age old idiom. I need a good old fashioned idiom origin book
… but, alas, amidst my small trove of belongings and printed materials I do not have one. And this is all food for thought.

After all this why not enjoy a Prickly Pear fruit and Rose petal syrup Cachaça Cocktail!

And now, after a relaxing beverage… Here is more Food For Thought!…

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NUTRITION OF ROSE HIPS

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Excellent Information presented below from the following site:

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/health-benefits-of-rosehip-tea-7607.html

Rosehip Tea Health Benefits:

Tips for Rosehips!
🙂
*Notes: Steep in hot water rather than
boiling Rosehips to make tea.
*do not use aluminum pan/mug
*do not store Rosehips in metal

High in Vitamin C
And can give an energy boost due to high vitamin C content.
(It is better to steep rosehips, i.e. for tea, as this will retain more vitamin C content rather than boiling.)
Additional Vitamins Include:
A, B1, B2, B3, E, K, P as well as C

Further Nutrients Include:
Potassium
Calcium
Iron
Carotenoids
Pectin
Anti-oxidants
Bio-Flavanoids
Phytochemicals
Rutin

Also According to the:
Lifestyle Article: I love India. Rosehip Site

Rosehip tea has anti-aging properties. It regenerates cells and has healing properties.

The phytochemicals in rosehips prevent cancer and some cardiac problems.

Furthermore:

Can prevent some colds and viruses.
Helps clear mucus and clears out respiratory tract.
Helps with UTI
Anti stress agents
Anti Depressant
Regulates Hormones
Hydrates Skin
Improves Circulation

Also: Relieves Menstrual cramps, headaches, diahrrea, dizziness, and nausea.

Rosehip tea can help with allergies, asthma and bronchitis as well.

The pectin in tea helps with constipation. Pectin can lower cholesterol and cleans out intestines.

Rosehips can help with some cardiac issues.

Also according to the source below, health benefits are described.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-839-ROSE%20HIP.aspx?activeIngredientId=839&activeIngredientName=ROSE%20HIP

“Rosehips are also used for stomach disorders including stomach spasms, stomach acid deficiency, preventing stomach irritation and ulcers, and as a “stomach tonic” for intestinal diseases. They are also used for diarrhea, constipation, gallstones, gallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, fluid retention (dropsy or edema), gout, back and leg pain (sciatica), diabetes, high cholesterol, weight loss, high blood pressure, chest ailments, fever, increasing immune function during exhaustion, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst.”

What about Arthritis? Studies indicate Rose hips alleviate symptoms!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/275404-rose-hips-joint-pain/

http://health.ninemsn.com/naturaltherapies/naturalhealth/799090/10-things-about-rosehip

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Rosehips vitamin C content may be affected by processing and extreme heats in drying. Perhaps low heat drying works best to maintain vitamin C or to use fresh. Consider a dehydrater with lower temp setting or oven on low temp or sun drying.

Here is some info on food process and methods which affect vitamin content in food. Commercially drying of foods…the temps are high typically, so perhaps low drying effects are less detrimental to vitamin retention. This site may be of interest to some so I added it here.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/processing

***See a medical professional and/or herbal specialist for all serious medical issues and when using herbs and plants for same.***

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WHEN AND HOW TO HARVEST ROSEHIPS!

Harvest Rosehips in the fall. I’ve read that they are sweetest after 1st frost although I had good luck harvesting mid September. Harvest the plump ones not any that look shrivelled or damaged. If you are lucky to have roses growing in your yard or woods or beach nearby…how wonderful. Some domesticated varieties of roses produce Rosehips and some do not.

*Avoid harvesting in areas that have been treated with toxic pesticides or herbicides.*

And, enjoy the rose on the stem. If you like Rosehips and want to harvest them later…keep the flowers on the stem. The flowers need to drop their petals naturally. Another example where it doesn’t “help nature” to hurry it along. Then the Rosehip can develop where the rose was. They start out green then morph from green orange, to orange and then a beautiful red or red-orange. Some species even produce a black-ish variety.

This is how I harvested mine:

Pick your Rosehips in the fall. I picked mine in mid September in Oregon. It was an area on the edge of a forest. Near the old Oregon Trail Path that was still visible in places.

Almost all roses are deciduous. I’ve read that only one species isn’t. So, when I harvested my Rosehips many of the rose leaves had fallen off. This is also a factor in identifying Rosehips. And, if you can, acquaint yourself with the rose plant as it goes through its cycle throughout the seasons and/or times of year.

Rinse your Rosehips. I presently live on a semi-trailer with limited water so I soak rinsed mine.

Otherwise, with a small knife cut the rose hips in half through the fattest part of the hip…rather than through the crown and bottom of the hip. This will make it easier to clean out the seeds. Trim off crown and bottom of Rosehip too.

(*a note of interest here is that Rosehip seeds contain a healing oil and can be used as oil for skin creams, etc. Use hulled out seeds and/or whole intact Rosehips depending on directions/recipes for Rosehip products. Therefore, you may want to leave some Rosehips whole.)

So, after cutting all your rosehips in half use a small knife or little spoon to scoop out the seeds and small hairy fibers that surround all the many seeds.

Those hairy fibers, sometimes just referred to as hairs are very irritating and itchy. They also cause intestinal problems if eaten. Please be careful when cleaning out and hulling the Rosehips.

To be honest, I found it easier to use my fingers to scoop out the seeds and hairs. Food handling gloves may be useful here. The fibers stick to your skin and may cause dermatitis or reactions…but, I gave it a go.

The hairs/fibers used to be made into an “itching powder” hmmm…April Fools aside…I don’t think so. It does conjure up imaginings for possible Little House on the Prairies scenes…but, that’s a whole other matter!

O’kay so now you have the hulled and cleaned out rosehips. There are lots of food options. Dry them for salads, trail mixes, teas.

When harvesting, Taste them.

They are said to Taste the Best after the first frost. If you live near an area you can sample one here or there to see when it is sweetest for harvesting a batch, then try that! I’ve heard it can vary and does become a practiced art over time. I’ve read several accounts of harvesting after first frost. I harvested mid September which I’ve read is harvest season also. Try harvesting, whenever in your area the Rosehips are ripe, i.e. depending on the species, the rosehips ripen typically to a deep orange/red. See my photos for reference. I ate some raw and they had a sour, tangy slightly sweet taste like a mild cranberry. Personally, I liked it.

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ROSEHIPS: WHAT CAN I DO WITH THEM?

-Make a tea by infusing the rosehips in hot water.

Here’s a delightful post about making Rosehip tea from fresh Rosehips.
http://eatingrichly.com/10/foraging-rose-hip-recipe-for-tea/

-Make face and skin creams.

Make a Chutney!

Rosehips work great with green apples!

-Use in a pie 🙂

-Add to Salads and Trail Mixes

-Make a Rosehip Butter with this recipe!
http://teacupchronicles.com/?p=148

-Dry your Rosehips or use fresh!

-Make a Rosehip soup. In Norway it is called Nyponsoppa and is very popular there. It is a staple item in most Norwegian households and often counted on for schoolchildren to avoid the common cold and other illnesses!

So, what did I do with my batch of Rosehips?
I made a wild apple and Rosehip chutney!
I attempted nyponsoppa…and liked it!
And I made a face cream using whole, un-hulled Rosehips.

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Here is a straightforward method of making
Rosehip-Almond oil using fresh Rosehips…! Check it out!

http://www.gardenguides.com/86407-make-rosehip-oil.html

And here is a method to make Rosehip and Blue Chamomile oil face cream. Use fresh whole Rosehips and/or the cleaned off seeds.
(Cleaned of irritating hairs/fibers)
*Tip: It may be a good idea to strain the oil of any hairs that come out of heated up fresh Rosehips.*

This face cream uses beeswax and a little borax too. This looks interesting and I want to give it a try!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/176922-how-to-make-face-cream-using-rosehip-oil/#page=1

And, if like me you’d like to know more about Borax (used in face cream remedy) and Boron this is a very comprehensive article about uses of Borax and Boron. Oh, and did you know raisins are high in Boron? Neither did I ’til I checked out Borax and Boron! I love this site and hope you will too!

http://www.growyouthful.com/remedy/borax.php

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Nyponsoppa…Rosehip Soup, for real?
It sure is and it’s easy, yummy and nutritious. Dessert just got good for you again! I made Nyponsoppa and used coconut sugar to sweeten. It is said to have a healthier glycemic index. Oh yeah, and it is Yummy!
I didn’t have potato flour so I used rice flour. My result was not the red version of the soup. It was reddish brown. I think the light brown coconut sugar and rice flour muddied the color…
Some might call that a flop, but using ingredients I had on the truck…it was surprisingly good!

And here, just for fun, are some pics of my Nyponsoppa making adventure!

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I found wild green apples growing near the Rosehips so harvested these too.

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Split in half and scoop out hair fibers and seeds.
I had help with this. It takes time but is fun to do with someone else or a group! 🙂

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Rosehip seeds and fibers

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Boil the outer fruit skin… the hypanthium 🙂

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And boil

Then strain and mash and boil the mash

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Boiling mash, then strain the boiled mash! And to the strained liquid I added coconut sugar and rice flour so it is not the traditional red color but here is my Rose hip soup! I feel shy about it but, it was good!

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Check out this entertaining article and recipe for Nyponsoppa I found.

http://www.cakehead.com/archives/2008/04/sweden_more_tha_1.html
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Drying and Storing Rosehips

Here is a step by step guide using a food dehydrator
to store Rosehips for a year. Also drying Rosehips
in the sun or with an oven at 140° is said to work as well. People often store dried Rosehips in paper bags. Avoid aluminum, aluminum foil etc.

http://www.eatweeds.co.uk/how-to-dry-store-rose-hips-rosa-canina

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Roses have been with us a long time.
This is a beautiful, in depth article on the history of roses and rose products and use over the centuries. It also has information on Rosehips further into the article and also rose recipes.

Dog rose or Rosa canina
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Above image from this site:
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/roses-18.html

And, here is a Native American Salteaux Legend about wild roses and how the rose learned to defend itself.

http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/WhyWildRosesHaveThorns-Salteaux.html

Plants have much to teach us. What are your personal stories and experiences with roses and rose hips? I hope you feel inspired to try Rosehips.
Thankyou for taking this journey with me. Rosehips are rather new to me but when I think back to my days as a child at the ocean, turns out I’ve known them a long while afterall. And, that makes me smile.

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Common Mallow, Malva neglecta Equals Foraging Fun!

Malva neglecta
Common Mallow
Malvaceae family
Nicknames: Cheeseweed, Dwarf Mallow, Round Mallow, Cheese Plant
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***important…please do not confuse Common Mallow with the Common Carolina Geranium Weed. The geranium weed has more deeply dissected leaves but these two can be easily confused!***

Please note image of the Carolina Geranium weed in the following site:

http://www.msuturfweeds.net/details/_/carolina_geranium_12/#weeddetail
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More about Common Mallow
Malva neglecta

Annual/Biennial
Habitat: grows in areas where
soil has been disturbed:

Vacant lots
Yards
Fields
Sides of roads
Cultivated fields
Likes sandy soil
Can grow in clay
or loamy soil
Likes full sunlight
Can do partial shade
Can grow with some dampness in soil
Prefers well drained soil
*Drought Tolerant

Can grow up to 2 feet tall
Flowers June-September
All parts including roots are edible

The following site is comprehensive and gives information on planting, pollination, avoiding nitrates, hardiness zones, where it grows in the world, etc.

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Malva+neglecta

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Underside of common mallow leaf:
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These are all my photos. A happy endeavor and a learning reference tool also! Please bring a good field guide or forager who knows!

*Some people have confused ground ivy with common mallow!*
Some ground ivy smells like mint.
And, the edible ground ivy is in the mint family.

This is ground Ivy!

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Some ground ivy is edible*** but not all ground cover is edible.***

Here are sites on edible ground ivy

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Glechoma%20hederacea

http://www.eattheweeds.com/ground-ivy/

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Now back to Common Mallow:

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TRADITIONAL USE

According to http://www.livestrong.com:

Historians have traced Malva neglecta’s use as a vegetable back almost 3,000 years. The ancients used leaves and shoots as cooking greens and salad ingredients, while the seeds were used to accent dishes or as snacks. The plant’s traditional medicinal uses included soothing skin rashes and easing coughs. It was also used to reduce inflammation in the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.

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Not far away from this plant was this beautiful bridge above the Snake River.

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INSIGHT AND REFLECTIONS:

I found the common mallow about 3 miles away from the Snake River Gorge in Idaho. This bridge and shadow forms an ellipse. A path that brings you back. After an orbit of other experiences. Like a marker in time. It helps me reflect upon the fact that the common mallow was the first edible/medicinal weed I learned about on this journey of documenting wild plants. It caught my interest as I was web surfing wild edible and medicinal plants. I posted it on facebook to share with others. I had found a helpful site…all about common mallow. Malva neglecta. I wanted to share an interesting site. That event was a marker for me. A few months later, I started writing and researching and photographing wild edibles myself. I started the blog that you are reading now. Malva neglecta took me on a journey. An elliptical one. Like an orbit. I am changed now since I first posted an internet site about common mallow. Because, it caught my interest then. And, now I have first hand experience looking for, researching and eating mallow as a wild edible. I have come around the ellipse changed. And, malva neglecta got me there. Waiting for me to turn the bend around the ellipse to find it in real space and time.

I am learning a lot about wild edibles. Documenting and photographing plants when and where I can. I am an enthusiast and a student as I go. I research as much as I can.

I wonder too, about the qualities each plant contains. Common mallow is mucilaginous and soothing. It helps with stomach upset. It soothes skin abrasians and heals skin wounds. It is common. It is found many places in the world. It has been a food during times of starvation. It is nutrient rich and is related to such beautiful plants as hollyhock and the beautiful Rose of Sharon. Even jute leaves are edible. The mallow family has taught me a lot and I have only just begun.

I did an art and poetry piece about common mallow: Malva neglecta. Reflecting on what I have learned about the plant and how it reflects some learning in my life.

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So learning about plants and wild edibles and medicinal edibles means you get to “get real” about the experience. So, the next day after locating some and photographing it, I picked some common mallow for the first time. I wonder how many of my ancestors foraged for mallow too? I was excited about foraging. It did not look like an area that had experienced run off from farms or other pollutants. Common mallow can absorb nitrates from contaminated soil so some caution here is warranted.
But, it looked like a good foraging area to me so I went and picked some.

I tried some common mallow along with young lettuce leaves. What I noticed is that soon after I picked it the mallow wilted quickly.

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I have limited refrigeration as I travel so I put the mallow in a bowl with a bit of water to keep it from wilting too much. I harvested at noon so the noon heat in Idaho in July may have contributed to the wilting. When I took the mallow out later they had absorbed the water and looked perky again.

I harvested the small wheels of fruit which people say look a lot like small wheels of cheese. I foraged the flowers, flower buds, stems and leaves too.
I boiled them for just a few minutes. They were delightful tasting. They could easily substitute or be mixed with spinach either raw or cooked.
I had a very favorable experience foraging Malva neglecta. I hope you do too!

(On a cautionary note here is some information about nitrates:)

http://www.livestrong.com/article/283850-why-is-sodium-nitrate-bad-for-you/

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While learning about foraging and wild edibles and medicinal plants, I really enjoy and appreciate this perspective by Susun Weed:

http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Malvaceae-family.htm

“Let’s focus on the Malvaceae family for a moment. One of my favorite ways of learning — and teaching — about plants is through their families. Each plant family is a group of plants that has the same flower chacteristics. Interestingly enough, the plants in a family frequently have the similar actions and uses. Learning about a plant family, rather than just one plant, not only helps you identify more plants, it gives you an idea of how to use them.”

HEALING PROPERTIES and FOOD USE:

Also according to Susun Weed:

“Virtually all parts of the mallows have been eaten or used as medicine including the fresh leaves, dried leaves, fresh roots, dried roots, and both green and ripe seeds.

The primary effect of most mallows is to soothe and heal mucus surfaces. Overheated respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and urinary systems especially benefit.

The mucilage present in the roots and seeds, and to a lesser degree the leaves, can help ease and heal irritations and infections such as sore throats, acid indigestion, stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, bronchitis, chronic coughs, badder infections, interstitial cystitis, colds, and dry mouth. Some sources find mallow medicine helpful for those with diabetes, painful periods, and lack of menstruation.”

The mallow family includes beautiful, edible, medicinal, and useful plants such as hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, hollyhock, marshmallow, okra, jute, and cotton. (Cotton is not edible)

Susun Weed also describes mallow’s benefits including malva neglecta:

Excellent for “healing and relieving the pain of cuts, scrapes, boils, bruises, swellings, and stings…
I (Susun Weed) especially likes mixing chopped fresh hibiscus or mallow leaves with honey and applying this to my eyelids to relieve tired, sore, dry eyes. Works great as a facial, too!”

I found the following site and cited text very helpful.

http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/plants-c/bio414/species%20pages/malva%20neglecta.htm

“Uses Commonly used as a demulcent or emollient (7). Stems and leaves can be made as a poultice to relive pain and inflammation (7). Tea is pleasant tasting, good for sore throats and tonsillitis(7). Traditionally drunk in New Mexico for facilitation of labor and as a wash for skin irritations in infants (7). The tea can also help indigestion, stomach sensitivity, and can be gargled for cough relief (8). Entire plant has been boiled and eaten esp. used in soups; flowers are more pleasant in taste (2). Flowers are popularly eaten after being pickled (2). Leaves and young fruits have been used in salads (2).”

TRADITIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN USE:

Source: http://montana.plant-life.org/species/malva_neglec.htm

“The Cherokee Indians put the flowers in oil and mixed them with tallow for use on sores. The Iroquois Indians made a compound infusion of plants applied as poultice to swellings of all kinds, and for broken bones. They also applied it to babies’ swollen stomach or sore back. The Mahuna Indians used the plant for painful congestions of the stomach. The Navajo, Ramah Indians made a cold infusion of plants taken and used as a lotion for injuries or swellings. The plant is also an excellent laxative for young children.”

“Other Uses: Cream, yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the plant and the seed heads. The root has been used as a toothbrush.”
(The roots can be untwisted and dried to make a brush.)

http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/flowers/m.html

*Sap from the leaves, called ~mucilage~ can treat bites and stings.
*Mallow makes a weavable fiber…useful fiber

“The flowers were used formerly on May Day by country people for strewing before their doors and weaving into garlands. Musk mallow, was also used to decorate the graves of friends.”

NUTRITIONAL QUALITIES:

According to this Source: http://www.squidoo.com/malva

Mallows contain:
-Vitamin C
-Vitamin A
-Calcium
-Magnesium
-Potassium
-Iron
-Selenium

I have a treasured reference. A book I refer to often and have with me whenever I need to look at something or gain more information about a plant or how or when to forage, etc. This is it.

Edible Wild Plants. North American Field Guide to over 200 Natural Foods. by Thomas S. Elias and Peter A. Dykeman, Sterling Publishing 1982.

Here are guidelines and information from this reference. P. 146

FOOD USES AND PREPARATION:

Eat malva fruits raw
*Boiled root water can be a vegan
Substitute for meringue!
Strain roots also
Sweeten liquid
Boil until thick
Beat and drop spoonfuls on waxed paper and cool to make a candy. Roll in confectioner’s sugar

Fry boiled rootslices in butter
And ch. onion until browned

The whole plant contains mucilagelike material

Leaves can be eaten like spinach raw or cooked

Use in soups as a thickener

Flowers and fruit and seeds are edible
Along with stems, leaves and roots

Flower buds are good pickled and most likely fruit too.

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I hope that you enjoy foraging for Malva neglecta! Common mallow is a commmon wonderful edible and/or medicinal weed! Enjoy!

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Truck Stop Showers. A Room of One’s Own.

Roll down the road.  Negotiate space, cook on a 1 burner coleman stove.  Dodge surefooted frisky companions.  Keep a relationship going amidst huge hurdles of tiredness, fatigue, long days…beautiful scenery, yummy homemade meals, occasional music sessions inside the truck, my blog, lots of good books, some read outloud, sirius music and cd’s from friends, hectic schedules and close calls with haphazard drivers.  How do we maintain space when the charm and cozy nuance can no longer satiate an eventual need for a “room of one’s own?”

The answer:  the truckstop shower.

Follow me and I’ll take you on a virtual tour of the one thing that can sometimes save not only your social sense of self but, that integral holy thing.  Privacy and a room of one’s own.

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And the fork says it all.  Little enjoyments and essentials restore equilibrium and establish privacy in space.

We fueled up…a grotesque ordeal considering the oil industry…but, nonetheless 50 gallons of fuel earns you a shower with co-driver shower.

We’re in like flynn.  Park the truck.  Make sure the animals are comfortable and that the weather is not too forbidding to leave them…or we set the temperature…lock the truck and go in with a few basics to shower.

The key being…we could share a shower but all the sharing we already do…why not get a small 10 by 10 foot room.  I haven’t actually measured it but that feels equivalent.  Perhaps less tall.  Definitely less tall.

But, nonetheless we are on our way.

We’ve been talking a lot about Virginia Woolf lately.  The time traveling and gender bending Orlando. 

Like before and after experiences.  Where you feel completely transformed.

Yes, I was relishing the experience of this small sequestration.  Perhaps a half hour at the most.  As Virginia so rightly knew and could explain.  A room of her own.

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Here is the ticket.  That magic set of numbers.  The time and space lottery set of numbers.  The open sesame if you will of your own individual portal of space.

Here are the accomodations.  Towels provided.  A dispenser of soap that I have relinquished other more costly and cumbersome products…more or less.I am of this tribe.  This wandering collective.  Adept to circumstance and not about to shrug the total experience.

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But, first the magic wand part.  The keypad.  Which often you have to press the prescribed numbers twice.  Then the red light indicates go when it turns to green and you venture inside.

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This is your doorway through.  A private universe of your own experience.  Defoliating the roughness of time’s churn against your body.  A way in and through.

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Any transformation is filled with potential pitfalls and hazards but signs do not necessarily have to be adhered to as precursors of fate.  I venture in.

Roadweary and dazed.  But, not unhappy.  Just temporarily consumed.

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I always lock the door.  Who knows what confused soul may linger into the portal of my room alone.  Sketch factors remain.  I’m locking that possibility out.

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Coffee comes with.  Clean underthings or new set of clothes.  I look around at my prospects and resemble as much as I may ever do…a deer in shower stall lights

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I need to shed some hyper alertness and defoliate as I said the unwanted confines of the day’s wear and tear.  Even amidst foraging bliss.  Even the wildflowers need a good rain.

I’m ready for mine.

This is where my feet get to land.  For a brief stay in this room of mine.  I’ve never been kicked out for staying too long.  But, it’s tempting to negotiate this space through some magical realm and stay longer than ordinary circumstances would normally permit.

But, I have secured the premises from the inside.  And, here my feet have landed and I can stay.

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The alchemical sweetness of being part of earth.  The wonderful access to water.  A sweet enabler of clear transformation.  A joyous exalt into watery realms.
A relief.

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Looks plain and simple.  Yet relief is inherent in this simulated rainfall.  I can claim this transformation herein.  Perhaps on entry I was anticipating the result of entering a whole new world.

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But, overall something deeper and more calm can often satiate.

I can embrace the twilight of a crepuscular event coming in the new dawn. 

I can begin again.

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Full version cited here of Virginia Woolf’s:
“A Room of One’s Own.”

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91r/complete.html

Excerpts from “A Room of One’s Own.”
By Virginia Woolf

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. ” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.