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Plant-based Medicine of the Southwest

Wednesday Wellness Video Blog Transcript

Video Timestamp: 00:10:52

It was a fun trip, a friend of mine and I had in the Southwest of Utah, Colorado. We went to Arches National Park and also Canyon Lands National Park in Southern Utah, around Moab. And then also as that picture shows, we went to Mesa Verde National Park, which is in Southern Colorado. Wonderful time, great weather. It was just great to get out and get a lot of exercise. See some wonderful scenery as you’re going to see here . And we’re going to talk about some plants, the medicinal use of plants.

God’s creation. Look at that beautiful picture. Look at those mountains with some snow and just, wow. I mean, there’s a God right? Now, even more look at the beautiful dessert. Temperatures are about in the seventies and the forties at night, it got colder at night. We slept out three nights and sleeping bags and it was cold. The other two nights, we got places to stay because it got a little bit cold, but it was fun.

South Dakota loves God. That’s how we roll. We brought that to Utah, beautiful country, beautiful country. We were blessed to be able to do this. We walked anywhere from 12 miles to miles on each and every given days, it was just a lot of fun, a lot of fun, a lot of good energy, a lot of good laughs and a lot of good exercise. And the five pillars of wellness, we really hit them hard. Because we’re walking a lot. That’s what the third pillar, exercise. First pillar is water so we drink a lot of water. We carried a lot of water. The second we ate, well, we had some good food, nourish our bodies again. The third pillar we walk, we exercise. The fourth, boy, we were tuckered out. We slept well, we prayed, we meditated. We did some yoga, which you’ll see. And we were all full of love and forgiveness and kindness.

Prickly Pear

First plant we’re going to talk about is something called prickly pear. Now this grows to the South Dakota as well. And as you can see, there’s a lot of little spines on that, which are called glochids and they are pokey. And so you can eat this. You can just peel back the outer covering. And it’s juicy.

And a lot of animals, and if you’re out in the desert and you didn’t have any water, there’s a lot of water content in those. So you just peel it back, remove the spines in the skin and it’s edible. You can eat it raw, you could cook it. It kind of tastes like pomegranates. I had them years ago, but I don’t really remember that taste. But it’s found, like I said, out in the South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and certainly in the desert south.

So here’s a good picture of what prickly pear looks like. And here’s another picture of the prickly pear and just beautiful scenery there. And there’s, what’s called Ephedra or Mormon tea behind that prickly pear. And we’ll talk about that here in a few different slides.

Prickly Pear

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Paintbrush

All right, this is paintbrush. Look how beautiful it is. And the reason it’s called that, the native people would be actually be able to use the flowers and it comes in different colors. This happens to be red and that they could use that and actually stain rocks. And that’s why I was called paintbrush. And it’s edible, the flowers are edible. And people pick those and you can use as a snack on the trail on hiking. You could put them in salad as a little garnish. A lot of medicinal properties, especially because it’s anti-inflammatory. Has high in selenium. Selenium is important, which used in people with thyroid problems, people that have a big prostates, that’s what BPH is in the males and also in cancer. And so selenium is important. Too much obviously can be a problem, but in small amounts through these flowers, since it’s high in selenium, it really does have a lot of medicinal purpose. It’s in a beautiful plant. It just really catches the eye.

And so this paintbrush is from Alaska to the Rocky mountain west. So there’s some beautiful pictures here of some of the rock formations that we were witnessing on our hikes and stuff. But that paint brush can be anywhere from Alaska into the mountain west.

Paintbrush

Winterfat

The next plant is called Winterfat and it really doesn’t show real well here. You can see some green that’s starting in it. But it’s ubiquitous. It’s everywhere in the desert. And that’s a real favorite amongst the livestock in a wild game, because they like to eat this because of its high protein content. And the native people and people even today use it to treat fever and to wash their hair.

Now, if you look on the rock on the right side of the picture. You see a little lizard. He’s on the top of the rock there. He’s the same color. So he’s kind of hard to see his camouflaged in. Okay. So that’s Winter Fat and that’s a shrub.

Winterfat

Junipers

This junipers, they’re everywhere. And I tell you junipers can grow up to 20 feet, maybe even higher. And they have a green fruit. The females of the fruit will turn to be a blue color. And this fruit, this Berry is used a lot in making the alcohol gin. I didn’t know that. And so that’s something kind of interesting.

There’s lots of teas. It could be made from the fruit and the leaves. It’s a kind of a diuretic which promotes water loss. And it’s also a treatment for urinary tract infections. And so we took pictures of a lot of these plants that have the signs by him at one of the visitor centers outside of Arches just so it gives us an idea, and so we could remember actually all the different particulars of this specific plant. And so that’s the Juniper tree.

Junipers

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Yucca

Yucca. And Yucca is a kind of a thorny plant in terms of long and pointy. The green to yellow cream flowers. And I’m going to show you a picture of a flower of it and the beautiful picture and how big these can get. And they’re pollinated by their own moth the Yucca moth. That’s just kind of interesting. And you can see how they could be used in basketry and lot of mats were made back in the day and people would sleep on the mats made out of Yucca.

And also they have anti-inflammatory properties as well as they can help with indigestion and digestive problems. And so here’s a big picture of Yucca. Look how big that is. Now that’s out of a magazine. But look at that big yellow flowers. In South Dakota around may, June timeframe, oh, there they’re beautiful. The flowers and the cattle and the deer and the animals. Wildlife really loved those flowers, they’re full of nutrients. So that’s a real big Yucca plant. That looks like that one’s doing well.

Yucca

Mormon Tea (Ephedra)

Now we’re in Utah. Utah has a lot of mormons. The Jesus Christ of latter day saints, LDS. And so this is a Ephedra, and not to be confused with ephedrine. It doesn’t have Ephedra in it, which is an unsafe stimulant. But this is called Mormon Tea, and it’s everywhere. And it does have a nice flower on it as well. But we were there a little bit too early to witness that. And it’s used a lot in detoxes for our common, cold and upper respiratory infection. And also they claim it has medicinal use in sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and syphilis. This is a beautiful plant and we found it everywhere.

Mormon Tea

Prince's Plume

The next plant is princess plume. Has some yellow flowers and you can just see, it looks beautiful. The animals won’t touch it because they know it’s high in selenium. Too much selenium is not a good thing. And so not recommended to eat that plant. So it’s nice to just show you a variety of different plants.

Prince's Plume

Pinon Pine

Now here’s a picture of us getting into the Mesa Verde National Park in Southern Colorado. And this is Pinon Pine. Pinion pine, you can see it’s over on the right-hand side of the screen. There’s the Yucca on the bottom and there’s actually Juniper to the left. And there are everywhere as well, and they can get pretty sick.

And many uses for the Pinon Pines. Sap or gum, that’s effective for coughs and sore throats. And also to help infections and antiseptic poultice, especially for open wounds. And it helps heal. That sap kind of brings the cuts and stuff together and seals it. And it kind of acts as a barrier. Sometimes people use them as a laxative. That could be heated and treat for cuts, bites, burns and boils. The Pinon pine nuts, the squirrels go nuts over them. Okay. And they’re very good. It takes a lot of work to get them, and they’re very high in potassium and protein and saturated fat. So they’re, they’re very well searched out for by the animals because of their nutritional value. And they also have a lot of fiber and iron and magnesium.

Pinon Pine

Motion is a lotion

Now we had some time to that third pillar of wellness. That motion is a lotion to get out there and do some yoga, as you can see, right where your one or your two and then the warrior three, right? Yeah. Yeah, what a beautiful backdrop that is, isn’t it? It was gorgeous to be able to, on those big rocks shells, just to exercise and beautiful scenery and pictures and wow, God, your creation is beautiful. And so thank you for that, Lord. We’re just blessed.

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Plant-Based Medicine of the Southwest