List of plants, alphabetical by common name:
There are over 25 species of aster in the Midwest. All asters have flowered heads composed of numerous ray flowers surrounding a central disk flower that is almost always yellow in color.
- Epilepsy, spasms
- Nosebleeds, wounds
- Poison ivy rashes
- Diarrhea and fever
Arctium minus; A. lappa
Burdock is a biennial plant, that in its first season appears only as a low-lying herb and then in its second season forms a branching stem that reaches 3-5 feet. Composite flowers appear in the middle of the second season on the stem and branches. During autumn, the flowerhead eventually forms the infamous dry, brown burrs.
- Skin conditions
- Whooping cough
- Digestion and constipation
Chickweed is a small- to medium-sized annual or perennial plant with white starlike flowers. It is often found growing in clumps or mats. All chickweed have white flowers with five sepals and five petals. Chickweed’s fruits are oval-shaped, bump-covered capsules.
- Ulcers, arthritis, rheumatism, and gout
- Urinary-tract inflammation
- Inflamed, sore eyes
- Arthritic joints, hemorrhoids, sores, and rashes
- Wounds, cuts, and scrapes
- Coughs, bronchitis, and hoarseness
Columbine is a native perennial plant, growing 1-3 feet tall. The long-stalked leaves reach a length of 4-6 inches. They are compound, being divided into three leaflets and then subdivided into three more. The blossoms give the appearance of drooping bells, growing 1-2 inches long, and are composed of five petals that are yellow and red in color.
- Kidney problems
- Stomach/bowel problems, diarrhea, abdominal pain
- To control hair lice infestation
Milkweed is a native perennial plant. It has opposite, oblong, and smooth leaves. Lilac-colored flowers are arranged in dense umbels on the upper one-third of the plant. The fruits are large pods that grow to 5 inches. They split open along one side, revealing silky seeds which are then scattered by the wind.
- Athlete’s foot
- Cough and asthma
- Dropsy and Rheumatism
Mimulus ringens; M. glabratus
Monkey-Flower reaches a height of 1-4 feet. Purplish blossoms are found on stalks growing from the leaf axils. The corolla structure of the flowers gives the plant its common name because it gives an impression of a monkey’s face.
- Bites, cuts, and scratches
- Stomach discomforts
- Urinary problems
Motherwort is a sparsely branched, perennial herb, growing 2-4 feet tall. As a member of the mint family, it has a square stem and opposite leaves. Unlike other mints, motherwort lacks a “minty” scent. Lilac to pale-lavender flowers occur in spiny clusters; each flower is two-lipped, with a fuzzy upper lip.
- Menstrual pains
- Nerve pain (as it occurs in sciatica and shingles), nervousness and anxiety
- Menopausal hot flashes, palpitations, hyperthyroidism, tachycardia
- Cardiac debility, heart attacks, strokes
Plantain is a perennial herb growing 4-20 inches. The herb starts as a basal cluster of bright-green, spade-like leaves that are smooth-edged, finely haired, and blatantly veined in a parallel fashion. The greenish-white flowers are arranged at the top portion of the stalk. In autumn the flowers transform into fruits, each bearing 12-18 seeds.
- Sores/ulcers, bleeding
- Diarrhea, dysentery
- Colitis, gastric inflammation
- Aching teeth, tooth cavities, inflamed gums or mouth
- Sore eyes and eye infections
- Bruising, swelling, cuts (including infected cuts), bites, stings, and poison-ivy rash
- Gout and rheumatism
- Coughs, sinus problems, chronic bronchitis
Puslane is an annual weed with a sprawling or a trailing inclination. The inch-long leaves are teardrop-shaped to paddle-shaped. The small, yellow flowers each possess five petals and only open on sunny mornings.
- Bee stings, sores, swellings, and snakebites
- Burns and bruises
- Asthma and heart disease
- Diabetic nephropathy
- Hookworm infestation
Shepherd’s Purse is an annual weed growing 4-20 inches tall. The flowers are small and white, with six stamens and four petals arranged as a cross. Triangular, two-parted seed pods, measuring 5-8 millimeters long, inspired the plant’s common name as they resemble the purses of medieval shepherds.
- Bleeding and wounds, nosebleeds
- Children’s bedwetting
- Postpartum hemorrhaging
- Stress-induced ulcers, cramps
- Gout, rheumatic joints
Smartweeds are annual and perennial species with branched stems, flowers arranged in terminal spikes, an acrid juice, and a preference for damp ground. A number of species exist in the Midwest.
- Hemorrhages (uterine, oral)
- Diarrhea, dysentery
- Kidney problems, painful urination
- Dropsy, gout, rheumatism
- Swelling, joint pain, sore muscles, bruises, and sprains
- Respiratory problems, coughs, cold, fever
Sunflowers are all annual or perennial plants with form and upright stems, composite flowers consisting of a disk flower with 10-25 yellow ray flowers, and dark-green leaves that are serrated. A large variety exist throughout the USA and Canada, with a dozen or more in the Midwest.
- Pulmonary troubles, whooping cough, bronchitis, sore throat, tuberculosis
- Malaria, fever
- Bruises, contusions, sores, swelling
- Rheumatism, gout
- Heart problems, kidney and bladder ailments
Violets are perennial herb with over 20 species growing in the midwest. All have blossoms with five septal, five stamen, and five petals, and noticeable veins.
- Colds, bronchitis, sore throat, whooping cough, and chronic cough
- Inflamed gums, fever, headache
- Bladder pain, rheumatism, gout, swollen lymph nodes, boils, and pimples
- Sore eyes, painful swelling
- Restlessness, insomnia
Wild Bergamot is a perennial mint that reaches a height of 1-4 feet. The leaves are opposite, lanceolate in shape, and coarsely toothed. They grow to 3 inches long and spring from short stalks. Many lavender, tubular, inch-long flowers appear clustered into dense, rounded heads at the ends of the sems. The entire plant is permeated with powerful, perfume-like scent.
- Gastro-intestinal pain, stomach cramps
- Fever, colds, chills, headaches
- Chronic rheumatism, deafness, paralysis, typhus
- Burns, scalds, insect stings and bites
- Congestion and respiratory problems
- Pimples, skin eruptions, swollen lymph nodes
Wild Geranium is a native perennial, 1-2 feet in height with a hairy and branched stem. It has both basal leaves and stem leaves. 2 to 10 rose- to violet-colored flowers appear in a loose corymb at the tip of the stems, just above the uppermost set of paired leaves. They are 1-2 inches across and possessed of five petals, ten stamens, and a long pistil that develops into a slender, beaked, five-chambered seed pod.
- Diarrhea, hemorrhoid
- Canker sores, aching or infected teeth, infected gums
- Ulcers, bleeding wounds
Wild Strawberry is a 3-6 inch tall perennial herb. The dark-green leaves are wholly basal and are divided into 3 coarsely-toothed, broadly-elliptical leaflets, each growing 1-1 ½ inches long. The flowers each possess five rounded petals, five sepal, and five bracts. The fruits consist of small, dark, hard achenes embedded in a red, fleshy, top-shaped receptacle–a berry.
- Fevers, sunburn, anemia
- Colds, rheumatism, gout
- Bladder, kidney, and urethral problems
- Gonorrhea and irregular menstruation
- Jaundice, poor appetite, and dyspepsia
- Sore gums, sore throat, and diarrhea
- Stomach cramps, stomach ache, infant colic
- Sores and burns