Friday, July 07, 2006

I have been trying to grow Grindelia for several years. Last year we missed the boat but it in the ground too late, it grew just a couple more inches before the frost came. Luckily we had a really mild winter and in the spring when I went out to see who had survived I was soooo excited to see that the Grindelia was coming back! It is about to burst into bloom, all 12 plants. I cannot wait.

I still remember the first time I met Grindelia, Kate Gilday introduced us as part of a plant meditation experience up at her place in the foothills of the Adirondacks. If you get a chance I fully recommend taking workshops with Kate and Don up at Woodland Essence. ( On a side note they’ll also be teaching at the Green Nations Gathering this year help in September up at Rowe Camp and Conference Center. (

Back to Grindelia. Right away I noticed how sticky she was. Next came her scent- a mild camphorous one- Respiratory system I thought? .

She is in the Compositae family. Other common names include Gum Plant, Gum Weed, Tar Weed. To make medicine you will need the aerial parts are collected before the flower open and are dried as soon as possible in the sun. She has an affinity for the Respiratory System, the Cardio Vascular System and the Integumentary (skin).

Common uses include:

-Bronchial spasm in asthma, asthmatic bronchitis (Mills),(Hoffmann)
-Nervous irritable dry cough (Mills)
-When conditions are associated with tachycardia (Mills)
-Whooping cough (Hoffmann)
-Upper respiratory catarrh (Hoffmann)
-High blood pressure (Hoffmann)
-As a lotion to treat dermatitis caused by poison ivy (Hoffmann)

Externally, a lotion/salve containing Grindelia can be used in the dermatitis caused by poison ivy. Ellingwood considered it a specific for "asthmatic breathing." In addition, he recommends Grindelia for the following pathologies: bronchial coughs, irregular heartbeat associated with chronic coughs, and hay fever.

A great plant for the coming season- Ragweed allergies and end of summer coughs. Come the end of summer, our immune systems often fail to function at their full capacity. Changes in the weather can confuse your body into believing that it should be hibernating during the winter months, and as a result everything in the body starts to slow down in preparation, including your immune system - which leaves you more vulnerable to developing an infection.

Grindelia can be taken as a tea or as a tincture, Please see an herbalist or specific indications and doseages,

(References include Simon Mills, David Hoffman)

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