Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. ~Isaiah 58:8
A herald of spring, it covers the dry sunny hillsides. Its bright sunflower-like complexion spreads the joyful message that the winter is indeed past. The Arrow-leafed Balsamroot flower has once again sprung to life.
To some, this is nothing more than a wildflower, a welcome sight in April & May that quickly fades as the sun turns on the heat! But this important little spring champion is chalk full of uses.
It provides good healthy feeding for the creatures that need them, cattle, sheep, and other big wild game. The flowers are especially palatable, but all portions of the plant except the coarser stalks are eaten. Horses are especially fond of the flowers. They will increase when grazed by cattle, but decrease when grazed by sheep or deer on winter ranges. (I guess they grind them down a little too much)
Traditionally the native peoples had many many uses for this handy little flower. This plant is and was used for numerous things because most of the plant is edible and high in fibre and energy content. And it could be used for healing a variety of things. The natives boiled roots, stems, and leaves, and drank the decoction for stomach pains and headaches; they also steamed the plant and inhaled the vapors for the same purposes. The roots contain an immune-stimulating substance and a sap used for disinfectant. The roots were often burned, using the smoke to cure headaches or fumigate rooms. Ripe seeds were pounded into flour. The fleshy, edible roots were often eaten raw or boiled. It is said that the balsamroot is one of the most versatile food plants used by indigenous people in the interior of British Columbia.
Modern medicine has come a long way in its capabilities of healing. But there is still a lot to be said for traditional natural healing methods used by those who went before us. Including the waste not, want not approach to things.
A cheery flower like the balsamroot can do a lot more than physical healing. For those who suffer from seasonal depression or those that are just have a sad day or time in their lives, a bright yellow flower can heal the soul. It can bring forth hope that the winter of our lives is passing behind us & the joy & warmth of Spring is before us. It can bring a smile, a happy memory and a moment of peace just by gazing at a hillside in bloom...and you don't even have to eat its roots to find this healing!
**Sorry to have disappeared for a few days over Easter weekend friends. It was an important & busy weekend away from the computer. I hope & trust you had a great & blessed Easter weekend! I hope to catch up with you all soon.**