I went out on a hike by myself after the Pancake Hike last Saturday and enjoyed the quiet time in the woods. The woods were so peaceful. Despite the snow we had overnight the wildflowers are doing their best to poke through the ground.
The Trilliums, Trout Lillies, Blue Cohosh and wild Ginger are about to flower, wild leeks are thriving and the Bloodroot is also flowering.
Many wildflowers have medicinal properties. For instance, Bloodroot is used in herbal medicines for broncial problems. Pharmaceuticals mix with other ingredients to treat heart problems, dental plaque and migraines. Made into a paste it's also used externally on warts and tumours. The fluid extract can be used for ringworm and as an insect repellent to name a few.
Wild Ginger, contains Aristolochic Acid - which health Canada says is a toxin which can cause cancer. The plant can be used in making a deodorant, as an antiseptic and insecticide and herbicide. The flowers are said to be poisonous. With cancer producing properties, I'm not so sure I'd want to experiment with this plant.
Tea made from Blue Cohosh is said to induce labour.
Wild Leeks are onion-like plants that grow in the deep woods. The leaves come up in the spring, usually before much of anything else has come up. The flowers only appear after the leaves have mostly died off. The leaves and bulbs are edible. They should only be picked sparingly and when in abundance as they are becoming an endangered plant from over picking.
The Trout Lily - has a green leaf with brown/purplish patches. It has pretty delicate yellow flower. The Trout Lily is said to be both edible and medicinal. They are also emetic - which can make you vomit if you eat too much of them. They are also said to have antibacterial, anti-inflamatory, lymphatic and wound healing properties. It can be used for treating urinary tract conditions, edema, stress-related conditions, such as anxiety, muscle tension and insomnia to name a few.