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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anyone else here interested in the study of ethnobotany, which is how people of a particular culture use and interact with the botanical environment?

I got interested in it while doing a botany minor in undergrad school, and now I am going to do a master's degree and would like to focus in that area, so it would be cool to meet other people who also study this kind of stuff.

I have eaten wild foods before (cattail shoots are delicious in the spring) and made jewellery from wolf willow seeds.(Elaeagnus commutata)
 

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Yes I'm into this stuff!!

I always check out every plant / vegetable, where it originates from, etc. Sometimes you find really amazing stuff. You wonder how people found out about the uses of a plant. Like vanilla. It takes months to get vanilla flavor out of the pods...

The plant side is amazing too. Why / how did marijuana start to produce THC - this complex molecule which fits exactly some receptors in our brains? Was protecting the plant the reason? Or was it so that we propagate it?

I read a book some while ago called "Why we get sick: Darwinian Medicine". The authors have some ethnobotany stuff in there and also recommend a few books. But I have not yet gotten around to read them.
 

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Sounds interesting! I probably wouldn't study it on my own (although I do know a little bit about medicinal herbs) but if a discussion gets going here I;ll be sure to follow it..
 

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Yes, I find the whole concept fascinating. As a kid my dad used to take us on nature hikes and tell us about the various native flora, and the interest stayed with me as I grew up. I read a lot about herbalism and healing foods, and use them in conjunction with - but more often than - western remedies. I'm even going back to school to study biochemistry and considering a focus in botany.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok, so what ecozone do you all live in? What kind of flora do you spend time in? I live in southern Manitoba, which is prairie, although I'm hard pressed to find much natural prairie left. I work in a park, however, and it is prairie/aspen parkland. There are also unique sandhills in the park so we have some desert like plants.

I am interested to learn what kind of plants you guys have used, straight from nature.

eg. I use spotted touch-me-not flowers to soothe poison ivy.

I also picked chokecherries for wine

I eat cattails often, and chew aspen leaves to spread on wasp stings

We also have wild strawberries, hazelnuts, high-bush cranberries, saskatoons, and even a rare bunchberry plant in my park.
 

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I live in a subtropical area, I'm not sure what zone it is, but bushland... I haven't used anything straight from nature as I mostly get out in the national parks where you can't take anything.
 

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Well, I live in California, so I have an overwhelming abundance of plants practically right at my door. There are some that I won't take wild though, because their numbers are threatened enough as it is. And I live in a fairly urban area, so I have to be careful about contamination.

But some of my favorites are chamomile, fennel, wild mustard, wild oats, yarrow, wild radish, blackberries, clover, nettle, dandelion (my favorite), miners lettuce, redwood sorrel, and redwoods (leaf tips high in vitamin C).
 
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