Angela’s Herb Walk

in Montano de Oro
in Montano de Oro

I like walking. I love walking with a purpose. Today I am taking you along on Angela’s Herb Walk. We start at Coon’s Creek Trail in Montano de Oro State Park in Central California. We don’t even leave the parking lot before Angela, a wonderfully skilled herbalist, points out horehound growing from under a bench.

Parking lot horehound
Parking lot horehound

Angela describes the medicinal value of horehound and gives some caution about how to use it. Not even out of the parking lot, and we’re already stepping on nature’s bounty.

cool, dry beauty
cool, dry beauty

The area is dry from lack of rainfall, but the day is fresh and cool.

Coon Creek Trail
Coon Creek Trail

Every few feet along the path, we stop and touch-smell-even taste the herbs.

Wild, and flowering
Wild, and flowering

And admire the wildflowers.

even ladybugs like it
even ladybugs like it

I find out my favorite herb is Mugwort. Mugwort? Yes, it’s fresh and clean tasting. Angela says it would make a good tea. She says a lot more, but I am concentrating on the zest and the springtime aroma.

We see this

green goodness
green goodness

 

and Angela gives it a name – horse tail – and explains how its high mineral content helps keep hair, nails, skin healthy.

 

We see this. Nettles. Our guide tells us that if you can pick just one herbal remedy

best herb on the planet
best herb on the planet

 

 

 

 

for what ails you, use nettles. Just be careful of the powerful sting of its tiny prickles. Fold the top of the leaf over the stings and you can chow down on a vitamin factory.

And the good herb,

yerba buena
yerba buena

 

 

yerba buena, which tastes sweet and calming. A member of the mint family, it is a helpful pain reliever.

There are so many more plants she introduces. I am amazed at what is in my backyard, available for everyone, if we only walk with Angela and learn what is around us.