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Updated 1:49pm - Aug 20, 2014

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Exploring medicinal plants

Herbalist talks, then leads tour in Tolowa Dunes

Prunella vulgaris can be used to ease the pain of insect bites. Courtesy Wendell Wood
Prunella vulgaris can be used to ease the pain of insect bites. Courtesy Wendell Wood
The Redwood Parks Association and Tolowa Dunes Stewards invite the public to join herbalist Julie Caldwell on a nature walk to explore the historical healing properties and current medicinal uses of native plants, flowers and berries.

The event will be held Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Lake Earl Wildlife Area Information Center, 2591 Old Mill Road, Crescent City.

A short talk at the center will be followed by an easy stroll to identify and learn about the plants and there uses along the way.

Caldwell is an herbalist, flower essence practitioner and owner of Humboldt Herbals in Old Town Eureka since 1997. She shares her love and knowledge of medicinal plants through workshops and classes.

She said she seeks “to empower others with information about the healing properties of flowers, roots, barks, and berries, so that they can incorporate the gifts derived from plants into their daily life.”

More than 400 species of native plants have been identified in Tolowa Dunes State Park and the Lake Earl Wildlife Area, which is the ancestral territory of the Tolowa Indians. Until recent times, native plants provided the only direct source of medicine for ailments.

Many species — such as the bark and leaves of willow, which contain salicin the main ingredient used in aspirin — continue to be utilized today in science and medicine.

 


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