Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
Pearly Everlasting, is a perennial herb found in the landscapes of North America. Known for its charming, small, white flowers that resemble pearls, this herb doesn’t get the love that some of the more “common” herbs do and I would like to change that.
Pearly Everlasting thrives in a variety of habitats, flaunting its cluster of pearly white flowers atop slender, elongated stems. Its leaves are narrow, with a slightly woolly texture, adding to its unique appearance. The plant typically blooms from late summer to fall, bringing a touch of elegance to the fading warmth of the season. Here on the farm, I have sussed out the few locations where Pearly Everlasting grows and every year I pick enough for one jar of dried herb and one of tincture. (I tincture using 80 Proof Vodka)
For generations, Native American tribes have turned to Pearly Everlasting for its healing virtues. The leaves and flowers, either brewed into a calming tea or used in steam baths, were a traditional remedy for colds, fevers, and respiratory issues. The tea was particularly noted for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities, providing relief from sore throats and pain.
Beyond its medicinal uses, Pearly Everlasting played a role in various cultural rituals. Its presence in sweat lodges, for instance, was not just for its aroma but for the perceived health benefits it brought. The plant’s lasting and attractive flowers also made it a favorite for dried flower arrangements, showcasing its enduring beauty.
Contemporary Herbal Use:
This versatile herb shines in fall and spring for its effectiveness against sinus congestion from colds or allergies. Whether used in teas or steams, it helps clear airways and control mucus discharge. It’s also beneficial for wet coughs, throat irritation, and the aches associated with colds and flu. Historically, it was even used as a herbal smoke for serious respiratory issues like bronchitis.
Pearly everlasting aids in easing stiff, rheumatic joints, potentially offering relief to those with rheumatoid arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory qualities are enhanced when used with moist heat.
Digestively, it addresses issues like excessive stomach mucus, ulcers, food poisoning, and diarrhea, thanks to its cooling and astringent properties.
For wound care, it’s an asset too. As an astringent antiseptic, pearly everlasting promotes quick, clean healing of wounds, boils, and blisters, speeding up recovery and reducing size.
This lovely herb is so much more than a filler for a flower bouquet. It’s one of my favorite Maine herbs to work with.
Do you have a question you would like Amy to answer? Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
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