I loved coming across gumweed growing along the rocky banks of Victoria’s beaches during a walk. The first thing you notice is the sticky resin on your hands when picking just one flower head. You know it must have some interesting qualities!
Researching this flower for more information and to confirm their name, Grindelia squarrosa, I had to smile when finding a well-respected international herbalists description of gumweed that included he found them along the rocky outcrops of Victoria’s beaches here on Vancouver Island!
I imagine that you have seen them on your own walks!
Discovering that they are great with honey in a cough syrup mixture and the organic one I buy is usually $12.00 and up I decided to buy a large jug of honey on sale for $12.00 and make my own! The mason jar I am using would equal four purchased bottles of cough syrup or more.
Imagine reaching for your cough syrup and knowing exactly where the healing ingredients was picked and processed. That the few fingerprints on them are mostly your own!
Within a short time of adding the flowers to the honey it became a rich dark colour and thickened. It continues to thicken as it sits infusing its goodness. Even though I began to dry these flowers for a few days before infusing they are still creating a thick mixture with their resin.
I also decided to create a tincture using vodka which is great for colds, sore throats and coughs!
In Plants of the Rocky Mountains by Ryan Drum, gum from the pounded flower-heads was applied to poison ivy inflammations and taken internally to relieve coughing and congestion. “Extracts from the dried flower-heads and leaves have sedative, antispasmodic and expectorant qualities…[and] are used in modern medications for treating asthma and bronchitis,” the book explains.