Wildcrafting: Cascade Oregon Grape Root
It’s October! 🍁🍂🌗🎃🌿 My tiny witch asked if we could make some medicine and we happened to be walking past some Cascade Oregon Grape in the driveway. Very abundant in this area and the roots are a potent medicinal. Oregon grape root contains Berberine (as evidenced by the bright yellow color of the root flesh), widely known as an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic it has also been studied in recent years for its anti-inflammatory properties and effectiveness in treating type 2 diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, and cancer. Oregon grape root is also a bitter that supports the digestive system. One of my favorite things about this plant is that once you harvest the root and rhizome you can replant the crown. Happy Fall y’all!
When you harvest Cascade Oregon Grape, find a rhizome that when you gently tug on it, it starts to come up. Pull on the rhizome until it comes all the way out of the ground or until it breaks. It can be harvested from mid-spring through mid-autumn. Cascade Oregon Grape grows abundantly in large stands in the shady woods of the Pacific Northwest. It is easy to identify by it’s spiny leaves and dusty blue berries (when fruiting) and when the inner meat of the root is exposed it is bright yellow in color.
Remove root from crown and replant the crown of the plant
Wash roots and chop into 1/4” to 1/2” rounds (you may need pruning shears for this)
Fill your jar with 1 part fresh, chopped root and 2 parts menstruum (75% alcohol, 25% distilled water)
Allow to macerate for 4 weeks, shaking occasionally.
To stimulate the liver or as a digestive bitter take 15-40 drops 3 times a day (15 minutes before meals)