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Leaf differences 2.

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Elementary botany, series A.

The leaves of tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), silverweed (Potentilla anserina), valerian (Valeriana officinalis), and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) are quite different from one another. Check it out for yourself:
Pic: Leaves 1-3 - which is which?
Pic: Leaves 3-5 - which is which?
And no, they're not in the mentioned order.

The tansy is a wormer, but wormers are always dicey; I use the flowers, dried in small bundles, to keep moths out of the linen cupboard. They do make very pretty dried flowers.

I use lots of meadowsweet, both to soothe gut upsets and similar, and in salves, for pain. A nice hot tea (if made too strong it'll taste ghastly) will make you sweat, which makes it a good idea if you're down with the flu, but it also takes away the muscle aches the flu brought you, so unless you take that into account your flu might be prolonged because you jump out of bed too soon.

The silverweed is a Potentilla, and as such can be used like the Agrimonias. I use the leaf of either to give courage. It's also a simple rose family astringent, and can be used to dilute too strong tastes in tea blends.

The valerian is nice for most (but not all) insomniacs. Usually you use the dried root, because few know that the aboveground parts also work, even if they're weaker. Fresh is also usable, if weaker than dried. If you're an insomniac you can give valerian a shot, but if you're a habitual insomniac do something about the cause(s) of your insomnia, don't dose the symptom.

Rowan leaves make an excellent tea, especially if fermented. It's usually # 2 in blind taste tests, right behind (unfermented) black currant leaf.

Update: The leaves are 1) meadowsweet, 2) potentilla, 3) tansy, 4) rowan, 5) valerian.



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