I have learned an important lesson today. Because I am still in my learning phase as a junior student of herbal medicine, it is important to be humble, cautious, and have a no risk policy. Because I do not know all the herbs and do not want to get sick, I investigate everything that grows outside our house.
Today I learned that these cute yellow flowers are extremely toxic for humans and animals. (not the big one on the picture, but the little ones) Apparently, horses have severe liver damage when they eat this herb by accident. In Latin the herb is called Jacobea Vulgaris.
I did not know all of this: Growing up in the city and being a newbie in this whole herb world. I almost accidentally used the herb today in a tea mixture. Thankfully, I always search what kind of herb I have in my hands.
(the upper yellow flower is a dandelion, the yellow flowers underneath are the ragwort flowers)
This is the reason why it is so important to know what you are doing, and to be very careful when you decide to try herbs. Herbs and herbalism can be a strong powerful helping medicine for your health. But, it can also damage your health. You need to know what you are doing. Especially, when you are pregnant, weak because of an illness or healthy and you want to keep it that way🙂
To me it was a precious gift today. I have the tendecy to not follow the course order and just try a little. Learning by doing is more my way of learning new things. And this was a nice lesson🙂
The good thing of this all, is that
I also saw that I am able to see what kind of herb I have in front of me. I thought it was a composite family plant. And it was. The roots showed me that it was a two year plant. The little ray flowers showed me there was no pistil on it. So they were ‘fake’ flower parts. The disc flowers looked weird too. It was then when I hesitated. I thought: “We have discussed all the composite family plants in class. I do not know this one.” Thanks to the internet I discovered it was the ragwort. It grows until October. That was why I was drawn to it. All the flowers, except for some chamomile, are gone in front of our house. Except for this one. So I was curious to see what it was. Well, now I know🙂
Big lesson: Do not use it🙂 And watch your hands while picking herbs when you see this one.
For more information about the ragwort and the risks: http://www.ragwort.org.uk/
More information about plant structure: