O, CANADA! OUR HOME & NATIVE PLANTS!
As part of our celebration for Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, we’re focusing on some of the amazing indigenous plants that we use in our products here at Matter Company. This three-part series breaks the country down into major regions, taking a closer look at the botanicals each one has to offer. First stop: Matter’s own home zone, Central Canada.
FIELD GUIDE: CENTRAL
Provinces: Ontario, Quebec
This most populous area in Canada hosts four of the Great Lakes, the Canadian Shield, and the mighty St. Lawrence River. Vegetation consists of mixed forests which provide most of Canada’s springtime maple syrup crop. Deciduous forest lies to the south, and Boreal to the north.
Central Canada enjoys four very distinct seasons, having warm to occasionally hot and humid summers, and often very cold and snowy winters. The sun shines brightly on a summer day, and most winter days are sunny as well. Daytime summer temperatures can rise to 35°C and higher, while lows of -25°C are not uncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and fall.
When walking in the woods you’ll find…
Where found: waste places, edges of forests.
Uses: Traditionally used topically for blisters, sores, swellings, insect stings, and to help reduce heat and pain of inflammation.
St. Johns Wort (indigenous):
Where found: edges of roads, fields.
Uses: Well-established aid for mild to moderate forms of depression. An oil infused with fresh flowers is helpful externally (especially for dealing with nerve tissue) for sores, cuts, wounds, bruises, and any form of inflammation of the skin.
Where found: moist soils, waste places.
Uses: Traditionally, nettle-leaf tea is used as a blood purifier and builder, diuretic, and astringent. Nettle is one of the most nutritive herbs, containing high amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin C, and chlorophyll. It supports the whole body. Externally, it is helpful for childhood eczema and skin issues.
Up Next…Western Canada