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OUR HOME & NATIVE PLANTS: EAST COAST

FIELD GUIDE: EAST COAST

PROVINCES: NEW BRUNSWICK, NOVA SCOTIA,  NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Region / Habitat: This ecozone harbours a rich, varied array of natural vegetation, with coniferous and deciduous trees throughout the terrain. Mixed forest blankets Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, while the Taiga and Boreal forests cover Newfoundland and Labrador. Mosses and stout, hardy shrubs dot the cooler coastlines, and in summer, wildflowers and berries abound. The landscape is hugely diverse, encompassing the Appalachian Mountains, lush, fertile valleys, glacial fjords, expansive barrens, and rugged rock formations, some of which are among the oldest in the world.

Climate: The stormiest region in Canada, the climate of the east coast provinces is mainly influenced by the proximity of the mighty Atlantic Ocean, which creates a moderating effect due to the slower heating and cooling of water compared to that of land mass. Winters generally see heavy snowfall, but temperatures remain mild, averaging -4°C. Summers are moderate, with an average of 18°C.

When walking on the coast you’ll find…

Rose (indigenous):

Where found:  seaside, sand dunes, often in large thickets.

Uses: The fruit of the rose (the rose hip) provides one of the best natural sources of vitamin C.  Rose hips kick start the body’s first defense against colds and flus, and they make an excellent spring tonic to help combat exhaustion and general debility. Its strong anti-oxidant properties protect the skin from cell damage and help to heal wounds and scarring. The petals can be used in many preparations, including oils, water confectionery, and potpourri. They are wonderfully emollient, anti-inflammatory, and soothing to the skin.

Products:  Substance Sitz Bath, Substance Mom To Be Tea, Matter Body Cream, Matter Body Butter, Matter Sugar Scrub, Matter Himalayan Salts, Matter Anti-Oxidant Face Creme, Matter Rosehip Seed Oil, Clay mask

Nettle: (naturalized)

Where Found:  Waste places, moist soils, edges of forests.

Uses: This commonly known plant is best known for its sting; however, nettle is one of the most nutritive herbs to help strengthen and support the whole body. Rich in calcium, iron, vitamins and trace minerals, it is considered to be one of the best-known tonics for women throughout pregnancy and post-delivery, helping increase milk flow and building mother’s energy after child birth. Externally, nettle is specific for childhood eczema and beneficial for all varieties of skin conditions.

Products:  Substance Mom to Be Tea, Substance New Mom Tea, Substance Lip & Cheek, Substance Baby Body Foam, Matter Anti-oxidant Face Creme

Mint: (indigenous)

Where Found:  Damp soil

Uses: Indigenous peoples would use the leaves in tea for colds, flus, and coughs. Packed around an aching tooth, it would relieve pain and inflammation. It is one of the best-known aids for digestion by relaxing stomach muscles and stimulating digestive juices. Throughout pregnancy, it is a great ally for relieving nausea and heartburn. The menthol in peppermint is valuable for reducing fevers and supporting the respiratory system, treating migraine headaches, painful periods, and for relieving itching and inflammation of the skin.

Products:  Substance Cooling Spray for Mom, Matter Lip Balm, BWH Eucalyptus Body Oil

Cleavers: (naturalized)

Where Found:  Thickets

Uses: Traditionally used as a blood purifier, cleavers is a very valuable plant for the lymphatic system. It is thus useful for skin conditions, especially for dry conditions like psoriasis. Taken as a tea or juice, it has been traditionally used in treatments to reduce ulcers and tumors.

Products:  Bodywash/ Shampoo

Next Up… Northern Canada