These are images of some of the medicinal plants encountered in the Sedona area during our plant walks and especially as part of the Foundations of Herbal Medicine course.
The berries have a tangy sourness to them and are high in Vitamin C. The berries can also be added to water to make a lemony flavored drink, hence the common name: Lemonade Bush.
The resin of pinon pine trees (Pinus edulis) is regionally famous for the exquisite and aromatic topical salve it makes. Detailed recipe making information is available here.
Prickly pear fruit (Opuntia spp.) are commonly harvested in late summer. My favorite way to prepare these is to add a bit of water to them in a blender, liquefy everything, strain out the seeds, needles and glochids and turn the remaining juice into ice cubes. They can easily be added to drinks and smoothies as needed.
Mesquite pods are harvested in late summer at this elevation. They are an extremely useful food that is both delicious and nutritious and gaining favor with the many folks who are embracing the wild foods movement.
Desert Barberry (Berberis spp.) is often found growing near juniper and Arizona cypress. Its effect on bacteria and fungus is often attributed to the berberine alkaloids in the bark of the root. Barberry is a long used and well trusted bitter for both digestion and the liver.
[hr]In the foreground is an ancient juniper tree, long twisted from the winds and weather. The oil from freshly cut juniper wood and freshly picked berries and foliage has a light, invigorating quality to it. This plant has a long tradition of use in smudging and incense, showing the anti-microbial potential contained within the volatile oils.
Silk Tassel (Garrya spp.) is a found throughout the Sedona area and up through the higher reaches of Oak Creek Canyon. I have also seen this genus growing along the trails of the North Rim above 7,000′. It is traditionally used to for the relief of muscle cramps.