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  • Writer's pictureMj Pettengill

New England Asters Grace the Fields

New England Asters, Mj Pettengill
New England Asters, Mj Pettengill

They have arrived!

Now the fields are graced with the abundant and delicate New England Asters. Its blossoms are another gift bestowed upon us. Cherished by the fall pollinators—bees, migratory birds, and hummingbirds on their way out—New England Asters are a favorite of those making respiratory remedies for the fall and winter.

Easy to spot with its various shades of purple, this is a favored autumn medicinal plant for harvesting. I think of the New England Asters as an accompaniment for Goldenrod, Phlox, and crisp apples. Yes, there are so many more.

I have used the fresh flowers in a tincture or tea. I save the dried blossoms to add to a tea blend, usually with mullein, elderberry, plantain, burdock root, basil, ginger, and mint. Why this blend? New England Aster is an ally for anything cough related. Whether the lung congestion stems from a cold or flu, chronic bronchitis or asthma, New England Aster calms the cough. It has been known to help with acute respiratory infections because it functions as an expectorant while bringing warmth and soothing to the chest, easing congestion, and aiding overall breathing.

In addition to New England Aster assisting cough relief, this plant also acts as a nervine. Similar to St John’s Wort, it provides calming and soothing properties. This is especially effective when dealing with anxiety that causes an upset stomach or sleeplessness.

Other uses for this plant include the stems, leaves, and roots. I have so many incredible allies here in the fields of Marigold Moon. New England Aster blossoms are perfect in my apothecary in tea and tincture form. In the past, I have made infused honey with the flowers and a bit of fresh ginger root.

Remember the wildcraft promise: do not over-harvest, ask permission, and give thanks to the plant.


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