Heath Aster produces a blizzard of snowy white flowers in early fall and provides a tremendous amount of late season nectar for honeybees. Curious to know more about this little flower, I decided to do a quick search through my medicinal plant and herb books. Sure enough, it has medicinal benefits.
Years ago, aster tea was used to treat earache, stomach aches, and fevers. The flowers and roots were both used by Native American Tribes. Roots were commonly dried and pounded into a powder and used on cuts to stop bleeding. Boiled root was made into drops for earaches. The Cree Indians of Alberta named this herb Big Love Medicine for it's alluring fragrance. I'm not sure if I would agree since the plant smells rather unpleasant to me, but this reference is most interesting.
Although Heath Aster is rarely used for medicinal purposes today, it is helpful to know this native plant is readily available if needed. Since the flowers turn into puffs immediately after picking, they are extremely hard to dry but the roots can be dug and stored for winter. Herbs are always best when used fresh, so here is an easy tea recipe to utilize the benefits of fresh aster flowers and roots.
HEATH ASTER TEA | Fever & Cold Remedy
1 cup Hot Water
1 Aster Root & 5 Fresh Flower Tops.
Steep 5 minutes and sip slowly.
When taken as a hot tea, Heath Aster is a relaxing diaphoretic that produces a detoxifying perspiration to rid the body of common colds and viruses.
Herbs beckon our imaginations to see familiar plants in an entirely different way,
and open our eyes to a new world of understanding.