Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – Gumweed

Gumweed 1 Gumweed 2

Medicinal Herb Post #32 written July 23, 2018

Gumweed – Grindelia spp.

This little happy weed is a perennial that grows in poor dry soil. Although some have said their experience with it has been shown to be an annual or biennial. I’ve also grown it in fertile soil in my own back yard too. You’ve probably seen it along road sides when driving through the canyons. It’s found just about anywhere in the southern parts off the US and Mexico. It has yellow flowers that produce a resinous substance, that is considered the medicine. The parts used are the buds that contain the most amount of resin, flowers and leaves. Ariel parts should be picked when you can see the gummy resin on the buds and flowers and then dried. The fresh resinous sap requires Everclear, 95% alcohol, when making into a tincture. 100 proof vodka will do, just use as needed without straining.

Gumweed is a great antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antibiotic, making it a fabulous herb for any respiratory problem from asthma to bronchitis, emphysema and even whooping cough. Because it’s a great antibiotic and vulnerary (accelerates wound healing) it can be used topically on wounds (Native Americans used it specifically for poison ivy), burns, insect bites, rashes and even eczema. It can be used fresh as a poultice topically. Gumweed can be beneficial when used for bladder infections, but not meant to be used in large doses because it can be hard on the kidneys. Those who have kidney issues shouldn’t take it internally.

I make an asthma tincture for my boys using equal parts gumweed, lobelia, mullein and Brigham’s tea. It works really well for them.

I like to use it in a natural antibiotic ointment! I infuse calendula and gumweed into olive oil. Strain and add beeswax and manuka honey with oregano essential oil. Works wonders!


Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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