I have been so busy, I haven't had time to blog. Fear not my bloggy friends, I have not abandoned you. Let's see. We finally have at least half of our belongings unpacked and in their place, my sister came to visit with her two children, we survived my brother's "anniversary" date and we made it through Thanksgiving. Needless to say, I have a lot to share. My goal for December is to blog each and every single day, including Christmas. Do you think I will be able to do it? Only time will tell. For now, on with the blog.
These Beautyberries grow around our property in various areas. These photos are from a plant growing along the walk to the backyard gate. Specifically, these are American Beautyberries (Callicarpa americana). These berries are edible and can be made into jelly and jams. However, they should be used in moderation and processed. They can be quite tart. For a recipe on making Beautyberry Jelly, check out the blog, Life on a Southern Farm. The link will also be below in the post script.
Above and beyond the berry uses, the roots and leaves were used by the Native Americans for several purposes. Teas were made from the roots to cure stomach ailments. The roots were also used in sweat baths to help with rheumatism, fevers and even malaria! If that isn't enough, the leaves were also used to keep the insects away. Science has now proven that the leaves have a compound in them that naturally keeps mosquitoes away. I think I will be planting Beautyberries all over the yard.
Sources of information provided above:
Plants For A Future
UT Native Plant Database
Life on a Southern Farm
US Department of Agriculture