Identifying Medicinal Plants and their Uses with Herbalist, Rachel Fee Prince

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

Herbalist,  Rachel Fee Prince offers upcoming plant walk on May 21st, 2011 at the Sweetwater Sustainability Institute.    It’s a great way to, “learn about the world of herbalism beyond the health food store shelves.”      Prince holds a degree in Botany and has studied the art of herbs for many years and she considers teaching others and especially her own children her, “greatest pleasure.”

Even butterflies like Japanese honeysuckle!      George Mason University has published a study on Japanese honeysuckle that lists the Chinese traditional uses to help to, “Cure colds, fever, boils, sores, and viral and bacterial infections.”     They continue that, “Today, this honeysuckle is a proven antibiotic.”

“Kudzu was introduced to the United States twenty-five years before the turn of the twentieth century, and is currently found naturalized throughout the southeastern states 125 years later,” reports the Appalachia Science of Public Interest website.     Here’s more about Kudzu:

Kudzu leaves are also used as green manure crops or to generate biomass for compost piles to improve agricultural land. The flowers of the kudzu vine are an excellent honey source and can be infused to concoct a subtly flavorful tea. Kudzu vines can be woven into baskets and furniture. Fibers derived from the vine can be used to make both paper and cloth. The most economically valued structure of kudzu is the root which is renowned in Asia for its culinary, nutritional, and medicinal properties. The root is rich in a valuable starch that can be eaten steamed or boiled, or turned into a powder or cream for medicinal purposes. Kudzu powder or kudzu root tea is used to treat a wide array of ailments such as inflammation, hangovers, sexual apathy, indigestion, respiratory disorders, headaches, sinus troubles, muscle stiffness, kidney trouble, breast-feeding complications, and skin rashes.

Listen to the interview:

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7 Responses to “Identifying Medicinal Plants and their Uses with Herbalist, Rachel Fee Prince”

  1. Kathy Burke Mihalczo Says:

    I tried to contact Rachel through her blog page email but it was not working.
    Please ask her to contact me at: or
    Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm 865-435-1452 or 865-805-6216
    Thank you

  2. Sally Says:

    I’m not sure about the point of this interview. I hope it’s not that these invasive pest plants are useful. They are rampantly invasive and creating a monoculture in many areas in the Chattanooga area and their reputed use as herbal remedies is little reason to consider them desirable. Note: native honeysuckles like Diervilla sessifolia and Lonicera sempervirens also have many of the medicinal properties of Japanese honeysuckle without wreaking havoc on local ecosystems. Perhaps this is an attempt to make Lemons into Lemonade, but a failed one.

  3. Rachel Fee-Prince Says:

    I don’t think that anyone is trying to make lemons from lemonade, but more trying to find a point of acceptance of why these plants are here, and why are they invasive? Honeysuckle creates boundaries, letting nothing else through, therefore protecting and detoxifying a regenerating area. Kudzu was introduced as much for animal forage as to prevent erosion, but we made the mistake of abandoning that in favor of corn. If all the factory farmed animals we raise in this country were eating kudzu instead of monoculture GMO corn, our ecosystem would be much healthier, not to mention the cows. Another attribute of kudzu is that is cleans contamination sites, clearing petroleum, chromium and other toxins from the soil. It often follows the agro-military-industrial fossil-fuel based developments like abandoned farmland (petrol fertilizers, pesticides and animal run-off), lumber clearcuts (lots of large machinery and serious damage to ecosystem, not to mention the problem of mono-cropping pine) and factory or waste disposal sites.

    These plants are not without problems. Boundaries are healthy, but war and anger toward nature’s direction is not (no matter our influence). My thoughts are that we should stop looking towards the past as an ideal picture of what we perceive as a correct manifestation of our ecosystem, but in the now, and towards the future, as it is constantly evolving and so are we. We can not see the future or the big picture of Nature’s wisdom and plan for healing. She makes use of what she has, no? Can we accept that and work with in those parameters? As only a part of the ecosystem and not its master?

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  7. Amos Says:

    Hey rachel,
    how much is the class Sat.
    Amos Nance

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