Salves: Oregon Grape

Hello! I hope you all are doing well.

Today I am going to talk about Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolia). It grows everywhere here in the Pacific Northwest! Here are some some pictures below I found easily just a short walk outside.

Oregon Grape Berries- Very sour!
Oregon Grape and Cedar
Oregon Grape and Thimbleberry

Oregon Grape is great for cuts and scrapes because it is an antiseptic, and it helps prevent the formation of pus. It is native to the Pacific Northwest, but can be grown most anywhere. The part used is the root, which is brown on the outside, yellow on the inside. You want to harvest it in Fall, and you do so by digging around the plant and carefully cutting off a few small roots (avoiding the main root). If done in this manner, you can avoid harming the plant, which is important. You will then wash the roots, slice them thinly and dry it in a dehydrator at the lowest setting (around 95 degrees Fahrenheit for mine).

Oregon Grape is a very beautiful plant, similar to Holly in appearance. The berries are edible, but very sour and have large seeds (I taste tested them while taking the pictures above-very pucker-worthy)!  Most people use them to make jelly. If you are unable or don’t want to wildcraft your own Oregon grape root, you can buy it here. I’m putting a picture of Holly below, to help you tell the difference between it and Oregon Grape.

Oregon Grape

As my brother has observed, Holly is much more spiny, and hurts a lot worse when you brush up against it!

Oregon Grape has very similar benefits to Goldenseal, which is endangered, so if you need Goldenseal, try Oregon Grape it is a wonderful alternative!

So, that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed today’s post.

God bless and happy foraging!







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