Speaking of poorly named plants…. wow, I sure don’t think I’d want to meet anyone whose nickname was creeping charlie, but then sometimes when we get to know a person we realize that our ideas about who they are don’t always match reality. Such is the case with dear charlie.
Europeans who traditionally used it as food and medicine imported creeping charlie to America. In days of old, people would eat the plant fresh and cooked and put it to use also as a flavoring and clarifying agent in beer.
Lately, while speaking with a landscaping client who happens to be one of the world’s foremost experts on herbal treatments for autism in children, I was amazed to learn about the magic, magnetic nature of plants and people.
The swing set in my clients’ back yard is the preferred hang out for her young daughter who due in part to high mercury content in her blood lives with the effects of autism. As an herbalist, my client, Lise Wolf, had been introduced to the notion that plants are attracted to those creatures that they can help heal and nurture. One day Lise noticed an interesting phenomenon. The creeping charlie in her back lawn was growing from all directions toward her daughter’s swing set. The growth pattern was so pronounced that the creeping charlie was actually climbing the supports of the swing set in lieu the rest of her yard. As soon as she noticed this pattern the herbalist in her took over and she set to researching the association between creeping charlie and heavy metals in the blood. What she found was inspiring.
Creeping charlie has been used since the introduction of lead based paints in Europe to treat what was known as “painter’s colic”, or lead poisoning, and modern herbalists swear by it’s use for treating heavy metal poisoning. Since finding this information Lise has been using dear old creeping charlie to effectively reduce mercury levels in her daughter and the other kids she helps.