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Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie is the bane of many lawn enthusiasts, because it tends to grow no matter what you do to stop it. It has small, scalloped, dark green leaves that may turn red or purple in full sunlight, and grows in long stems along the ground. Flowers are purplish to blue. You can make positive identification by breaking a stem, which is square in cross-section, identifying it as a type of mint. If you’re a lawn-salad enthusiast, Creeping Charlie has a light taste, and can add a free-of-charge, nutritious boost to your springtime lunches. It is also used as an alternative medicine. Make a tea for a spring tonic, or to relieve congestion and inflammation of mucous membranes from colds, flu, and sinusitis. It is reported to be anti-allergenic, antibacterial, anti-flu, antihistaminic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and antiviral. It has also been touted as a cancer-preventive, expectorant, immune system stimulant, and sedative. A tea or juice made from the plant is easy to tolerate, and can be given to small children. Currently, research is being done to use derivatives of Creeping Charlie to help prevent leukemia, bronchitis, hepatitis, many kinds of cancer, and HIV. The fresh juice or a medicinal tea is used to treat digestive disorders, gastritis, acid indigestion, and diarrhea. It is also beneficial for liver and kidney function, said to relieve gravel and stones. It is also being investigated as an antidote for lead poisoning. You can add it to a hot bath to help soften your skin and relax you. You may not like it in your lawn, but Creeping Charlie is a lot more useful than that dark green, chemically-treated grass your neighbor is so proud of. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 10 – November 11