Brightside Acres
West Virginia Wildgrown®


At the turn of the last century, before the advent of modern pharmaceuticals, West Virginians relied on herbs, some of which they found in the wild, many of which they planted, to supplement their diets and prevent and treat a wide range of ailments. An essential aspect of women’s work was maintaining a kitchen cupboard well-stocked with a variety of dried plants to be added to soups and stews and used as poultices, tinctures and teas. Over the succeeding decades, much of this once-revered information, originally brought to North America by immigrants from western Germany and northern Ireland, has been lost to modern life, even in our most rural areas. The herbs still grow wild in these Allegheny Mountains, and the science regarding their attributes is more studied and proven than ever, yet most people live unaware of this natural bounty that flourishes just outside their doors. Following is my personal collection of information regarding the morphology, folklore and modern science of the wild and domestic herbs I use in Brightside products or simply enjoy knowing about when I encounter them in our woodlands and meadows.

Blackberry: Rubus Allegheniensis

Coltsfoot: Tussilago Farfara

Mullein: Verbascum Thapsus

Strawberry: Fragaria Vesca