Civil War

Medicinal plants meant the difference between life and death for many soldiers and civilians during the Civil War.

Ever thought about growing your own Civil War medicinal herbs garden?

Medicinal plants meant the difference between life and death for many soldiers and civilians during the Civil War. Take a walk back in time at Frying Pan Farm Park on April 1 and search for the plants that helped a generation survive.

According to the Civil War Trust, death from wounds and disease was an additional burden of the war that took a toll on the hearts, minds, and bodies of all Americans, but it also sped up the progression of medicine and influenced practices the Army and medical practitioners still use today.

While the Union certainly had the advantage of better medical supplies and manpower, both Rebels and Federals attempted to combat illness and improve medical care for their soldiers during the war. Many of America’s modern medical accomplishments have their roots in the legacy of America’s defining war.

According to Patricia B. Mitchell, author of the book “Civil War Plants and Herbs,” as the Civil War conflict intensified, the citizenry of both sides scrambled for resources. Creative plant-derived alternatives for traditional food, clothing, household products, and pharmaceutical supplies were sought and developed. The South, especially, turned to the land for help as the Union blockade tightened and fields and orchards were being laid to waste.

The Frying Pan Farm Park program runs 4-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 1 and includes a guided hike around the Frying Pan Meeting House. Learn to spot the plants that were used to heal during scarce times and find out how they were put to use. This program is designed for participants age five to adult. The cost is $7 per person, and children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. You will be outdoors, so please dress for the weather. Currently, the forecast calls for cloudy skies and around 60 degrees. Frying Pan Farm Park is located at 2709 West Ox Rd in Herndon. For more information, call 703-437-9101 or visit Frying Pan Farm Park.

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