Annually we spend countless billions of dollars and hours of our time eradicating the healthiest foods on the planet.
We dowse these weeds with chemicals, shuddering at the idea of those invaders taking over our areas, pastures and gardens. Orwe handpick them between our fragile domesticated crops and throw them in the trash, bypassing the mulch bin, poultry lawn and goat pen.
Growing up, I saw my grandfather make sure every bindweed plant was sprayed with chemicals so that it wouldn’t choke out the wheat crop. I watched a friend’s saying widen to terror, as I blew dandelion seeds into the end, freeing them to slide on the currents and settle wherever they would plante des bois. He acted like I’d just unleashed the devil himself. As a child, I believed , why were people horrified of such a gorgeous yellow flower?
Weeds are superior to our domesticated crops and much better acclimated to developing conditions, which makes them resilient and hardy. Our ancestors all over the world revered these plants for food and medicinal properties. Here are a number of edible wild plants-herbs-that that you ought to find out how to spot so you may incorporate these nutrient-dense foods to your daily diet. Be sure to use a field manual for plant identification.
Dandelion (Taraxacum spp.) -high in iron, beta-carotene and potassium. The blossoms can be made to a wine or fritters. Dandelion roots, made into a tea or added to soups, relieve eczema, psoriasis and water retention by strengthening the liver.
Lamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium album)-abundant in calcium, iron, beta-carotene and vitamin C. During history, lamb’s-quarters were utilized as a sterile food during times of famine and war. It’s more nutritious than spinach and requires no maintenance in the backyard. It is also called goosefoot, due to the form of their leaves. Can be eaten raw or cooked. The tea can relieve sunburns and headaches.
Nettles (Urtica dioica)-packed with iron, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Because of the stinging hairs on nettles, they should be cooked. Use them in soups as well as leafy greens. Nettles are great for skin, nails and hair.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)-Chicory blossoms are utilized to garnish salads, main dishes and sandwiches. The root is sautéed as a vegetable or it is dried, roasted and brewed as a coffee. Create a poultice of the leaves for inflamed skin.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)-packed with vitamin C. Traditionally, chickweed was given to frail individuals to fortify them. Insert the leaves, flowers and stems to soups, salads and stir-fry dishes. Chickweed is also made into a salve for skin ailments for everything from diaper rash .
Steam the young tender stalks and add to stews or quiches. Add the seeds with your other grains to make gruel and breads. Always cook knotweed, eating it raw can cause intestinal distress.
The leaves are both soothing and anti-inflammatory. Can be eaten raw or cooked, and can be used to thicken soups. Made into a tea or syrup, it relieves sore throats, coughs and ulcers. Create a poultice from the fresh shredded leaves and water for skin rashes, burns and insect bites. Garnish your cakes with all the delicate white and pink blossoms.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)-high in omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Purslane strengthens your immune system, liver and heart. An excellent cooling system, add to cold soups like gazpacho. If you are pregnant or have gastrointestinal troubles, prevent purslane.
Violet (Viola spp)-abundant in vitamin C) Who can resist the beautiful heart-shaped leaves of violet? Or just a springtime dessert made from the crystallized purple, lavender, yellow or white flowers? Violet tea can be used for bronchitis, coughs and fevers. Make violet honey and take as a remedy for heartache.
Grind the seeds into a nutrient-dense meal and add into sandwiches. It’s strongly recommended to eliminate the astringent papery flanges from the seeds before using. Do so by rubbing the seeds on your palms. Pour them in a clean container, then tilt it slightly and sweep the seeds with a playing card, then keeping the chaff near the top and allowing the seeds roll into the ground. The root is astringent and antiseptic and used for acne, jaundice as well as constipation.
Whenever harvesting your edible weeds, make sure you collect them from regions that have not been sprayed. Allow them to grow in your garden and gather them as you harvest your crops and combine them into nutrient packed meals for your family.