Nature provides us with much of what we need without having to look too far.
She provides us with sunshine, water, and plants.
Many of the plants that grow prolifically around our homes and along our daily walking tracks are considered 'weeds'. However, many of these plants are completely edible and full of nutrition.
If we look at these plants and the fact that they can grow almost anywhere and in any situation, it is plausible to think that they possess an energy of strength, endurance and vitality that many other plants may not.
And the nutritional values held within these plants would confirm our suspicions. These edible weeds are so good for us, and tick off a lot of our micronutrient needs.
Why should you forage weeds?
For one, it's completely free.
No environmental impact- no travel miles or storing in freezers. Picked straight from the source!
Convenience - You can just pop out your back door, or down to the local foraging spot to gather your greens.
They're organic & free from pesticides and other chemicals (although if you're picking in a public place just make sure you're certain that they haven't been treated with anything)
So now that you're as excited about weeds as we are, here are a few to look for & how you can use them!
The queen of detoxification, liver support and a bright spirit. The bright yellow flowers, the leaves and roots of the dandelion can all be consumed.
Tip: Cats Ear is a plant that looks very similar too Dandelion, however it's leaves are furry.
So make sure you've got the right plant by checking the leaves!
(don't worry cats ears also edible)
The root does a lot of a the deeper detoxification work. If we consider the anatomy of the root, it represents the deeper work. It stimulates the liver and digestive system to promote good body flow and expulsion of what no longer serves.
Use: Dry them and blend into a powder for making dandelion lattes or adding into any food.
It is bitter in flavour suggesting that it is great for cleansing the whole body, including the blood & liver. This bitter taste also indicates the high nutrient content that is great for supporting the immune system. Holding diuretic qualities, dandelion also helps to flush the body of toxins & excess water.
Use: Make dandelion pesto or cook into soups or curries for extra nutrients.
If we look at the beautiful yellow flowers, we can see that Dandelion is reminiscent of our Solar Plexus chakra which is the seat of our confidence, contentment and inner calm and strength.
Use: Add the flowers to boiling water to make a tea, use them as a floral garnish on your cooking, create a dandelion face cleanser or add them to a bath.
Energetically, dandelion helps to detoxify and release any emotional blockages so it is important to be gentle with yourself when consuming dandelion. It helps us to 'digest' all of life and helps with stress, anger, frustration and releases resentment,
It also helps us to 'digest' life and the happenings of our day to day. Allowing us to process what arises rather than resisting (which causes blockages).
Belonging to the same family as the marshmallow plant, this weed is a nutritional powerhouse.
It's rich in vitamins A, B, C, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Young leaves have one of the highest amounts of Vitamin A in any vegetable.
The mucilage in the leaves & the stems give mallow it's high anti-inflammatory properties which make it great for healing all inflammation in the body include digestion, skin and respiratory.
You can eat the leaves, stems and flowers (when flowering). Add them to your cooking or stir fry with olive oil and lemon juice for a simple side and nutritional boost.
It is also ground into a skin poultice & applied to the skin to heal wounds, swelling and sores.
Energetically: Supports the solar plexus, heart and throat chakra. Mallow brings an inner softness and helps to transform anger or hatred into deep love. In folklore, Mallow is considered a love potion and an aphrodisiac.
Part of the brassica family along with cabbage, broccoli and kale, wild mustard is easy to find & completely edible too! Wild mustard is a warming & stimulating plant which is great to promote circulation during colder months.
You can add the leaves to salads and stir fry's to increase blood flow and give your body a nutritional boost.
Little yellow flowers with four leaves inspire joy and warmth. You can add them onto food as a garnish and for a little extra bite.
Seeds: Collect the seeds and allow them to dry in the sunshine for a few days. Once dry you can use them whole in cooking or ground down in food, or to create skin tinctures to remedy inflammation.
Use: Create a thick paste with ground mustard seeds and warm water. Apply to strained or inflamed area for no longer than 10 -15 minutes. The mustard seed will heat the skin and thus draw oxygenated blood to this area for healing.
This little weed looks a lot like clover, however you can identify it by its distinct heart shaped leaves.
You can eat it in small quantities, such as a garnish which looks very pretty, however it contains high levels of oxalic acid which can disrupt nutrient absorption and digestive upset if too much is consumed.
You can apply the leaf juice to the skin to treat against insect bites. It also works in a tincture to reduce skin inflammation and helps to heal sores. To make a tincture, add 1/2 cup of fresh leaves and 2 cups of oil and simmer lightly for an hour then strain the liquid into a bottle to cool before use.
So now is a perfect excuse for an adventure around your local neighbourhood.
What so called 'weeds' can you find?