A Weed is a Weed…..or is it???
A Weed is a Plant whose Healing Properties have yet to be Discovered
This time of year my yard is filled with all kinds of green, growing things. Some have beautiful flowers that soothe the senses and give the hummingbirds and bees nectar to feed on. Some provide fresh, organic vegetables for the table and freezer, or to be canned for winter use. Some provide some much needed shade from the summer heat. And some are recognized only as weeds by the majority of people.
I believe ‘weeds’ are very much underrated in this country and I know many people consider them to be ‘evil’ pests, to be poisoned and eradicated at all costs! Ouch! I consider them to be special ‘green helpers’ and I nurture them much the same as I do my ornamental and food-bearing plants.
Consider the humble Dandelion. It has the beautiful warming rays of the sun as its cheerful color. And the young tender leaves make a refreshing spring salad that not only tastes truly fresh and invigorating, but provides the body with much needed vitamins and minerals. Dandelion leaves have very high amounts of carotenes (Vitamin A) plus Vitamin C, Potassium, Calcium as well as significant amounts of Iron, to name just a few. And the roots of the Dandelion plant is a potent liver tonic, and so much more. Not to mention the flowers can make a very refreshing dandelion wine!
Then there’s the lowly Purslane, a suculent that contains a high mineral content that can quench your thirst as well. Purslane loves newly planted gardens and seeds itself profusely. I usually allow enough patches to reside among my vegetable plants to be harvested throughout the summer for additions to salads or a quick stir-fry. Purslane is used primarily as a food and can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled.
Or how about Mullien? This is a beautiful plant with large, downey gray-green leaves. Then a tall flowering stem emerges from the center of the leaves with lovely yellow flowers. Mullien is culinary, medicinal and cosmetic.
And one of my all time favorites, Plantain, which can actually be eaten (young leaves) or they can be used in salves. Plantain is used to draw out the poisons of biting insects as it soothes and helps heal wounds, and it may even help heal hemorrhoids. If you get stung by an insect, look around for a plantain leaf to chew and apply to the bite for fast relief. I use it in my Healing Salve.
And then there’s Yellow Dock, Chickory, Calendula, Stinging Nettle, Chickweed, Clover, Yarrow, …the list goes on and on and is fodder for future newsletters!
In the meantime, I hope you will take the time to find, identify and ‘get to know’ some weeds in your own back yard. You may be pleasently surprised at the wealth of natural healing and or ‘tasty treats’ might be lurking beneath your very nose! You may like to check these websites for starters, some of our photos come from them: Dandelion: Native Voices – Native Peoples Concepts of Health and Wellness at the National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. Purslane: Verdolaga at World Crops.org. Mullein: Fairfax County Public Schools, VA. This is another very fun and interesting source for ‘weeds’ and their uses: Wildman SteveBrill.com.
You should try our ‘weeds’
Many of the products we make from scratch contain our own ‘weeds’.
Happy Summer Foraging!!
Note: Please do not use any plants for food or medicinal purposes that have been sprayed with chemicals!
NEW East Side Market!
We just added another Market to our summer schedule for our East Side friends. Please check us out at the new Case Western Reserve University Hospital Farmers Market on Thursday mornings!
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Best Wishes and Good Health!
See you at the Farmer’s Markets! – Judi Lambert
* The information included in this newsletter on the function and uses of herbs is based on historical use and personal experience. It has not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Farmer’s Markets & Fun Events
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Thank you for supporting your local farmers and businesses and I’ll see you at the outdoor markets this season! And bring a friend if you can. Your support encourages more local farmers and even better markets. Peace! – Judi