Why Do We Need Weeds?

Purslane, Plantain, Dandelions…Oh My!

Besides all the important restorative work that “weeds” do for the soil, this is just a reminder that spring is the very best time to enjoy eating fresh, tender “weeds”.  Fresh in salad, or sauteed in grassfed butter, added to eggs,soup or stir fried dishes, these greens are packed with nutrients that you need.  These greens know how to “mine”deep into the soil to bring up important minerals & nutrients and make them available to the plant and to YOU!

Did you know that plantain is found worldwide (there is probably some in your yard right now!) and is a popular wound healer, body purifier, congestion aid.and neutralizer of poison and toxic elements?

It contains all 18 amino acids, is anti-inflammatory and a lymph tonic. For an insect bite or bee sting, take a plantain leaf, chew it in your mouth, then apply the green mush to the sting for relief.  It helps to neutralize the toxin and draw it out. Pick the young, fresh leaves to eat fresh add to dishes or dry the leaves  and powder them for use later and store in a mason jar to add to soups, eggs and stir fry  (I store everything in mason jars! 🙂 .

And Don’t forget our favorite dandelions 🙂

Did you know that all the parts of the dandelion are edible?. The root roasted is a coffee substitute.  It is used often in Eastern Medicine, as “bitter” herbs are very helpful for digestion and so many other things.  It is a powerful cleanser, high in potassium, a great source for Vitamin A, E, B complex, C, D, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium…  Strengthens kidneys, is a strong diuretic without depleting potassium.  Even the roots are a good source of probiotics (beneficial gut bacteria).  Dandelions are “miners”.  Their tap root goes deep to bring up beneficial elements to the roots of other plants. If you have a lot of them, they are a sign of that your soil is needy of things and they are working to help bring balance back.   

So, I hope that you have a greater appreciation for the dandelion and that you take advantage of their gifts. I am an urban forager and love going on a treasure hunt to find the seasons gifts tuck away in plain sight just for the picking! Dandelions actually are sold in many grocery stores now! $4-5 a bunch! (Remember to only collect these greens from soil that is not contaminated by chemicals or not growing by the side of the road.)

2 thoughts on “Why Do We Need Weeds?”

  1. Oh yes I appreciate those 3 as well. Purslane is one of my truly favorite weeds. Last year I found some and transplanted them on the plot I was farming, it spread like wildfire. Its such a tasty herb, I wonder why so many people don’t use it in salads more often. I even freeze it.
    Plantain I dry and and use in a tea and Dandelion catches my eye and I find myself harvesting it where others are ignore this powerful herb.
    Is it known what the land is communicating to me when I see purslane, plantain and dandelion? Is there such a chart somewhere?

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