Weeds We Love!

April 4, 2011

plantains

What is a weed? A weed is a type of plant that someone decides shouldn’t be growing in a certain place. A weed is also a plant that might be beneficial to one gardener and would be a nuisance to another. Lots of weeds have both culinary and medicinal purposes but are destroyed in gardens because of their pesky nature to take over and dominate. There are some weeds that if found in your garden should be left to grow and utilized for their healing powers!

The weed known as dandelions (native to Europe and Asia) were brought to America by immigrants. They can be used for multiple healing purposes including as tonic to aid in digestion. They have also been used to detoxify the liver, clean blood, clear blemishes, pimples, acne and more! So why are we so eager to destroy this weed when it shows up in our garden?Dandelions also can be used in culinary purposes and are an abundant source of many vitamins and minerals. They contain large amounts of vitamins A, C and K and minerals calcium, potassium, iron and manganese. Next time you come across a dandelion in your garden, consider using it for a medicinal purpose instead of taking out the weed killer.

Another common weed that is typically looked down upon by gardeners is the stinging nettle. This plant is often feared because of its little stinging hairs. If you should be so lucky to find stinging nettle growing in your garden then you should take full advantage of the rich nutrients and healing powers it possesses. It has been used to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis, allergies, asthma, and other bronchial conditions. It can also stimulate new hair growth! Since it does have those stinging hairs, it’s best to only attempt to pick this weed from your garden with gloves on and never consume any part of it raw!

Our next weed that we love is commonly mistaken to be a fruit but is actually a weed- plantains. Plantains can be found in many places such as backyards, along roads and in fields. They have some incredible healing powers including taking bee sting pain away almost entirely! You can make a poultice from the leaves which is super effective to heal urinary tract infections and inflammatory conditions when ingested orally. You can also make a tea from the mucilage in the seeds which yields an effective laxative.

Next time you come across a pesky weed in your lawn or garden, be sure to check to see if it has alternative uses that can be medicinal or even culinary in some cases. You can save on weed killer and cure an illness all in one and that’s why we love these weeds.

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2 Responses to “Weeds We Love!”

  1. Chloe said

    Thanks for a really interesting post. I’ve always wondered how a person can claim that a plant is a weed…some ‘weeds’ are simply beautiful. Plus, like you say, many ‘weeds’ have healing powers and other uses (like nettle soup!)

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