The famous American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, ““What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” We might also define a weed as a plant growing where we don’t want it to grow. Whatever your definition, many common garden weeds are valuable medicinal plants, if not highly nutritious wild foods.
Take, for example, the common dandelion. Like many weeds, this plant was not indigenous to North America, but was brought here by the European settlers. It rapidly spread and now grows in most parts of the country. People spend a lot of money and time trying to poison and dig out dandelions, never considering that they can be used for both food and medicine.
In this month’s herbal hour, we’ll be looking at the virtues of many plants we call weeds. We’ll talk about the uses for fifteen common weeds, including: alfalfa, burdock, chickweed, chicory, dandelion, kudzu, mallow, milk thistle, mullein, plantain, purslane, red clover, wild lettuce, yarrow and yellow dock. We’ll also take a look at some common garden herbs and their medicinal properties, including: capsicum, catnip, chamomile, garlic, oregano, parsley, rose, rosemary, sage and thyme.
This makes a total of 25 plants that can be used for food, medicine and more. This is great information to have for emergencies or just to give you a greater appreciation for the value of nature’s natural pharmacy. Join us and discover why weeds (and common kitchen spices) can be such good medicine.