Most people see weeds as problems in their gardens and yards. Weeding is almost a full time job for some gardeners. At Galiano Island Soapworks we are different than some people, we love many of those pesky weeds.
Stinging nettles: Ouch! Yes it bites, but oh does it have some wonderful healing qualities and such a nutritious and abundant wild food! Rich in iron, silica, calcium, vitamins A, D & K. nettles soothe and help prevent everything from hay fever and allergies to rheumatism and arthritis and is great for skin, hair and nails. Use the tea as a spring detox!
Red Dead Nettles: Edible and medicinal, this weed is very nutritious, high in iron, vitamins and fiber. The crushed leaves are helpful for bruises, burns and wounds. Make a fresh cleansing tonic from the whole plant!
Minors lettuce: This "weed" is actually a nourishing vegetable that is rich in vitamin C. Helpful for arthritis. The leaves are gently laxative. Think: spring detox tonic tea and lovely summer salad!
Curly dock: Curly Dock is highly nutritious! High in Vitamin A, Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Beta carotene, pottassium, manganese and phosphorus. Great as an astringent for wounds. Be sure to wash the very young leaves before eating them as they contain chrysophanic acid that can irritate and numb your tongue. The seeds can be collected and ground into a nutritious flour.
Burdock: Helpful for: Skin problems - acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, boils and eruptions, itch, wounds as well as arthritis - rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, gout. The tea has powerful detoxifying qualities. The tea makes an excellent liver cleanse.
Broadleaf Plantain: Highly nutritious and safe to ingest. Excellent for the skin to treat minor burns, insect bites or open wounds.
Dandelions: Too many remedies to list here but these babies are high in minerals and vitamins, particularly calcium and vitamins A, C, K, and B2 (riboflavin) and pack a heavy purifying punch! Here's an interesting tidbit: the resin from the stem - is recommended for use on warts - applied regularly throughout the day is said to dissolve it!
Horsetail: Whoa Nellie! Grab this horse by the tail! The bactericide, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, silica, and antioxidant agents in horsetail may give it the capability it has to cure wounds, rashes, burns, skin lesions and acne. Silica is proven to help form collagen that’s significant for the growth and the care of healthy connective tissues throughout the body. Horsetail extract is often used in antiwrinkle, antiaging and other cosmetic items. Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbrial, great for boils and carbunkles too...
Canadian thistle or cirsium arvense: Chew these leaves! The anti-inflammatory properties relieve the pain of toothaches, cancer sores and sore throats. The juice is apparently effective at killing intestinal parasites and helpful for gastritis.
Chickweed or stellaria media: Chickweed is excellent for the skin. Minor burns, lesions, acne, wounds, eczema, insect bites, nettle burns, psoriasis. There isn't much it can't do! Medicinal and nutritious, its a common ingredient in skin creams and lotions. Try it in a sandwich! Hey! If you can't eat it - you shouldn't put it on your skin!
Wild honeysuckle – not to be confused with Japanese honeysuckle. Honeysuckle flowers and leaves can help relieve all kinds of skin rashes such as poison ivy, oak and sumac, allergic reaction rashes, eczema, bacterial, psoriasis and thrush. Take as a tea for its anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties!
This spring/summer grab your scissors and go outside and pick a bunch of chickweed, Miners lettuce, nasturtium, and other "weedy" edibles and make a delicious, nutritious, wild spring salad!
(note: please check out the benefits/side effects of any plant before using!)
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