I Feel the Need, The Need For WEED!
By Jeanette Vale
You need weed! Okay, weeds, plural! Many of the invasive plants that we fight in our yards are beneficial to us. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” said Hippocrates.
It is a sad thing that we have declared war on weeds. We yank, spray and curse them as we spend thousands of dollars to grow a carpet of grass that neither feeds nor heals.
However, we are waking up to a new reality across the nation.
"I must grow something edible!"
Further into scarcity and shortages, we might be asking:
"What is that weed...er, I mean...herb and how does it benefit my health?"
For example, I harvest alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and have tea leaves all year. It is a new mentality to adopt. Enjoy these benefits of alfaalfa:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are vital for optimal health. We usually obtain this from fish oil. But what if supply chain issues interrupt transit? Well! walk out into your yard! What do you see? Meet purslane, Portulaca oleracea.
This is a succulent and another way of getting Omega 3 Fatty Acids into your diet. I pulled this weed out of my yard. I made a delicious fruit smoothie and added purslane (leaves & stems) into the blender.
How did it taste? Well, I could definitely taste it. It had a mild sharpness to it. But it was not unpleasant, nor was it bitter.
From the earth to my mouth is the best and cheapest way to obtain food. With high gas prices and food shortages, it is a great time to make friends with these little visitors.
Here is a nice Vlog on Purslane
Meet another powerhouse plant: Lemon Balm, Melissa officinales.
Lemon Balm makes a lovely summer drink very high in anti-oxidants with a boost of Vitamin C and Thiamin. My video will be posted here later. Lemon Balm is fresh tasting and when you couple it with mint leaves it helps digestion!
One of my favorite common weeds that I see growing everywhere is the mallow root, Althaea officinalis plant. This plant makes a slimy detangling conditioner for your hair.
Read the ingredients in your conditioner at home and you will find this plant has been listening to you sing in the shower for years.
Do you love marshmallows? I tell you, this mallow plant does not disappoint! You can literally make your own marshmallows for mallow root tea (or hot cocoa)
Do you love cheese? Mallow root provides the rennet that coagulates milk and begins the process into making cheese!
You can buy a commercial rennet online to make cheese but I found it unimpressive in my taste test. The rennet from the Mallow Root has a lovely natural flavor. Send a message to me below if you’d like to see a video on cheese making with Mallow Root.
Spread the cheese on crackers and top it with a jam from your own jars.
Dandelion roots make a great tasting coffee substitute! Or you can buy some ready made dandelion coffee here Dandelion Coffee
Stop using Round-up Weed Killer. If you have used it, or anything like it, you should not be eating your weeds. The yard is a loss. You might try to grow these plants in a greenhouse (which is very difficult as they are a wild lot and do what they want, when they want) or go hiking and harvest them in the wild.
Be careful and do your homework. Safe plants can look just like a poisonous species.
For example: Above, I high-lighted Purslane. There is a look alike plant called spurge, Euphorbia maculata. It looks like Purslane but it produces a sap that is poisonous and considered carcinogenic. It’s leaves are not succulent (like that of Purslane). If you think you are eating Purslane and it has a white sap you are not eating the right plant.
Assume there is a look alike plant with a toxic profile!
Are you sure you've identified the right plant? It is a safe rule of thumb to assume that the plant you are sure of has an evil twin.
There is an excellent establishment called The School of Natural Healing. They offer an online Master Herbalist Certificate. I have gone through their schooling and obtained a couple of their certificates. The knowledge has blessed my life.
As with all of this plant information, do consult a Naturopathic Practitioner before you embark on this journey of eating from nature. Plants can interact with your prescription medications in ways that would not benefit you. There are websites out there that help you navigate both worlds.
I feel the need, the need for weed! The Plant Kingdom is just plain FUN. There is so much you can do, drink and eat!
Step on, prep on and enjoy needing weeds.
www.emergencyzone.com COME VISIT US! We don't sell weeds, but we have lots of them around the building. We also have a lot of amazing products that can help you be ready for the unthinkable!