What Nutritional Gems Is Your Garden Hiding? 18 Special Weeds
Did you know your garden is hiding all sorts of nutritional and medicinal gems?
From curing heartburn, cystitis and coughs to providing free protein, vitamins and minerals, common weeds have some truly amazing benefits. Sadly, most people simply dig them up, mow them down or kill them in various ways.
Why not take a look at what’s really growing in your backyard? With delicious recipes included for each ‘weed’, you might just think twice about adding them to the compost heap.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
This garden weed is a great source of vitamins A, D and C, as well as iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc! Chickweed has a delicate flavor, much like spinach, and works well when freshly picked and added to sandwiches and salads. If you don’t like the taste, you can still reap the benefits by hiding it in soups and stews.
Medicinally, chickweed can be used as a topical treatment for minor cuts, burns, eczema and rashes. It’s also a mild diuretic and is said to relieve cystitis and irritable bladder symptoms.
Why Not Try: these delicious looking Chickweed Pakoras?
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
This light blue flower lives as a wild roadside plant. Despite its somewhat bitter taste, chicory leaves are commonly consumed in certain parts of Europe, including Italy and Greece.
Try boiling the leaves first before sautéing or adding to dishes as that will remove some of the bitterness. Roots can be baked, ground, and added to coffee or even used on their own as a coffee substitute.
Chicory is well known for its toxicity to internal parasites and can also be used as a tonic to stimulate appetite, act as a diuretic, cure an upset stomach and help with constipation. It’s believed to protect the liver and help with gallbladder disorders.
Why Not Try: this authentic Italian side dish, White Beans with Chicory?
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