When you take a stroll in your backyard you most likely reprimand yourself for not weeding this week, but did you consider that those pesky weeds might have some beneficial properties and make your gardening life less of an uphill struggle?
Stop weeding immediately, and start seeing these ferocious plants for what they really are, powerful healing herbs.
There are three common kinds of therapeutic herbs that can be found almost everywhere, particularly during their respective seasons, and are often mistaken as just weeds. Let’s take a look at these three plants and why you should avoid zapping them with weed killer and start cultivating them and using their incredible properties:
AKA Rugosa Rose, Japanese Rose and Beach Rose, or the wild rose, Rosa Rugosa grows literally everywhere, it cannot be stopped. Found in your backyard, on the side of the road, on the beach and all over wild fields, the Rosa Rugosa’s petals and fruit (rosehips) can be used as a mild sedative, antiseptic, antiparasitic, and anti-inflammatory, as well as supporting the heart, lowering cholesterol and improve circulation.
By drinking Rosa Rugosa tea, it can also help with sore throats, ulcers, and increasing your appetite. The delicious tea is also rich in vitamins C, A, B3, D and E and antioxidants.
They may sting when you brush them, but nettles are in fact high in iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. With their high level of potassium they can be help to heal the kidneys or urinary tract, and what’s great is that they can grow almost anywhere – rivers, lakes, lowlands, swamps, compost, and your backyard. They are easy to maintain and harvest, giving you a plentiful all-year-round supply of the herb.
However, make sure you only eat them dried or cooked, never eat them raw, mostly because you will be stung! When you dry or cook them the sting disappears, phew. Nettles will also naturally decrease blood pressure, so if you already suffer from high blood pressure make sure consult you doctor before consuming nettles.
This common weed comes in two varieties – Broadleaf and Lance. What’s great about plantain is that you can eat the raw leaves, it’s great in salads and as a vegetable. You can find it most often growing alongside dandelions. Despite being a pesky weed, the herb has been found to suck away toxins from the body, particularly from bites such as mosquito bites. It also has curing properties for rashes, acne and glass splinters and is packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Crush the leaves and apply to the area to be treated, leave for a few hours and notice the effects the herb has on your body. Plantain is also great for your digestive system, food allergies, as an anti-inflammatory and has been known to help with weight loss when drunk as tea before a meal.
A word of warning: While these weeds are great for you, you must make sure you have identified the weed correctly before consuming or using on your skin. There are also some nasties out there in your backyard, so make sure you know what you are picking!
By Charlotte H.