Covid-19 has many families scared about getting their families just the basics for food, resources, and health care. Here are some nutritional herbs in your yard. These can be found in many climates in the United States.
Today, I am going to talk about herbal nutrients and uses for many herbs you may find in your yard. If you have a garden then probably have a lot more options. My advice has been to my family this year so far, don’t treat or mow your lawn. These foods can be used to increase vitamin and mineral content and quality of foods and offer some variety, but foraging for your whole family’s caloric intake would be incredibly hard, even for experts. Wild edibles are an excellent way to obtain vital nutrients that you need to survive. However, here is the problem: nutrients do not equal calories.
I will keep the herb selection pretty general because many people do not have an herbal apothecary or options to order herbs right now.
I have personally eaten all of these that I have written about and many more.
In Your Yard
Chickweed- Chickweed (Stellaria media)
A favorite during pregnancy, or children’s topical care. Chickweed is soothing when used topically as a compress, an infused oil, or a poultice or when added to a sitz bath. As an emollient and vulnerary, it is a common topical remedy for itching and irritation as well as cuts and wounds. Rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, it can help reduce scarring. Chickweed is an excellent choice for infant skincare. Chickweed can be eaten as a nutritious salad herb. We add chickweed to tons of food dishes, and it is delicious. Chickweed’s pretty packed with nutrients, especially for such a little plant. It contains vitamins A, D, B complex, C, rutin (a bioflavinoid), calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, iron, and silica.
Plantain- (Plantago major (broadleaf) Plantago lanceolata (narrow leaf)
The Broadleaf variety of plantain is also a very nutritious leaf vegetable. It is high in calcium and vitamins A, C, and K. It can be used in pastas, salads, sag paneer, rice dishes, quiches, etc.. You can also use the narrow leaf varieties of this plant.
Dandelion- (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion stimulates appetite and aids in digestion. Dandelion is full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals, including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and choline. If you don’t have the leaves fresh in your yard, many supermarkets carry them fresh or frozen. Dandelion is a rich source of nutrients. You can eat the leaves, the root, and the flower.
Although leaves can be tossed into a salad or used in a tea, the preferable part of this wild edible is the flower. Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is often considered the tastiest of all clovers, although it is recommended not to eat too many of these as some people experience bloating. Red clover’s brightly colored flowers contain many nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. They’re also a rich source of isoflavones. White clover (Trifolium repens) is rich in protein and minerals. Both can be used in cooking, salads, and smoothies.
Rose petals, Rosehips- (Rosa canina and Rosa rubiginosa)
I love this herb so very much. It is high in vitamin c and tastes excellent. Children love it. It blends with all of the herbs we have here. Rosehips are great to use when your child is starting to come down with a cold or flu, and they are great for fighting the issue when it is also full-blown. Rose petals can make an excellent tea for children.
Violets- (Viola odorata)
Violet flowers and leaves are edible with the leaves having a high level of vitamins A and C. They can be used in salads or cooked as greens. These flowers can be made into jellies, candied, or tossed into a salad. Use the greens in salads, vegetable dishes, pasta, rice, dishes like sag paneer, and curries.
Stinging Nettle or Nettles – (Urtica Dioica)
Nettles can be eaten in foods, used in teas, syrups, and are rich in rich in iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, boron, strontium. They also contain vitamins – A, C, K, and B vitamins. Nettles has many nutritional benefits. Still, it can also work to fortify when a child is starting to get a cold or flu, has stressed adrenals, PMS issues, wanting clearer skin, has seasonal allergies, or suffering from diarrhea.
Learn more about how to make sure a plant is suitable to eat.
Our next installment will be on pantry herbs most people have on hand for cooking.