House Plants That Heal

As the seasons change, we spend significantly less time outdoors, which means we are significantly more likely to experience poor air quality. Although we may not realize it as we go about our daily lives, indoor toxins can have a drastic impact on our health, potentially leading to Asthma, allergies, inflammation, and even cancer. Thankfully, there are natural ways to bring the benefits of the outdoors inside, in a cost effective way. Try these fantastic house plants for improved indoor health.

Jasmine: helps promote sleep quality

Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family that is commonly found outdoors, but can live indoors as well. It emits scents that have shown to make for better sleep, as well as increase your levels of alertness.

Lavender: reduce anxiety and stress

Lavender is a genus of 39 known species of flowering plants in the mint family and a commonly used essential oil. It not only smells wonderful, but can also reduce anxiety and stress, slow heart rate, improve your sleep, and calm restless babies.

Rosemary: improve your memory

Rosemary is also a member of the mint family. A perennial herb, native to the Mediterranean region. It has been proven to be effective at increasing your memory as well as the overall air quality in the room.

Aloe Vera: improve overall air quality

Aloe Vera is a succulent plant species that has been commonly used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Use these plants for their superior ability to increase the overall quality of air with fresh oxygen.

Green ivy in flowerpot isolated on white background

English Ivy Plant: reduce mold count

English Ivy is a species of flowering plant native to Europe and Western Asia. This plant has been proven to reduce airborne mold by 94%, which can have a significant benefit for those who suffer from allergies or lung irritation.

Snake Plant: prevent headaches

Snake Plant is a species of flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae native to West Africa. It has been proven to be extremely effective in treating headaches, eye irritation, and respiratory problems. It can also help to increase your overall energy levels.

 

 

How To Get Water From A Tree – Survival

 

1- Burdock

If you’ve ever been out in the woods and gathered the little burrs on your socks that annoy the crap out of you, you’ve encountered burdock. Those burrs are the seeds of the burdock plant, and are actually the inspiration behind the invention of velcro! While you wouldn’t want to eat the burrs, the root of the plant is quite edible. Soak the roots in water for 5-10 minutes to remove any muddy, pungent taste, and then boil them for 5-10 minutes (in clean water). They have a mild, sweet flavor. Dried burdock root is also considered a diuretic (increases urine production), diaphoretic (increases sweat production), and a blood purifying agent, and has been used as a holistic detoxifying agent for those reasons.

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2- Chickweed

Also called “chickenwort” or “winterweed,” chickweed is a cool season plant found throughout most parts of North America and Europe. It can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked like spinach. You can eat the leaves, flowers and stems, though you should probably cook the fuzzy stems. Chickweed also contains a chemical compound called saponin, and can be toxic if eaten in large quantities, so eat it sparingly. It has been said that the plant has been used to relieve rheumatic, arthritic and period pains, and a poultice made from chickweed can be used to help heal cuts, burns, bruises and even mange.
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3- Elderberries

Elderberry plants are members of the honeysuckle family and can grow up to 13 feet tall. Their berries and flowers grow together in clusters. The blue and purple colored berries are edible, but the red berries will make you sick. The white flower petals can also be eaten raw or steeped into a fragrant tea. You can also take the entire flower cluster, dip it in a tempura-style batter, and fry the whole thing. The berries and flowers are also used in herbal cold medicines.

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4- Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads are quarter-sized green offshoots of the fern plant. They can be found in the wild primarily in the Northeast and around the Great Lakes region of North America. Left alone, they will unfurl as a new shoot from the plant. A word of caution – fiddleheads contain a mild toxin that will cause a severe upset stomach. However, cooking the plant will kill the toxin and make it safe to eat. Boil for 5 minutes or steam for 10, then sautee. Fiddleheads taste like a cross between asparagus and fresh green beans.
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5- Lavender

While it can be found in many planted landscapes, lavender can also be found in the wild. It has a sweet, perfumy flavor with a slight notes of citrus and can be eaten raw or steeped into a fragrant tea. Lavender is often used in cookies, jelly, wine, sauces, and custards. The blossoms are also a sweet addition to champagne. Lavender has also been used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, depression and a variety of digestive issues.

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6- Miner’s Lettuce

Miner’s lettuce got its name from the Gold Rush miners who (after learning the trick from the local Indians) used to eat the wild plant to stave off scurvy. Reminiscent of spinach, the plant is chock full of vitamins, deliciously crunchy, mild-tasting, and remains tender even when in flower. Although pictures usually show miner’s lettuce with a round leaf with a flower stalk in the center, early in the season the leaves are more likely to be spade-shaped. Eat the leaves raw. It’s so delicious, there’s no reason to do it any other way.

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7- Palm Hearts

Also called “swamp cabbage,” palm hearts are harvested from the inner cores of palm trees. Palm hearts are rich in protein, iron and fiber. They can be eaten chilled in salad, braised,deep-fried, stir-fried, sauteed or boiled. Pale in color, palm hearts have a tender, delicate flavor, similar to a mild artichoke or coconut. Many upscale restaurants around the world serve hearts of palm fresh, crispy and crunchy in mixed salads and also prepared with seafood. To get to the edible palm hearts, simply peel away the outer layers. I say “simply”, but to be quite honest, I’m sure it’s not very easy to do.
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8- Pecans

Most people, especially in the Southern US, know all about pecans. If you’ve ever seen a pecan, even on top of a pie, you’d easily recognize one again. Harvesting pecans that have fallen to the ground is pains-taking, back breaking work, but is so worth it in the end (trust me – I’m speaking from lots of experience). Once found and broken free of their hard outer shell, pecans can be eaten raw. If they have a slight bitter taste, they probably don’t have all of the inner shell removed, but it’s nothing to worry about. You can also roast pecans over a fire to enhance their flavor and bring out some of the natural oils of the nut.
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9- Stinging Nettles

Nettles usually appear in the same places year after year. They are covered with tiny, nearly invisible stinging hairs that produce an intense, stinging pain, followed by redness and continued skin irritation. However, if you find them and can harvest them without getting “stung”, these plants are edible. Once cooked, they lose their sting as the hairs are cooked off of them. They can be steamed, boiled or sauteed. They are full of vitamins and minerals, and are actually a decent source of protein, too! They have a very mild woodsy flavor.

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10- Wild Ginger

Wild ginger grows in colonies on forest floors underneath trees. The leaves grow in pairs, and are heart-shaped and have the appearance of ivy. During the early spring, you may find flowers growing from the crotch of the leaf pairs. These flowers are very unique and have no actual petals, but are burgandy in appearance. The roots of the plant can be eaten as a ginger substitute and the leaves can be steeped into a tea. HOWEVER- eat wild ginger in strict moderation. Do NOT eat it by the handfuls as there is a slight toxic quality when eaten in large quantities. Think of it more as a seasoning for your wild edible salad instead of a main ingredient.

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WARNING: Identification and use of wild plants requires particular care and attention. Never eat any plant unless you are absolutely sure that it is edible! It is a good idea to cross-reference your knowledge with a book written by an expert. The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The author assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any adverse effects encountered by the individual. Please harvest wild edibles at your own risk! As with any foraged food, make sure the plant has not been sprayed with any chemicals and is not growing anywhere that toxic waste is dumped. Try to avoid plants grown too close to the roadways as they tend to contain too much dust and automotive exhaust.

Linked from: http://survivalathome.com/10-more-wild-plants-you-can-eat/

How to find and use soap plants

As functional members of our modern society, we are somehow accustomed to take things for granted and we become dependent of stores and the items we buy. Soap is one of the many items that we take for granted and if stores would stop selling this item tomorrow, we would have no clue how to make do without it. Luckily for us, there are soap plants that we can use as substitute when soap runs out. Sanitation will become an important task during a crisis scenario and although you may have stockpiled enough soap to last you for a lifetime, it is always better to learn about the alternatives we have. Learning how to make soap is a skill that will come in handy and it will help you stay clean when stores will close. However, in today’s article I will share some of my knowledge regarding a natural, cost free alternative; the soap plants that can be found in the wild!

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As functional members of our modern society, we are somehow accustomed to take things for granted and we become dependent of stores and the items we buy. Soap is one of the many items that we take for granted and if stores would stop selling this item tomorrow, we would have no clue how to make do without it. Luckily for us, there are soap plants that we can use as substitute when soap runs out. Sanitation will become an important task during a crisis scenario and although you may have stockpiled enough soap to last you for a lifetime, it is always better to learn about the alternatives we have. Learning how to make soap is a skill that will come in handy and it will help you stay clean when stores will close. However, in today’s article I will share some of my knowledge regarding a natural, cost free alternative; the soap plants that can be found in the wild!

Interacting with nature and using all its resources is an important aspect of preparedness and off-grid living. If you are familiar with this site, you’ve probably noticed by now that I encourage people to get back into nature and learn about foraging and every other skill that will help them survive when our modern society will collapse. Foraging for wild plants is a forgotten skill that will prove very useful if you are forced to leave your home and head for the woods. Nature provides all sorts of plants that can help you survive and thrive in a harsh environment. Besides the medicinal plants and the wild edibles, there are quite a few plants that contain saponins (steroids that dissolve in water and create a stable froth). These plants will help you stay clean when exploring the great the outdoors.

Most of the soap plants that you can find in the wild were used by the Native Americans and the first pioneers. Although they are different from the old fashioned soap that your grandma used to make on the farm, these plants work just as well and they are a great substitute for the traditional soaps.

Some of the soap plants listed in this article are found everywhere in the wild and they can be prepared very easily.

Soap plants – Yucca (Yucca spp.)

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Yucca is one of the soap plants used by the Native Americans and there are numerous species of yucca spread throughout the plains and western States. This is one of the arid edibles I wrote about in a previous article and it is very easy to identify it. The plant produces a stemless cluster of long, rigid leaves which end in a sharp point. The leaves are 8 to 35 inches long and have a gray-green color. This is a versatile plant and the Native Americans used it extensively for various purposes. Besides being used for soap, the plant produces several good foods, quality fiber that was used to make sandals. It was also used as tinder and it helped improvising carrying cases or quivers from the mature, hollowed-out flower stalks.

Although many prefer to use the root to make soap, digging up the root is an intense labor and you may even get fined for doing so because some Yucca species are listed as endangered. To make soap easily you can cut the leaves (even one would do) and strip them into fibers until you have a handful of very thin strands. Add water and agitate between your hands until soap forms. You will need to pay attention when cutting the lives because you can hurt yourself with the sharp tips or you can slice your fingers on the edges of the leaf. Make sure you snip off the sharp tip before you strip the leaves. Yucca soap has extremely good cleansing properties and the leaf fiber helps in scrubbing. It provides medium to rich lather depending on the species, but since the leaves are available year-round and the plant is widespread it makes Yucca one of the soap plants that can be used the most.

Soap plants – Mountain Lilac (Ceanothus spp.)

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This plant is also known as soap bush and there are over 50 species of shrubs or small shrub trees. Most of the species are confined to North America. The soap bush is common throughout the southwest and if you go hiking in the spring, you will notice a spot of white, blue or purple along the trail and on the hillside. Many species can be used as soap plants even though their botanical properties will sometimes be different. To make sure you have mountain lilac that can be used as soap you can do a simple test. Take a handful of blossoms, add water and rub them between the hands. If you get a rich lather with a mild aroma, you got the right plant! The plant will lose its flowers early summer and it will form some sticky green fruits. Don’t worry if you missed the flowering period of the mountain lilac because the fruits can also be used to make soap. The early pioneers used to dry the fruits and used them for soap when needed. If you decide to dry the fruits and store them for later use, you must know that the fruits will get very hard and you will need to ground them into a fine powder before using it as soap. Once you have the powder, add water and rub vigorously. The soap doesn’t have the same quality as the one made from the fresh fruits, but it is a good alternative when nothing else is available. Mountain lilac has good cleansing properties and it’s worth traveling to the difficult terrain to collect its flowers and fruits.

Soap plants – Soaproot (Blitum californicum)

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This is a plant that was used by the Native Americans both as medicine and as a food source. The leaves of soaproot can be cooked, drained and used as you would use spinach. This is often confused with lamb’s quarter by many foragers, but if you pay attention, you can notice that soaproot has a large taproot. This is the part that can be used to make soap and it is often similar to a ginseng root or an overgrown carrot. Getting the root requires some effort and in hard soil it can be a foot deep, making it impossible to be harvested without a good shovel. The first pioneers learned to make soap from the Native Americans and they used to preserve the root in a dark, cold place for later use. In order to make soap you will need to grate the root with a sharp knife. Add water and rub between the hands to obtain a soap that many consider superior to store-bought soaps. The taproot produces a frothy lather that has very good cleansing properties. This plant is harder to find since most of those who know about its cleaning properties would take entire taproots and store them for later use. It can be found only in isolated patches and if you plan to use Soaproot, make sure you only use small taproots and leave the rest.

Soap plants – Amole (Chloroglaum pmeridianum)

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Amole is widespread plant that is part of the lily family and it can be identified easily due to its long liner leaves growing from the base of the plant. It develops flowers on a long stem and it grows a large brown bulb. To reach the bulb, which is the part used for making soap, you will sometimes have to dig down up to a foot deep. The bulb is usually covered in layers of brown fibers and you will need to remove these fibers until you reach the white bulb. The white bulb is stick and has many layers, just like an onion. You can take some of these layers, add water and agitate between your hands. As a result, you will obtain a rich lather that can be used for any sanitation operation you might need. You can use it to take a bath, to wash your hair and even to clean your clothes. You can also dry the bulb for later use, but just like for all other soap plants, the soap made from the fresh parts is far superior. The bulbous root of the Amole plant can be dug year-round if you know where to look for it. In the fall the plant is dormant and although it is widespread in various areas, it will be harder to find compared to the other soap plants.

Soap plants – Buffalo Gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima)

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This plant can be found in the central and southwestern United States and northern Mexico and it even grows in urban vacant lots. Some people know it by the name of coyote melon and based on its form, you can notice that it is a relative of squash and pumpkins. The Native Americans used the plant as rattles, but also as soap to for washing clothes. In order to make soap, they used the tender growing tips or the leaves of the plant. Adding water and agitating between the hands will result in a green frothy lather that has satisfactory cleansing proprieties. If you decide to use buffalo gourd to make soap, you have to handle the leaves with care as they are covered with tiny rigid spines. These tiny hairs are known to cause irritation to the skin for some people and many survivalists will use this soap plant as a last resort.

Soap plants – Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis)

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Many people know this plant as soapweed or crow soap and it is widely available since many gardeners will plant it for its pink flowers. This is an introduced plant and it is mostly used by European countries as soap substitute.  Although the leaves and the roots can be used, it is much easier to use the leaves since it will also help maintain the plant alive. There are various ways you can use the leaves to make soap. You can agitate the fresh leaves between your hands with water or you can boil them to produce a lather liquid that has the ability to dissolve fats or grease. Take a handful of fresh leaves, bruise and chop them for 30 minutes in 1 pint of water. Strain the liquid and use it as you would use liquid soap. This plant has satisfactory cleansing proprieties and it is a good alternative if it grows abundantly in your area. You can plant it in your off-grid garden as a useful ornamental and use it as soap substitute year round if no snow has fallen.

Soap plants are just another proof that Mother Nature will take care of your needs and it can provide you with viable alternatives to commercial products. The plants listed in this article will help you stay clean when your soap supplies run out and this is knowledge worth knowing.

Move over Kale: The Miracle Tree Is Taking Over

In a survival, prepping or disaster situation health and nutrition is crucial to surviving. In our 72hr Bug Out Bags or Get Home Bag it is commonly known (and recommended) to have essential items that will allow us to maintain and/or increase our energy levels, and at the same time ensure that the food in which we are consuming has the proper nutrition which will give us (as much as possible) optimum nourishment during that potentially stressful time.

In a survival, prepping or disaster situation health and nutrition is crucial to surviving. In our 72hr Bug Out Bags or Get Home Bag it is commonly known (and recommended) to have essential items that will allow us to maintain and/or increase our energy levels, and at the same time ensure that the food in which we are consuming has the proper nutrition which will give us (as much as possible) optimum nourishment during that potentially stressful time.

Did you know that there is a Super food plant which can provide you with:

  • 92 different nutrients
  • 46 Antioxidants
  • 36 Anti-Inflammatories
  • 18 Amino Acids
  • 9 Essential Amino Acids

If that wasn’t enough, this Super Food also is known to:

  • Boosts energy levels
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved immune system function
  • Improved mood
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Protects the stomach lining
  • Treats stomach ulcers
  • Ultimate Anti-oxidant
  • Plus many more!

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This Super food plant is known as the “Miracle Tree,” and is scientific name is “Moringa Oleifera”. Moringa has naturally occurring antioxidants which support the prevention of cancer and other debilitating diseases that attack the human body’s cells. Antioxidants, such as those found in Moringa Oleifera aids in dynamic cell restoration, which can combat oxidative stress by preventing free radicals from reacting and causing damage to cells. Moringa Oleifera has one of the highest ORAC rating of 157,000 (that’s off the chart folks).

Moringa Oleifera is a nutrient dense, whole Super food and that makes it a complete health product that will not only provide you with the vitamins you need, but also may improve your overall health. As a Master Herbalist I believe Moringa Oleifera is one of the best super foods which any Preppers will feel confident in having in either their 72hrs (Bug out Bag) or in their essential preps. Actually, I personally use this Moringa as part of my family’s daily nutritional supplements, it’s just that vital and effective.

How awesome is this? Moringa has:

  • 14x’s more calcium than milk
  • 9x’s more iron than spinach
  • 4x’s more fiber than oats
  • 4x’s more potassium than bananas
  • 2x’s more protein than eggs.

The benefits of Moringa Oleifera is known and used in areas where there is dramatic famine and extreme malnutrition. Moringa Oleifera is/has been used in many African countries such as Kenya, Mali, Senegal and others. The USAid agency also has used Moringa in Hati. (reference: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/dec/26/haiti-miracle-moringa-tree-malnutrition) where they claim that 30% of the children there are malnourished.

What nutritional daily value can Moringa give?

According to Optima of Africa, Ltd., a group that has been working with this tree, says that for every 25 grams (less than an ounce) daily of Moringa leaf powder will give a child the following daily allowances: protein 42%, calcium 125%, magnesium 60%, potassium 41%, iron 71%, vitamin A 272%, vitamin C 22%. The same benefits apply to adults and senior citizens, but only the percentages change. Obviously, Moringa is beneficial for people of all ages in one serving of Moringa Oleifera leaves, you can find:

  • 22% daily value of Vitamin C
  • 41% daily value of Potassium
  • 61% daily value of Magnesium
  • 71% daily value of Iron
  • 125% daily value of Calcium
  • 272% daily value of Vitamin A

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: Moringa oleifera leaves and seeds contain beneficial essential fatty acids (EFA’s). Moringa seeds contain between 30-42% oil, with 13% saturated fats and 82% unsaturated fatty acids. Oleifera is the Latin term for “oil containing.” About 73% of the Moringa oil is oleic acid, while in most beneficial plant oils, oleic acid only contributes up to 40%. Olive oil is about 75% oleic acid, and sunflower is about 20%. Oleic acid is linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, artherosclerosis, infections, and certain types of cancer, and it helps to regulate blood glucose levels. Our Moringa contains both: Both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

Moringa’s unique combination of nutrients can help to boost the immune system. It also helps to maintain healthier blood sugar levels within a normal range. People with high blood pressure or diabetes may also find moringa oleifera to be an effective supplement for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

When the Moringa Oleifera leaves are dried out and used in powder form you have a lightweight, high density superfood. The pack below is enough to provide all of the nutrients outlined in this article for one adult individual for a over 15 days and as long as it stays dried will still maintain is potency for 5+ year easily.

Moringa for lactose intolerant individuals & children:

Growing bodies need nutrients, and moringa is the most nutrient-dense plant ever studied. Moringa gives children the nutrients they need to grow health and strong, in an easily digestible form with high absorption rates. Nursing mothers can also use moringa to increase the nutrient content in their breast milk. Moringa can increase the natural calcium levels of mother’s milk by an amazing 25%. Again Moringa has 125% daily value of Calcium making it the perfect substitution for lactose intolerant people as well. You need calcium for health bones and health blood pressure control. Moringa does not contain any lactose.

You’ve now probably just discovered one of the most nutritious plants on the planet packed with over 90 vital nutrients and that includes essential fatty acids. Get Moringa in your bug out bag.

We are not aware of any negative effects. However, women who are pregnant or wishing to get pregnant should not consume this product. It’s maybe UNSAFE to use moringa if you are pregnant. Chemicals in the root, bark, and flowers can make the uterus contract, and this might cause a miscarriage.

Reference

Disclaimer: Information contained on this website is for general information purposes only and must not be used to treat or diagnose dental/medical conditions. The products and statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended as medical advice. Should you have any health concerns please check with your medical doctor before self-administering any natural remedy.

Emergency Medicinal Plants: Useful To Have and To Own

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If you run out of medicine in your cabinet, did you know there are other ways to get medicine besides going to a pharmacy? Here are a list of some of the most valued medicinal plants.

1. Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera is one the most popular medicinal plants because it can be used externally and internally.  Aloe Vera speeds up the healing process and reduces the risk of infections for wounds, cuts, and burns.  This also can treat ulcerative colitis by drinking the aloe vera juice, poor appetite, and digestive problems.

2. Marsh Mallow

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The root of the Marsh Mallow is to be taken internally to help treat inflammations and irritations of the urinary and respiratory mucus membranes, gastritis, and counter excess stomach acid.  The root for external use is to help with bruising, sprains, insect bites, skin inflammations, and aching muscles.  A bonus is the leaves are edible and can be used to help out in the areas of cystitis and frequent urination.

3. Great Burdock

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The Great Burdock can grow shadeless and the root is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that result in throat infections and skin disease like burns, rashes, eczema, ringworm, bites, acne, herpes, and bruising.  This plant has leaves and seeds that can be crushed to poultice it to bruising, burns, sores and ulcers.

4. Pot Marigold

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As long as this plant stays moist it can grow in almost any type of soil.  It can be very acidic or very alkaline.  It helps with skin problems and the deep orange flower is applied externally to help ease the pain with bites, sprains, wounds, sore eyes, and varicose veins.  For internal use it can help treat fevers and chronic infections.  To help treat corns and warts just crush the stems and it will soon make them easily removable.

5. Gotu Kola

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The Gotu Kola plant is known for its healing process.  It acts on various phases of connective tissue development and stimulation.  It heals ulcers, decreases capillary fragility, skin injuries, and stimulation of the lipids and protein neessary for healthy skin.  The crushed leaves are poulticed to treat open sores.  As well as treat leprosy, increase attention span and concentration, and revitalize the brain and nervous system.

6 Wild Plants You Can Eat

It’s spring, and if you’re looking to supplement your diet with something other than factory processed, chemically treated, GMO, now it is time.  You can do this even if you live in urban  areas you can and should be able to find a few common herbs and plants in your environment.

My dad would tell me to, “Go out and dig up some weeds to eat.”  I think he just want me to cut the lawn and pull some weeds, but there is some truth to his words. 

It’s spring, and if you’re looking to supplement your diet with something other than factory processed, chemically treated, GMO, now it is time.  You can do this even if you live in urban  areas you can and should be able to find a few common herbs and plants in your environment.

My dad would tell me to, “Go out and dig up some weeds to eat.”  I think he just want me to cut the lawn and pull some weeds, but there is some truth to his words.

Many wild plants around you are edible and some medicinal. This can be a fun family project to go out into your local world and discover how it feels to become an urban gathering survivor and learn skills to identify edible and medicinal plants.

THE DISCLAIMER: Many plants are toxic, or have toxic parts, or are alternately edible and toxic at various stages of maturity. Also, some people are sensitive to foods that others can consume safely. You need to know what you’re doing when you go out foraging and eating unfamiliar plants. If you have kidney disorders, stay clear. For more detailed information download our free book: Edible Wild Plants, or Wild Mushrooms

Six Common Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants

1:  Dandelion

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The hated dandelion is nutritionally quite dense. It has four times as much calcium, 1.5 times as much vitamin A, and 7.5 times as much vitamin K as broccoli. It has more iron and riboflavin than spinach, and provides vitamin E.  Dandelion greens nutrition facts. It is also diuretic. The tender young leaves are tasty in a salad, and the young blossoms are a real treat when stir fried in butter with a little garlic, salt, and pepper. Show it some love and let it grow, at least in the back yard.

2:  Poke Sallet

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The plant is toxic and must be double or even triple blanched to rinse out the toxins (along with all other nutrients). That’s the official view, anyway; I can’t stand to go to all that work and then just throw out all the food value, so I pick the leaves very young, while the leaf stem is still green and not red, and steam it just like spinach before stir-frying in bacon grease. I eat a spinach-sized serving along with other foods. It has never made me sick, but of course you should experiment very carefully and put safety first, and remember that children are more vulnerable. According to the poke sallet wiki, the lethal dose in mice appears to be about 300 g per kg of body weight. That’s the equivalent of a 175 lb. human eating more than 50 lbs. of the stuff.  Now, if you eat enough it will “clean you out,” if you know what I mean, but sometimes that’s a good thing, right? Just make sure you’re not traveling after your meal.  Don’t eat the roots, no matter how prepared — they can’t be made safe.

3: Lambsquarters

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I love this one. One of my earliest foraging experiences was harvesting lambsquarters with my dad. It grew in dense patches around the farmyard. He prepared them like spinach, and like spinach, it does have a mildly unpleasant “sticky” feel on the teeth. But hey, nothing’s perfect. It tastes better and is a lot less work than cultivating garden greens. It’s also more calorie and protein dense than many of them. Here’s a lambsquarters nutritional comparison with spinach.

4. Dock

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This one is edible, but not all that tasty, with one exception; the stalks are good added to a salad. It’s similar to rhubarb. The roots have a cathartic effect (also called a “stimulant laxative,” in that it accelerates bowel activity; a “laxative” works by softening the stool). The stewed leaves have a laxative effect, but they don’t taste all that good; they’re better used as an herb to flavor gamy meat like grass-fed beef or a tough buck.

5: Wood Sorrel (Sourgrass)

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Wood sorrel is very distinctive and easy to find. It is rich in vitamin C and adds a wonderful tartness to raw dishes like salads, salsas and slaws. My kids pick it and munch on it while doing yard work, and I add it to diced avocado with lemon juice, salt, and onion. It contains oxalic acid, and is officially toxic in excess, or if you have bad kidneys. I think you have to eat a shipload to make you sick, but I’m not sure. You’ve been warned.

It also has medicinal value as a diuretic, antiemetic, appetite stimulant, and relief for indigestion. Further reading about wood sorrel.

6: Thistle

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I used to eat it canned in Europe, but as an adult I learned how tasty it is when fresh. Except for the seeds, every part of the thistle plant provides an edible item. The roots are good if you dig them up when they’re not as fibrous. That’s during the winter when there’s no plant top, which makes them hard to find. The peeled leaf midribs are tricky to get to, but they’re excellent. So are the peeled stalks, picked young, before they get stringy. The ribs and stalks are excellent prepared in a casserole, as you would do for cauliflower. I’ve also baked it like scalloped potatoes. When chopped into two inch pieces and stir fried, they’re superb. Even the flower bud has an edible heart similar to artichoke, but it’s tiny and hardly worth the trouble. Still, it’s good to know.

Source of Plant Pictures and Descriptions: http://www.survivalnewsonline.com/index.php/2015/04/7-wild-edibles-around-your-house/

Have Fun Foraging and Be Safe.  Learn new skills and Plan, Prepare, Protect.