Everybody knows and loves foraging. It brings nothing but happiness and a great year-round treasure to cherish. It is quite easy to find medicinal plants in your own backyard. Here is a quick guide about what you can do with the most easily found medicinal plants. Note to self: Do not spray pesticides or any other harmful chemicals on the plants as this causes damage to the consumer.
Plantain is an herbaceous flowering perennial with smooth margined broadleaves and mall brownish-green flowers. For around 4000 years, it is used as a traditional medicine in Iran and Persia for constipation, inflammation, irritation, fever, skin problems, insect bites, and upper respiratory tract infection.
Plantain can be made into a topical salve to cater to mosquito bites, bee/wasp stings, and other insect bites. Gather plantain leaves from your backyard and dry them completely until they turn crispy and brittle to touch. Now infuse the dried and chopped plantain in a carrier oil (olive oil) using a slow cooker for 2 to 6 hours. Strain the plant material away and pour it in the melted beeswax and tea tree oil mixture. Allow it to solidify then use it to reduce inflammation and irritation caused by bug bites and other skin problems.
Dandelion is a tap-rooted, herbaceous perennial that is marked by serrated leaves and yellow to orange dangling flowers. From root to flower, dandelions are bagged with various medicinal benefits. It not only treats gastrointestinal and liver issues, but also caters to acne, eczema, cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, UTIs, and even anxiety too.
The aerial parts of the dandelion, i.e. everything above the ground level can be made into a salve. Its green parts are edible and are enjoyed all around the world in different salads and soups. The roots, on the other hand, are tinctured using grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks in a dark, dry place.
Chickweed is a common food source of poultry. It is a low-spreading weed having fragile stems, small oval leaves, and pretty white flowers. Traditionally, it is used in the treatment of asthma, constipation, inflammation, skin disorders, conjunctivitis, dyspepsia, weight gain, and blood disorders.
Chickweed leaves are tinctured, decocted, and made into a salve. Its fresh leaves compliment fresh salads, added to the smoothies, used as a garnish, and made into a delicious pesto to gain its never-ending medicinal and delectable benefits.
Lamb’s quarter is one of the most fabled plants that appears as an annual weed and grows abundantly in the US. It can be identified by the bluish-green leaves and green petal-less flowers.
Its tea can help support the treatment of gastrointestinal infections, such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, internal bleeding, stomachache, and intestinal inflammation. Topically, it is used to tighten up the sagging skin and imparts a rejuvenating effect. Its fresh leaves can be foraged and added to salads or sautéed to bring flavors and well-being into life.