Edible weeds – health straight from the meadow! Which ones can you eat?
The idea of eating weeds may seem crazy, but the truth is that field plants can bring many benefits to our health. Weeds are not far behind their cultivated counterparts in terms of nutritional value. However, before you reach for them, you need to learn about edible wild plants.
Edible weeds can be used in a variety of ways, from teas to salad ingredients. What are the most common edible weeds in Poland?
This plant is often the bane of allotment and garden owners. Eating it can bring us benefits and provide valuable raw material to our kitchen shelves. The dandelion is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, in addition, it fits into many dishes as a seasoning. Dandelion leaves are rich in vitamins A, D and E as well as flavonoids (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects). In addition, they also contain valuable mineral salts. Dandelions are often confused with another popular weed, field milkweed, which is also edible and can be used to make medicinal decoctions
Burdock is probably familiar to many people from their childhood. The root is similar to parsley and can be eaten raw. The young leaves and peeled stems are also good to eat and can be added to soups and salads. Burdock is a great source of protein, minerals and phytosterols, which lower blood cholesterol levels. In addition, burdock also has strong medicinal properties – antibacterial, soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal.
It doesn’t have to be four-leafed at all to bring good luck. Clovers are the beloved flowers of bees. Clover not only makes delicious honey, but teas and infusions. Clover tea can work wonders for the common cold and is ideal for pregnant women, as it helps regulate hormones during this special time as well as during breastfeeding.
There probably isn’t a more hated weed, especially for short-shorts lovers. Although nettle can associate everyone with unpleasant burns, it has many valuable properties. From nettle you can make a tea or add it to scrambled eggs after prior processing. This plant contains a lot of vitamins and ingredients such as potassium, calcium, iron and silicon.
Nettle extract contains so-called cyclooxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors, which have anti-inflammatory effects. This confirms the benefits of drinking, for example, nettle juice with honey; it used to be a way to relieve joint pain of low intensity
Some tips to look out for
When harvesting herbs and weeds, there are a few things to keep in mind. First – do not harvest weeds close to streets or busy traffic routes, as this gives you the risk of too much exhaust fumes. It is best to look for them in gardens, allotments or field meadows in the countryside. When collecting plants, we should also equip ourselves with an atlas of herbs, because a mistake and consumption of some inedible plant can cause serious health problems.
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