Welcome to Uses For Common Medicinal Weeds Found Around Your Home – Part 5! Let’s take a quick look at the wild plants I have covered thus far.
In Part 1, I covered the medicinal properties of three extremely beneficial wild plants: purslane, ground ivy, and chickweed. In Part 2, I covered the medicinal properties of four additional beneficial wild plants: thistle, wild violet, hairy bitterness, and prickly lettuce. In Part 3, I covered the medicinal properties of lamb’s quarters, mallow, stinging nettle, and chicory. In Part 4, I covered the medicinal properties of henbit, curly dock, garlic mustard, and amaranth.
What do all of these wild plants have in common? They can usually be found close to or around your home. Today, I’ll cover the medicinal uses for daisies, sheep sorrel, and elderflowers.
Word of caution…
As I did in part one through part 4, I would like to share with you two articles which include information on safety precautions you need to be aware of when foraging for wild, edible, plants. In my article, Foraging Tips for the 7 Most Common Edible Plants, I share great tips on things to consider and to look out for when you forage for any and all wild, edible plants. Another great article, “Need To Know” Rules When Picking Edible & Medicinal Plants, is written by Mykel Hawke, star of Discovery’s “Man, Woman, Wild”. He also talks about considerations and safety precautions to take when foraging in the wild. I sincerely encourage you to read these articles if you have never foraged for wild and edible plants. Foraging can be a great experience but, safety precautions are a must!
Let’s get started!
Medicinal Uses For Weeds Commonly Found
Daisies (Bellis perennis)
This beautiful wild plant can be found in lawns, pastures, and even on the side of the road. The daisy, part of the aster family, can reach to heights of 20 cm. The leaves form into a dense rosette pattern that are closer to the ground than the flower itself. The stems are straight and the blooms are tiny white petals with a yellow center.
Medicinally, the flowers (fresh or dried) and leaves can be used. Daisies are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are used to treat a number of ailments such as respiratory problems, inflammation of the urinary tract, digestive issues, and chronic rheumatic conditions.
This plant can also be used topically on small wounds, scratches, and sores. Chewing the leaves has been known to provide pain relief for ulcers in the mouth.
The edible parts of this plant are the fresh leaves, buds, and petals which can be added to salads and soups. You can also dry the flowers and use them to make tea.
Directions for daisy tea: (Recommended dosage per day is 3 small cups)
- 2 teaspoons of dried daisy flowers
- 1 cup of boiling water
- Seep for 10 minutes
- Strain and enjoy
Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
Sheep sorrel, a close relative to curly dock and wood sorrel, can most often be found in overgrown lawns and pastures. Part of the buckwheat family, sheep sorrel can reach heights of 4-6 inches. The stems have clustered blooms that are reddish or brownish in color.
The leaves are both medicinal and edible. The entire plant, including the root system, is commonly used in essiac tea, which is used to treat a number of chronic illnesses.
This plant is rich in vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, and K. Sheep sorrel is used to treat inflammation, diarrhea, scurvy, and urinary tract infections. Important: This plant does contain high levels of potassium oxalate and should not be consumed in excess.
Small amounts of sheep sorrel leaves make great additions to salads, soups, and sauces as this plant has a tart like flavoring. Also, the leaves are a great addition to meat dishes containing seafood or chicken. Seeds of the sheep sorrel plant can be eaten raw or cooked.
Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra)
The elderflower is unique because it comes from a wild tree, that is in the shape of a large shrub. This gorgeous tree can be usually found around rivers, ponds or lakes. The blooms are tiny white flowers. When the white flowers die off, berries will grow in their place.
You can dry the flowers to make tea which can aid in the symptoms of coughs, colds, and the flu. It can also reduce fever.
The flowers can be picked in the spring and are usually used in drink recipes such as soda and champagne. The unripened berries of the elder tree can be pickled and used in various recipes. The ripened berries of the elder tree have been used in recipes such as a balsamic vinegar, which is great on a salad! Click here for the full recipe.
Important: Due to the fact that the use of this plant can lower blood sugar, it is not recommended to use in conjunction with any diabetes medication.
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What weeds commonly found around your home do you use for medicinal purposes? Tell us in the comment section below.
Check out these other great articles on other medicinal wild plants: