Welcome to Medicinal Uses For Weeds Commonly Found Around Your Home – Part 8! Let’s take a quick look at the medicinal weeds I have covered thus far.
Part 1: purslane, ground ivy, and chickweed
Part 2: thistle, wild violet, hairy bitterness, and prickly lettuce
Part 3:lamb’s quarters, mallow, stinging nettle, and chicory
Part 4: henbit, curly dock, garlic mustard, and amaranth
Part 5: daisies, sheep sorrel, and elderflowers
Part 6: mullein, yarrow, and horseweed
Part 7: cleavers, self-heal, and miner’s lettuce
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 uses for medicinal weeds such as jewelweed, knotweed, ground elder, and field bindweed. Medicinal weeds can work wonders if you just give them a chance!
Medicinal Weeds | Commonly Found Around Your Home
Word of caution…
As I did in part 1-7, 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!
Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
If you have made the unfortunate mistake of walking through poison ivy, don’t wander too far because the antidote could quite possibly be just a few feet to a few yards away! The old saying “If you come across poison ivy, the cure is close by” is true. Jewelweed often times grows along the same area(s) as poison ivy.
The flowers of this plant are yellowish orange with a loop in the bottom and have red or white spots in the open end which sometimes droops downward.
To use jewelweed as a treatment for poison ivy, cut up the stem and just rub the juice from the stem onto your poison ivy rash. Also, you can chew the leaves and flowers for a few minutes and then smear them onto the poison ivy rash.
You can also treat skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, and insect bites in the same way you treat poison ivy rashes.
Knotweed (Polygonum aviculare)
This wild plant, which can grow to 30 cm in height, has skinny stems with leaves opposite of each other and has tiny white flowers.
The young leaves are a rich source of zinc and can be used as a potherb. The seeds (which are tiny) can be ground up into a powder and added to recipes such as pancakes or biscuits.
As an herb, it has safe and effective diuretic properties used to treat the symptoms of dysentery, hemorrhoids, and kidney stones. As an herb, it can also be used to treat the symptoms of pulmonary issues such as bronchitis.
Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)
This wild plant has white flower clusters at the top of the stem. The leaves have 3 dull points to them and the stem has a triangular shape. This plant is invasive and can take over other plants around it. Even the tiniest portion of a root can grow a new ground elder plant.
The above portions of this plant are edible, meaning the roots are not. The young leaves can be used in salads.
The ground elder plant has diuretic and laxative properties and is used medicinally to treat symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism, bladder issues, and gout. This is just one of many medicinal weeds!
Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
Also referred to as ‘wild morning glory’, this wild plant can often be spotted in fields or pastures. Field bindweed is a vine type of weed that has arrow shaped leaves. The flowers are pink and white with trumpet shaped petals and blooms between June and September. This wild plant is extremely difficult to eradicate due to the fact that the seeds can stay viable in the soil for 20 years! This plant can sprout new growth just from a tiny fragment of the root system.
Field bindweed can be used medicinally as a tea.
Tea made from the leaves can be used topically to clean spider bites. Drinking the tea can reduce the severity of menstruation and also possesses laxative properties.
Tea made from the flowers can be used topically to treat minor wounds. Drinking the tea can reduce fever and possesses laxatives properties.
Tea made from the roots also has laxative properties along with having emetic effects, which means it can induce vomiting.
Do not consume if you are pregnant or nursing.
Trillium: Wild Edibles shows a video of 6 popular medicinal plants and herbs:
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:
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