***Disclaimer…this is NOT intended to suggest you ingest or use any of these. Always make sure to first do your own research and get advice from someone who knows a lot about plants and natural medicines***
Did you know most, if not all, ‘weeds’ are not actually weeds at all.
I think the only ‘weed’ people might view as a weed would be knapweed yet still it’s used for medicinal purposes such as for the treatment of glandular disorders or to treat certain snake bites.
Definition of Weed as per Merrian-Webster’s Dictionary: ‘a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth’
The above definition indeed exemplifies knapweed as we commonly think about it here in BC. It’s obnoxious and destructive to other plants such as hay for livestock. Still, it offers much value in other ways.
Often when a person is out hiking or enjoying the great outdoors, they may not be aware or spend a lot of time looking around or considering the foliage surrounding them.
Here are some Googleable plants and weeds you may find interesting and to learn about their traditional uses as you wander and enjoy this beautiful provide (and your own backyards ;):
- Mullein: Cough, earaches, colds, chills, flu, fever, allergies, tonsillitis, and sore throat. Other uses include asthma, diarrhea, migraines, joint pain and gout.
- Choke Cherry (Bitter Berry): WARNING…the seeds contain cyanide and fruit must be cooked before use! Speeds healing of wounds, anti-cancer properties, bark for fevers
- Elderberry: Used for boosting the immune system, flus, colds and the like. Helpful for chronic fatigue, nerve pain, sinus pain, back and leg pain. Tastes good!
- Wild Blueberries, Thimbleberries, Blackberries, Salmonberries and Raspberries: Research each individually :)
- Dandelion: Popular for helping stomach and liver conditions, may help lower cholesterol, regulate diabetes, acne and eczema
- Mushrooms: Various types…research individually and some are poisonous
- Soapberry (aka Sxusem-pronounced “s-khushem”): Cleaner, pre-washing agent, shaving cream, handwash, use as a repellent, shampoo
- Huckleberry: Tastes good! Pies, desserts, stabilizing blood sugars, pain, helps infections, aids in protection from heart ailments
- Saskatoon Berry: Yummy for eating and baking. Helps with stomach ailments and can be used as a mild laxative
- Milk Thistle: Supports liver health, helps swollen joints, may help lower cholesterol, aids gallbladder disorders and promotes skin health
- Lavender: Encourages relaxation, helps insomnia and anxiety, it is flavourful and unique when used in cooking and baking, antifungal
- Sage: Helps loss of appetite, overproduction of saliva, memory loss, stomach gas, heartburn and bloating. Also used for cleansing, anti-inflammatory purposes
- Prickly Pear Cactus: When it blooms-that is when saskatoon berries are ready, can help with incontinence, known to help lower blood sugar and aid with diabetes, colitis
Remember to always consult with a health professional first! ;)