Yesterday I did something rather spontaneous.
I went on a “Wild Edible Plant” walk. It took place at an organic farm, and a folk herbalist/wildcrafter taught me about the free “food” that grows in the wild. The common “weeds” grown in my area and their edible and medicinal properties.
I must admit that I had never thought that I would walk around in the wilderness, pick up strange leaves, and then pop them in my mouth! I enjoyed myself, though, and learned a bit about wildcrafting.
The first thing you need to do before swallowing anything is test yourself for allergies with the plant. Chew a small piece of the plant on the tip of your mouth for a while. If you experience any itching at all, spit it out immediately and rinse your mouth with water.
People react differently to different kinds of herbs. One herb might be very beneficial to a lot of people; however, if you are allergic to it, don’t eat it.
I don’t know exactly which plants are which, so I do not suggest going out into your yard right now and eating any plant you see. I suggest getting help from a professional before eating anything.
Now let’s see what I ate/saw:
Cranesville: Also known as True Geranium. This can be rubbed onto skin externally to help hemorrhoids.
I think this one is Stinging Nettle, scientific name Urtica dioica. It grows well under oak trees. It is full of highly-absorbable minerals like Iron, Potassium, Calcium, and different salts. Do not eat it raw, but steam it. Supposedly it tastes somewhat like spinach (didn’t try this one). Also, the juice inside the leaf can help fire-ant bites.
These, I believe, are the Viola and Plantain plants. They are a dark, leafy green that can be used in salads. They are also known as anti-tumor plants.
This is the Sour Thistle. It is full of thorns, but it can be eaten to cool you down during a hot day.
I loved taking photos of these. They’re called Beauty Berries. Like their name suggests, they’re beautiful. The trick in knowing whether or not the berry is ripe to pick is if it comes easily off the vine. If it doesn’t, then it isn’t ripe. If it is wrinkled, then it is overripe.
The berries don’t have much of a taste, but it was fun to pop in my mouth. You can boil the leaves for hours and use the water as a mosquito repellent!
This was my favorite, Oxalis. They have triangular-shaped leaves and small purple-pink flowers. They tasted delicious, sweet and tangy. It would pop in your mouth with a flavor sort of like raspberries. I could eat these all day.
Bitter Melon: This has a little spiky, orange berry on it. I believe the seeds inside the berry are poisonous, but the leaves are good for regulating blood sugar levels.
The area the scavenger walk took place was by an organic farm. You can see here all the delicious lettuce they’re growing.
***Note: I am not an expert in these plants and herbs, so I cannot advise you whether or not these will treat or cure anything. I’m just sharing with you what I learned yesterday on a small journey. Always consult an expert before starting a new diet or regimen, or eating foreign plants.
THOUGHT-PROVOKING, MIND-PRODDING QUESTION OF THE DAY:
If you are an herb-expert reading this post, will you tell me more about wild plants? If I made any mistakes from the above, please correct me!
Have you ever been on a “weed walk,” or sampled wild plants?