17 Edible Backyard Weeds With Extraordinary Health Benefits

17 Edible Backyard Weeds With Extraordinary Health Benefits
17 Edible Backyard Weeds With Extraordinary Health Benefits

1. Chickweed (Stellaria media)
This garden weed is a great source of vitamins A, D and C, as well as iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc! Chickweed has a delicate flavor, much like spinach, and works well when freshly picked and added to sandwiches and salads. If you don’t like the taste, you can still reap the benefits by hiding it in soups and stews.

2. Chicory (Cichoriumintybus)
This light blue flower lives as a wild roadside plant. Despite its somewhat bitter taste, chicory leaves are commonly consumed in certain parts of Europe, including Italy and Greece.

3. Curly Dock (Rumexcrispus)
Curly dock is one of the hardiest and most widespread weeds, so you should have no trouble finding a source. The leaves are high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, and zinc ensuring good immunity, and the seeds are rich in calcium and fiber.

4. Daisies (Bellisperennis)
Not just for making daisy chains, the greens and petals of this common garden flower can be eaten either raw or cooked, although some find the flavor a little bitter.

5. Dandelion (Taraxacum)
Probably the most well-known of all weeds, the humble dandelion is actually bursting with vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The great news is that there’s probably a ton of this nutritious weed in your backyard.

6. Garlic Mustard (Alliariapetiolata)
Part of the mustard family, this particular plant is considered an invasive species in North America. However, it brings with it a lot of great health benefits – aside from being a good source of vitamin A and C, Garlic Mustard is popular as a diuretic, helps with weight maintenance, improves heart health, lowers cholesterol and strengthens the immune system.

7. Elderflowers (Sambucusnigra)
The truly versatile Elder is not exactly a weed but is quite a common wild tree, especially around rivers and lakes. The flowers can be collected in spring to make elderflower cordial, soda or champagne. With a refreshing, mild taste, they’re great when paired with apple or pear. Dry the flowers in bunches to make a tea.

8. Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album)
This rapidly growing summer weed produces black seeds which are related to the protein-rich superfood quinoa. Much like their cousin, the seeds of lamb’s quarters are a great source of protein, along with providing vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Harvesting these seeds does take a little dedication though!

9. Purslane (Portulacaoleracea)
A nutritional powerhouse, Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, E as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. In traditional Chinese medicine, purslane leaves are used for insect bites and bee stings, sores, diarrhea and hemorrhoids.

10. Plantain (Plantago major)
Not to be confused with the banana-like Caribbean fruit, this common weed can be used topically to treat burns, stings and other wounds.

11. Red Clover (Trifoliumpretense)
You might have noticed that this pretty pinky-red flower attracts all the bees to your garden. It’s not just a great source of food for them, but also for you!

12. Sheep Sorrel (Rumexacetosella)
A close relative of curled dock and wood sorrel, the sheep sorrel plant is often found in overgrown backyards.

13. Stinging Nettle (Urticadioica)
Another popular medicinal weed, you’ll require gloves or thick skin when picking this! It’s used for urination problems and kidney stones, joint ailments and as a diuretic. The leaves are also said to help fight allergies and hay fever.

14. Wild Amaranth (Amaranthus)
This summer annual weed is a great source of free protein if you take the time to collect and prepare the seeds. The leaves of wild amaranth are delicious and delicately flavored when pan fried, or added to any dish that calls for leafy greens.
15. Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum)
Something all foragers hope to come across, wild garlic is a great find. With delicate white flowers and thin shoots, this useful ‘weed’ is delicious when used in a homemade pesto. It can also be used in place of chives or green onion, and added to salads, sandwiches and soups.

16. Wild Violets (Viola)

Source – http://www.naturallivingideas.com
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17 Edible Backyard Weeds With Extraordinary Health Benefits