Prolific, abundant, and delicious, the top edible “weed” is lambsquarters. It grows with little effort in almost any disturbed soil and is one of the most nutrient-dense plants ever analyzed. It is rich in potassium and magnesium and has more vitamins A and C, riboflavin, and calcium than domesticated spinach.
Identification: The leaves of the Lambsquarters are arranged in a starburst pattern, and vary in shape from narrow and pointed, to rounded and triangular. They may grow up to four feet tall, though they lose flavor as they age. The waxy coating on the leaves makes water bead and deters insects.
Poisonous look alike: The Hairy Nightshade. The leaves on these two plants are similar, but the nightshade is hairy, while the Wild Spinach are not. They are also easily discernable by their flowers. Hairy nightshade flowers are white, while lambsquarters flowers are green and inconspicuous. Another way to identify lambsquarters is to spray the leaves with water and look for droplets.
Harvesting: Thin the patch by pinching shoots close to the ground and placing the baby shoots in a bowl of water to keep them from drying out. Harvest larger plants by pinching the upper stem. If the stem pinches off easily, it is tender enough to eat. If the stem is old and woody, pluck only the leaves, though pruning the woody stem will stimulate new growth. If the leaves are too old, they may become bitter but are still usable cooked with onion, garlic, or in a stew.
Source: Kallas, John. Edible Wild Plants, Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate. Gibbs Smith Publishing (2010) Print
Of the myriad of species collected, Francisca relied on Hemp-Agrimony above all others, collecting the leaves and flowering tops in August before they opened and dried.
Vitamin C in plants such as Hemp-Agrimony staved off scurvy and colds during the long Vosges winter without fresh fruits.
A tea made from Hemp-Agrimony leaves or dried flowers is a natural cure for colds and sore throats, reduced fever, and relieved stomachaches. The bruised leaves applied directly to the skin healed wounds or infections or rubbed on domestic animals repelled insects. Placing the leaves in a bath relieves aching muscles and joints and compress of the leaves relieves headaches. Even the roots from the plant were used as a laxative.
To harvest, wear long pants and boots as it is found in wet soil near swamps and thickets or along freshwater streams, the same place snakes like to inhabit.
Hemp-Agrimony is a tall woody plant, growing between two and five feet high with long, toothy leaflets. The leaves grow in familiar tiered hemp-style in pairs of three lobes. Reddish stems covered in downy hair with clusters of tiny pink or white flowers that burst forth from July to September.
Hemp-Agrimony is no relation to Agrimony, a plant with yellow flowers, nor is it related to Cannabis Hemp, though the shape of the leaf is similar.
PLEASE NOTE: All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten and should only be ingested as tea.
Source: Weiner, Michael A., Earth Medicine, Earth Food. MacMillan Publishing Co, Inc. (1980) Print
People have used ginger for thousands of years to expel toxins in the body. Ginger’s natural anti-inflammatory properties will soothe your throat and warm your body to chase colds away. You need about a two-inch piece of ginger root. Peel and thinly slice and add to about four cups of water. Allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, and then strain into a mug. Ginger is naturally sweet, so taste before adding anything additional, but a squeeze of lemon, cinnamon, and honey also adds flavor and benefits.
Weiner, Michael A., Earth Medicine, Earth Food. MacMillan Publishing Co, Inc. (1980) Print https://www.naturalnews.com/042226_common_cold_natural_remedies_apple_cider_vinegar.html