We should know that all weeds serve a purpose; in fact, some are healthy for us and can be very beneficial. In fact many of the ‘annoying’ weeds that people pull out or spray are actually good for you. A lot of them can be eaten, crushed, or dried and used as medicines that are free, generally safe, and abundant.
Chickweed: This weed is a fantastic source of vitamins A, D, B complex, and C. It also contains minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium. Chickweed has a corn-like flavor when eaten raw, and tastes similar to spinach when it is cooked. It nourishes the lymph and glandular systems, and can heal cysts, fevers, and inflammation. It can help neutralize acid and help with yeast overgrowth and fatty deposits, too. Additionally, chickweed can be finely chopped and applied externally to irritated skin. Steep the plant in ¼ cup of boiling water for 15 minutes
Dandelion: There are numerous dandelion benefits you probably didn’t even know about. High in vitamins A, C, foliate, and calcium, dandelion leaves can be sautéed as a vegetable or added to a salad, along with the flowers. By allowing dandelions to grow until they become quite large, the large roots can be harvested and turned dried into a medicinal supplement that acts as a powerful diuretic and kidney and liver cleanser.
Stinging Nettle: In dried leaf, tincture or tea form, it can be used to help treat anemia, internal bleeding, eczema, bladder infections, prostate enlargement, and bronchitis. Some people apply freshly-picked stinging nettle (painful little barbs and all) to their joints to relieve the pain of arthritis. Some scientists believe the plant has the power to reduce levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body that cause pain.
Plaintain: Also known as White Man’s Foot, can be found growing in the cracks of sidewalks or at the edge of garden beds. This plant contains a slippery substance called mucilage that is known for soothing sore throats and inflammation in the digestive tract. It also contains antibacterial properties that heal as they soothe.
Cattail: Also known as bulrush, reed mace, raupō, or corn dog grass, these plants have been eaten by Europeans for centuries. Every part of the cattail can be eaten. The jelly- like substance found between the leaves of the cattail plant can be used as an antiseptic on wounds and other areas of the body affected by foreign agents, pathogens, or microbes. It also serves as an analgesic that can be digested or applied topically to soothe pain and relieve inflammation.
Cattail has also been shown to slow bleeding, thanks to an abundance of coagulant properties, which can help people who have been wounded, and women with heavy menstrual bleeding. It is also useful on the skin, as it can heal boils, sores, soothe bug bites and reduce the appearance of scars. Perhaps most excitingly, cattail has been found in studies to prevent cancer.
Ref: Julie Fidler of Natural Society