The following list contains just some of the more than 30 wonderful wild edibles found on the ground of Creative Health Institute. Many of these wild edibles are used by the staff, students and guests to make wonderful energy soups, in the tradition of Dr. Ann Wigmore. We have weekly classes where we teach you how to identify and use wild edibles as foods and for medicinal purposes. When picking wild edible plants it is crucial that you can properly identify them. Many of them are similar in appearance to poisonous plants.
Wonderful Easy To Identify Wild Edibles
COMFREY is kind of an awkward looking plant it grows about 5’ tall with giant lower leaves and clusters of small dangling flowers. Comfrey can be used in salads and green smoothies. HEALTH BENEFITS: High in calcium and phosphorus and can be used as a tropical treatment, it speeds up natural replacement of body cells also good for bronchial problems, broken bones, burns, arthritis, skin conditions, and acne. Comfrey was also used in the middle ages to help relieve lung problems caused by Black Death.
DANDELIONS this plant can be used as a pot herb in salads. Young leaves can be picked in early spring before the plant has flowered to add to salad, it can also be used in place of spinach. Dandelions have been used by humans as food and as a herb for much of recorded history. HEALTH BENEFITS: Diuretic, tremendous amount of vitamin A (25 times the amount in tomato juice and 50 times that of asparagus.)
THISTLES have spiny tipped leaves and a red purple flower, they can be used as a pot herb and in salads, be sure and clip the spine before putting them in your salad Thistles are found in fields across the United States. HEALTH BENEFITS: regulate menopausal heat symptoms, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, protect and restore liver, cleansing during Candida fungal and bacteria die off.
LAMB’S QUARTER’S is commonly regarded as a weed, this plant can be found in Europe and North America in damp or acidic soils from Spring to Fall. Lamb’s Quarter’s can be used in salads, and as a pot herb, and in place of spinach. HEALTH BENEFITS: high in protein, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, it is also closely related to Quinoa.
BURDOCK is commonly found around abandoned buildings, manure piles, residential yards, and in Northern U.S. and Southern Canada. Peel the roots and it can be eaten alone raw or with salads. HEALTH BENEFITS: Blood and purifying agent –clearing the blood of toxins. Diuretic- rid the body of excess fluid. Improve hair strength, shine and body (dandruff and hair loss.) It is also rich in essential fatty acids.
CHICK WEED these annual plants can be used in salads and as pot herbs. They are found in waste lots, gardens, and disturbed soils. They survive winter frosts. Chick weed are a very wholesome green vegetable, when boiled it resembles the taste of spinach. HEALTH BENEFITS: Commonly called nailwort, derived from the disease of the fingernail which it may be used to cure.
CLOVER can be used in salads, to make tea and as a pot herb; it can be eaten raw or boiled. Eastern whites can be used to make clover tea by brewing the dried flower heads. It is best to dip clover leaves in salt water before eating. Eating the leaves in excess can cause bloating. HEALTH BENEFITS: Very high in protein, should be juiced it’s not easy to digest raw.
CAT TAILS is a tall plant up to 15 ft with stiff pale green leaves, the young root stocks have a sweet taste and are high in starchy material. They should be grated, boiled and the starchy material drained out for use. Cat tails can be found in the spring and summer in or alongside the fresh or brackish water of marshes and ponds. HEALTH BENEFITS: It is a energy rich food source and a source of oil.
PLANTAIN has one easily recognized sedge Carex Plantagenet, plantain-leaf sedge. With its plump and vivacious green leaves with dark purple sheaths, plantain-leaf sedge has plenty of sparkle. Plantain-leaf sedge has wrinkled, wide leaves (8 to 32mm wide) and basal sheaths that are deep wine-red in color. The leaves will over-winter and often appear shriveled or dead at the tips. It grows in the deep shade of mesic forests, especially along moist north facing slopes with cold-air drainage. It’s a great plant for shade gardens because it blooms early, has interesting leaf morphology, and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. Deer and rabbits have also been observed to munch on the fertile calms of this sedge, probably because it blooms early; when there are not many other plants to eat. HEALTH BENEFITS: Anti venom for snake bites smoking cessation, diahorea, bladder problems, bronchitis, fever, hypertension, blood sugar control, heat leaves for wet dressing for wounds, skin inflammation, cuts and stings.