Backyard Weeds: 3 Hidden Healers You Never Knew Were There
Did you know that some of the most common summer weeds and wild plants make great medicine?
Summer weeds soothe the itch of summer rashes, prevent the flu, relieve swelling, and more.
Some are simply packed with vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the best:
1. Plantain and Chickweed — The Soothing Duo
Plantain and chickweed are weeds which are commonly found growing in lawns. They are rich in nutrients and very emollient. Use them to soothe skin irritations and promote healing inside and out. I like to use them together; but use them separately if you desire.
Harvest the leaves of plantain. Both broad-leafed and narrow-leafed English plantain grow abundantly. Both kinds are useful, but the broad-leafed variety is often more abundant and contains more healing mucilage.
All of the above ground portions of chickweed are useful. Several species of chickweed grow throughout much of the world. All contain beneficial properties.
Plantain and chickweed are great plants to use for first aid. Simply crush whichever herb is handy and apply the herb directly to abrasions, minor scratches and rashes. This crushed herb preparation is known as an herbal poultice. The poultice will draw heat from inflamed tissues, resulting in less discomfort. Swelling, itchiness and the risk of infection decreases when an herbal poultice is applied. You may secure the poultice to an injury with gauze or clean cloth if needed.
Plantain seeds may be eaten or made into a tea to relieve irritation within the digestive tract or to relieve constipation. Plantain improves liver and gall bladder function.
Chickweed tea may be used as eyewash. It reduces bloating when drunk. Chickweed leaves make nutritious additions to salads and stir fries.
Plantain and Chickweed Oil
Chickweed and plantain are best used fresh or prepared as oils, salves or tinctures. One of the best ways to prepare plantain and chickweed is to make herbal oil. Pick the herbs. Let them wilt for an hour or so. Coarsely chop the herbs. Pack them tightly into a canning jar. Cover them with olive oil. The oil should cover the herbs by at least one inch. Run a knife through the blend to release any air bubbles. Cover the jar. Place it in a warm, sunny window for a couple of weeks. Shake the blend each day. After two weeks, carefully strain the oil from the herbs. Compost the herbs. The remaining rich oil may be applied topically to promote healing of skin wounds, infections and irritation........More Here