Weeds are said to be “bad” because they grow where they are not sown. They are very persistent and can take over your garden in no time. You may purposely remove them when you do your gardening and cleaning. However, they will still grow back. This is the reason why they are difficult to eliminate. You find them annoying because they are difficult to deal with, especially when you are trying to work on your landscaping. Getting rid of weeds in your yard will eat most of your time, effort, and money as you do all the necessary things to get free of them.
But wait! Are they that bad? You may not realize it, but that unorganized and uncultivated yard may be keeping treasures that you can benefit from.
What are the Benefits of Weeds?
Weeds serve a lot of purposes. Weeds can be converted to nutritious fertilizer for your plants. They can hold up top-soil preventing landslip, pull up water and nutrients, serve food for humans, and control undesirable pests. They are also edible and considered nutritious by a lot of people worldwide. That is why you have to know which you should and shouldn’t remove from your lawn before pulling out those weeds.
6 Beneficial Weeds You Can Make Use Of
Dandelion leaves, roots, and flowers are all edible! This beneficial weed is considered to be a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and calcium. Also, it is claimed to help in cleansing your kidneys and liver. Furthermore, it is a treatment for cancer. To prepare, gather enough flowers and leaves (1 tablespoon) to make tea. Wash them thoroughly and steep in hot water. Let it stay for 15-20 minutes. The longer it steeps, the better it will be. Drain and drink!
Another extraordinary and common weed you may find in your backyard is the broadleaf plantain. This plant has been used to cure colds and flu. Also, it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are ideal for easing a sore throat.
To use this weed, prepare a pan and fry the broadleaf in olive oil with salt and pepper for 3 minutes. You can eat this until your sore throat eases. It is best to eat the smaller leaves since they are less bitter to taste.
Goosefoot or Lamb’s Quarters
Lamb’s quarter is rich in vitamins A and K, as well as minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Moreover, this weed is traditionally used for centuries as an herbal remedy for eczema and wound treatment.
Mash fresh leaves of goosefoot. Then, directly apply the mashed leaves on the affected area. Make sure that you clean the area properly before applying. Do this every day for the best result.
Another option you can do is to soak 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Strain. Drink this tea as needed. However, you must keep in mind not to use it regularly since they can be harmful to your body if taken in large doses.
Clover is another familiar plant you might notice in your yard. This amazing plant has a lot of health benefits despite being considered a weed. Clover is a great source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C, as long as you consume it on the recommended dose. There are 2 types of clover: white and red clover. Below are instructions on how you can use both types of clover as an herbal remedy.
- Red Clover – To make tea, add 1 to 3 teaspoons of dried red clover flowers to 1 cup of simmering water. Steep for 15 minutes before you drink the tea. Recommended serving is 3 cups of tea a day for the best result. Please note that pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as hormone-sensitive cancer patients, should avoid red clover.
This is because regular and long term use may increase the risk of cancer of the lining of the uterus. Make sure that you, or your family, consume this tea in a short time period only.
- White Clover – To make clover iced tea, place the blossoms in a jar. Pour boiling water over the blossoms. Steep the mixture for 30 minutes to 4 hours. Strain and place it in the fridge. Serve cold over ice. You can also add honey or maple syrup for added sweetness, and lemon if preferred.
Just like clover, wood sorrel has 3 leaf structures. However, they are more heart-shaped as opposed to rounded. This is a very common weed found in North America. Wood Sorrel is rich in vitamin C and has a pleasant lemon flavor. You can chew the leaves raw or add them to your salad for that lemony taste. Furthermore, flower leaves and seed pods are edible.
However, young shoots are bitter and stems are tough. These parts of the weed should be discarded. Taking wood sorrel is ideal for people who have vitamin C deficiency to avoid scurvy.
Purslane or Portulaca Oleracea
This plant is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for your heart and nervous systems functioning. Moreover, it is a natural remedy for insomnia.
Purslane is best when the plant is young and close to the ground. It should be thoroughly cleaned before consumption. To prepare, fill your sink with cold water and submerge the plant to remove dirt and those tiny black seeds. Trim and discard thick stems and roots, pat dry with clean towels. Steam Purslane for 4 to 5 minutes, then served with salt and butter. You can also mix it with cucumber and topped with oil-and-vinegar dressing or pickle it in a jar.
All these weeds are considered to be healthy and nutritious. Thus, knowing and learning new facts about your garden is necessary before doing that laborious weed removal. It will give you a lot of ideas on how to cultivate your lawn, and at the same time save these beneficial weeds from getting plucked. Besides dosage and preparations, usage would depend if you already have health problems. It is still best to seek medical attention for the right medication and intervention. This will avoid further complications and probable side effects if you are taking any medications that might interact with these amazing and beneficial weeds.
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