Wild herbs - herbs as healing home remedies
Many delicious wild herbs are healthy. They drain the body, help against fever, headaches or gastrointestinal complaints - and they are largely unknown as kitchen plants today. In this article we present a number of valuable herbs of naturopathy.
- "Weed" from the pharmacy
- Food and medicine
- Watch out?
- stinging nettle
- ground ivy
- Shepherd's Purse
- lemon balm
Salad wrapped in plastic, arugula from the discounter or spinach from the freezer comes to the kitchen table, "weeds" in the bio bin. Although most hobby gardeners now avoid lethal injection to destroy wild plants, even today many composts end up in compost on a monthly basis, which could feed a whole family.Edible and Healing: Healthy Wild Herbs. Image :: Annett Seidler - fotolia
"Weed" from the pharmacy
We still know sage, rosemary, parsley, marjoram or chives, at least in pots from the vegetable counter. Even lemon balm, lavender or mint do not carry the stigma "weed."
But what about Nettle and Giersch? Who has ever tried a delicious salad of chickweed, plantain and dandelion?
For expensive money we buy preparations that contain substances of exactly such plants, which we remove with zeal as "weeds" in our garden. Nibbling nettles out and at the same time get us stinging nettle capsules from the pharmacy if we have a problem with the prostate? It's like buying organic apples while the fallen fruit in our garden is rotting.
Health-conscious people swear by superfoods from Peru and Indonesia, but leave the blackcurrants and blueberries on their doorstep to the left.
Food and medicine
Our ancestors could neither use modern medicine nor use the previously very expensive spices: nutmeg, pepper, cardamom or ginger cost a fortune and were still reserved for the rich in the early modern period.
In return, people resorted to what was growing on the doorstep, as food, as seasoning and as medicine - often all at the same time. Wild herbs, flowers and trees provided variety in the kitchen.
If we collect wild herbs in our own garden, we usually have the necessary tools there: we need an airy basket or cloth bag, no plastic bag, because the herbs are otherwise mushy.
First of all, with a knife or a pair of scissors, we can better separate the plants and avoid secondarily destroying roots if we only need leaves or flowers.
More than half of all domestic herbs are edible, others are inedible or poisonous. It is therefore the same as with mushrooms: We only collect plants that we know. When we doubt, we especially avoid those who have poisonous doppelgangers. It is best to have a destination book with us.
In nature, we do not collect any plants that are protected, and we do not collect in nature reserves, but on public meadows.
We do not collect on busy roads, dog walks or on fields that are sprayed. We wash all plants thoroughly before preparing them.
Sorrel grows where it is wet: on pond shores, rivers and on wet meadows. The leafless stems carry red flowers. The leaves taste slightly sour and are suitable for a special note in vegetable soups. We use the young dark green leaves, wash them thoroughly and cut them into narrow strips that we add to the broth.Sorrel: Ideal for soups. Picture:: Annett Seidler - fotolila
Vogelmiere know bird keepers as important green fodder. The minerals and vitamins do not only good for birds, the salad is also an excellent supplement in lettuce. The taste is similar to fresh peas. We can pick the chickweed until autumn, but the youngest shoots are most rich in vitamins before flowering. Chickweed grows in the garden, along the wayside, on fields, so everywhere, where there is enough sun and open spaces.Chickweed (Stellaria media): Not only healthy for birds. Image: uliasudnitskaya - fotolia
To pick stinging nettles, we should wear gloves so that the bunnies do not touch the skin. If we boil the tender leaves, they do not burn anymore.Wonderfully healing: nettle. Image: uliasudnitskaya - fotolia
Stinging nettles are half vegetable, half seasoning, because soup or salad give it a slightly earthy taste, but it does not look too obtrusive. From nettles we can also make tea. Folk medicine uses nettles for centuries against urinary complaints and rheumatic diseases.
Giersch is a dominant groundcover. The three divided leaves in lush green adorn the garden like ivy, but spreads Giersch uninhibited, he quickly overgrows all shady areas.Giersch: Weed with the special taste. Image: Hetizia - fotolia
The young leaves are suitable as a salad and give it a fresh touch. Giersch goes well with potato salad - and gratin, but it can also be fried like spinach as a vegetable and serves as an unfamiliar side dish to fish and chicken.
If we do not mow the lawn too often, Gundermann soon spreads, a low plant with heart-shaped leaves and blue-violet flowers. The leaves taste tart and spicy and can be used in many ways: like rocket on pizza, in a soup or steamed as a side-dish. The king among the wild herbs - Because the leaves and flowers we can also put on envelopes, so they help to heal external wounds.Lady's mantle, Gundermann, lemon balm, daisies. Image: behewa - fotolia
Ribwort plantain is just as common as dandelion and grows everywhere, where grass grows, especially, as the name says, along the way, but also in any garden that we do not spray dead.Plantain. Image: euthymia - fotolia
The taste is not for everyone, lovers appreciate but a note that is reminiscent of forest mushrooms. Plantain can be stewed as a vegetable or used in soups such as salads.
We can also squeeze the juice from the leaves and distribute it on itchy skin.
Watercress grows in nature on streams in the shade or partial shade.
In the garden, we sow them best at a shady waterhole. But we can also pull watercress under damp blotting paper, in the garden hut or even in the cellar.Watercress. Picture: hjschneider - fotolia
Cress is a nutrient bomb, full of vitamin C, minerals and beta-carotene. We can sprinkle them raw and washed on cream cheese, season a quark with it or add it to a salad. Cress has a spicy taste.
Shepherd's purse becomes knee-high, blooms white and loves sun like nitrogen. In nature, it inhabits loam, sand and gravel soils. The taste is reminiscent of rocket, and the herb is suitable for salads or as a topping for quiches, pizzas and baguette or as a tea.Shepherd's purse as a healing tea. Image: LianeM - fotolia
Everyone knows dandelion from their own garden. Although it is well suited as a vegetable, it is too bitter for many. Milder are the young leaves, but we can eat the whole plant. Beware of the white juice in the flower stems: it leaves stains on the clothes that are difficult to remove.Medicinal herb dandelion. Image: Alexander Rates - fotolia
Dandelion drains, it helps with kidney and liver complaints and cleanses the blood.
Meadow Bear Claw resembles the caustic Giant Bear Claw that burns the skin. The dangerous relative grows up to three meters high, and its leaves are much sharper than those of the native herb.Meadow Brenklau - Heracleum sphondylium. Image: M. Schuppig - fotolia
The meadow bear claw grows only up to 1.5 m in height, and the young leaves can be harvested from May to July. We always wear gloves when picking. Because even the local species causes the skin to itch and redden easily.
Prepared that is no longer a problem. Bärenklau tastes a bit like celery and is suitable as a spicy vegetable in soups such as sauces, noodles, rice and potatoes. In addition it promotes the digestion, lowers the blood pressure and helps against menstrual pain.
We like artichokes as antipasti or pizza and annoy us about thistles in the garden. Here are artichokes flower heads of a thistle species, and the domestic thistles we can prepare just like that. The roots are boiled, the ovaries taste a bit like walnuts, and the leaves also feed.Often misjudged: the native thistle. Image: RILL Media Design - fotolia
We collect donkey thistle, gold thistle, nodding thistle and thistle in the garden or along the way. They have a lot of protein and calories.
We can cook the fruit stalks and put them in oil, and cook the leaves like roots in stews.
Lemon balm originally comes from the Middle East, but is now common throughout Germany. Once settled, it quickly covers larger areas. We harvest the wild herbs from July to October.
We can dry the leaves, but they taste much better fresh. Lemon balm smells and tastes sour "like lemon" and gives food and drinks a fresh-sour taste.Tastes similar to lemons: lemon balm. Picture: megakunstfoto - fotolia
Fresh leaves enrich cocktails, summer bowls and desserts, they work well in jams, and hot as cold teas with lemon balm taste excellent.
We can also put the leaves in a hot bath to soothe the lemony scent of our skin and also relax our body. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Violet Stevenson: The Nature Garden. London 1985.