Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wild Edibles - Part I

 What an amazing rewarding day! I had the opportunity to explore nature's bounty and learn (what I used to take for granted) about our local native plants.
 Katrina, the author of the book, Local Wild Life, was our teacher today. We didn't have to walk far - EVERYWHERE we turned, Katrina held up another, and yet ANOTHER edible plant.

 We tasted leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, and learned about the nutrional and medicinal properties of each plants.

 Pita bread was exceptional. Thanks Elani!
 The juice from all that we collected was surprisingly very delicious. What a health boost!
 The first plant we studied was the Chickweed.
The Chickweed, also known as Starweed (known by the star shaped flowers) is commonly found all over the world and blooms from March through October.



Respiratory Benefits

Chickweed herbal tea can have many beneficial effects for respiratory ailments. The tea can relieve symptoms due to allergies and asthma. It may also soothe respiratory infections, and may even soothe a smoker's cough, according to Brighthub.com. Chickweed tea contains saponins--chemicals found in most vegetables, beans and herbs that have beneficial health properties--which will gradually reduce thickened membranes of the throat and lungs and make breathing easier.

Circulatory Benefits

Chickweed tea, according to Teabenefits.com, can promote clotting factors in the blood that will enable the body to stop bleeding in the stomach and intestines. Chickweed tea also purifies the blood, reducing plaque in blood vessels. This allows for increased blood flow, reducing the risks of strokes and heart attacks.

Pain Relief Benefits

Chickweed tea also contains an anti-inflammatory property. It is commonly infused in a therapeutic bath to ease joint pain. Chickweed tea is effective in alleviating the discomfort of arthritis pain, stiff back and stiff neck. According to Teabenefits.com, chickweed tea, if applied directly to the skin, can reduce swelling of torn ligaments.

Skin Benefits

Chickweed tea can be directly applied to aid in treating skin irritations, acne and eczema, according to Digherbs.com. It also can be added to bathwater to speed up the healing process for rashes, burns, ulcers and abscesses.


Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/121118-benefits-chickweed-tea/#ixzz1qSrCt0Id


I scribbled what I could, but am depending on the help of my fellow students to make sure I logged this correctly. I'll be posting Part II tomorrow, as we had covered many plants, and I need to go over my notes, verify spelling, and double check information. (worm not edible) :)

http://www.altnature.com/gallery/chickweed.htm

7 comments:

Pat aka Posh said...

Sounds like when my mom and I would start out in the spring and she'd tell me all about the plants.. its been so many years now I'm sure I forgot most of them but a few still comes to mind.

Patty said...

I love your teacher's basket!

Joint Pain Relief said...

WOW! Chickweed has lots of usage. Thank you for sharing.

Gale said...

Happy to find another Texas wildcrafter! You're in my blogroll now.

...And now I really want that book! :-)

Have you ever been to http://www.foragingtexas.com/ ? I think you'ld really enjoy that site. He lists hundreds of edible plants in Texas and shows how to use them.

Helen Ruth said...

Thanks so much Gale! I saved your link too. Will check out that site you shared :)

wingdingz said...

Helen--it was great meeting you out there. I'm so glad you took notes and are kind enough to share! Looking forward to Part II.

Helen Ruth said...

Yes! Updates soon! Sorreee! Extremely distracted - family out of country and taking care of home front. Will post updates SOON! :)