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  • Tim

Weekly Health/Inner development post: Number 10: Edible weeds

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

Weeds are mostly seen as ´evil´ invaders which have to be removed. What is less known is that many weeds are edible and have excellent nutritional properties. Many vegetables in supermarkets have been grown in artificial environments, without proper soil, or with the help of lots of fertilizers and chemicals. Organic produce is a bit better, but the definition of ´organic´ is being downgraded fast as well. Most vegetables humans consume are annual plants, meaning they have a one season/one year grow cycle. Weeds on the contrary are often perennial, meaning they come back every year when you harvest them or cut them down. Perennial plants have some advantages over annual plants: deeper roots systems which allow for higher accumulation of minerals from deeper layers in the soil; more resistant to weather changes; better pest resistance since most perennials are native to an area, while annual vegetables humans grow are often not native to an area (what we call ´pests´ is nature taking out the weakest plants in the eco-system, which are often the annual vegetables); the natural defenses of perennials plants have not been weakened in favor of excessive growth for more produce in annual plants. Most weeds are perennial plants, and a lot of them can be used raw, in green juices, or for cooking. For example, nettles, dock, lambsquarters are excellent substitutes for spinach. Nettles......yes....nettles. If you heat nettles, within one minute they no longer sting and can be used in lasagne or any other dish (use gloves to pick the leaves). Mixing them in a smoothie removes the stingy effect as well. Nettles are high in iron so excellent for women when they have their period. In men, nettles can raise testosterone levels. Try drinking nettle tea a couple of times a day, the effects are noticeable after a while. Dock has extremely deep roots, as known by most gardeners who tried to remove it, and these deep roots draw up minerals from deeper layers in the soil making it very nutritious. Many other weeds in gardens or city parks can be used as well: plantain, clover, chickweed, purslane, amaranth, sorrel, mallow, dandelion and many more (enough lists can be found on the internet about edible weeds and which ones are good to use). These plants have a much higher nutritional value than normal greens from the supermarket so one does not need to eat so much of it to get the same nutritional value. Making a little bowl in the morning of a variety of these plants, and mixing them in a smoothie with some fruit, is an excellent way to get a nice dose of vitamins and green material in the body. If the taste is strange, adding a little bit of pure cacao (which has no sugar) can make the whole smoothie taste like chocolate. Waking through nature, a garden, or a park, and realizing most of these ´weeds´ are edible and can be used raw or for cooking is a funny realization. We labeled them as ´weeds´, and start seeing them that way, while these plants can be used as ´food´ and are freely available almost anywhere.

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