My friend, Colleen, and I went foraging yesterday at a friend’s wooded mountaintop property, and enjoyed some of the abundant gifts nature has to offer this time of year. Colleen is a community herbalist at Wild Roots Apothecary and one of her many talents is wild-crafting customized herbal formulae for her clients. Our family also enjoys the benefits of some of the “weeds” we find growing around our farm.
Score! We each found ourselves a nice little bundle of tasty morels. These will be great with some fresh homemade butter and greens.
Cleavers, a delicious member of the madder family is an excellent cleanser of the lymphatic system. It is also healing to wounds or skin conditions and soothing to the urinary tract. We gather cleavers near the creek along the back of our property and brew the fresh leaves and steps into tea, or tincture them for later use.
Chickweed is an amazingly nourishing “weed” and can be found in abundance in fields and around gardens this time of year. A fresh chickweed salad provides a powerful dose if minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, and saponins to improve absorption of nutrients. It even contains protein, fiber and essential fatty acids.
We found Mullein in abundance. These cheerful, fuzzy, somewhat cabbage-shaped plants are wonderful for respiratory ailments. Colleen gathered up plenty of leaves to dry for teas, and infuse oils for salves.
The Bloodroot was just beginning to bloom and the flowers are beautiful. We also found Blue and Black Cohosh shoots coming up. These medicinals will be good to harvest in the fall.
The view from the mountaintop was breathtaking!
If you want to know more about the useful “weeds” growing in your backyard, I love the book Backyard Pharmacy by Rachel Weaver M.H.