WEEDS - VICOUS INTRUDER OR HERBAL & GARDEN HELPMATE?
Spring is on the way, yes it definitely is I know from experience. Despised by gardeners, blessed by herbalists, the weeds will start to run amock in our gardens. Oh dear, what to do, dig them up or nurture and protect them? I hope to persuade you to do the latter.
For instance did you know that Dandelion is known primarily for its action on the kidneys and liver, it is a herbal tonic for both of these systems. Dandelion leaf is a potent diuretic and the root stimulates the flow of bile in the liver which assists with the breaking down of fats and the removal of toxins.
In the kitchen the leaves may be used as a salad vegetable, particularly in spring. Being bitter they stimulate the digestive system and help with digestion. The root, when roasted, can be used as a coffee substitute, and the flowers are often used to make wine.
Nettles make a natural organic fertiliser that is rich in nitrogen and potassium. Soak the leaves for two weeks in water (approx. 1Kg to 5 litres) then strain the leaves adding them to the compost heap and use the remaining liquid as a plant feed or a pesticide against aphids and blackfly.
Nettle leaves added to the compost heap also act as an activator, to speed up the decomposition of organic materials.
Cleavers, known to herbalists as a lymphatic, it is useful where there are swollen glands anywhere in the body, but especially tonsillitis and adenoid trouble. Helpful in skin conditions.
Try making a cold infusion by covering a handful or two of the fresh herb with cold water and leaving for 24hrs. Drink 3 cups a day for 7 – 14 days as part of a spring detox.
That’s just 3 weeds. There are many more I could talk about. I hope I have persuaded you to leave a little corner of your garden for the weeds and to nuture not nuke them.