Heartwings Love Notes 2035 The Medicine Growing in Your Lawn

Heartwings Love Notes 2035 The Medicine Growing in Your Lawn

Heartwings Love Notes 2035 The Medicine Growing in Your Lawn

Heartwings says, "Eating your weeds is a health benefit of gardening."

Whether you know it or not, you are most probably mowing and removing the medicinal herbs usually found in your lawn. Readers who are familiar with my columns in previous springs will be aware of my love for dandelions, however both the herbs known as purslane and plantain are probably unfamiliar. You think of these as weeds. The people selling weed killers will assure you they are. Those weed killers are as bad for you as they are for the weeds; they poison not just weeds, but pets, children and even people.

Dandelion greens are good in salad, and the bitter taste reminds us they are good for cleansing the liver and provide good vitamins—A, B6, K, as well as minerals. They can be eaten raw or cooked, which is usually how I use them, and mix well with other green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and chard. I often use my food processor to combine them after I have steamed them in very little water. I add olive oil and sometimes a chopped garlic clove for added healing qualities. I often do this ahead of the meal and reheat in more olive oil. This cooks the garlic, which can be too strong for many, otherwise.

Purslane is a tasty herb used mainly in salads, though it too can be steamed. It is a low growing plant, spreading out, with thick, reddish brown stems and flat fleshy leaves. It has a bit of a tang, especially when eaten raw. To quote from a recent article a friend sent me, from the internet, "Widely regarded as a weed in many parts of the world, purslane is in fact a nutritional powerhouse, packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and other valuable compounds." I have often found it growing on the edges rather than in the main part of the lawn.

Plantain, pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, is a broad leaved, low growing plant. The veins branch out from the center stem, not each other. It has numerous health benefits whether eaten cooked or raw. I discovered its healing properties when I used it to staunch a shallow wound—it stopped the bleeding right away and helped it heal up quicky. A friend of mine told me that he had been in the woods and hurt himself. He found plantain, used it, and was greatly helped. I once recommended it to a young woman who had a long-term diabetic ulcer on her leg. Her parents called to tell me it had healed up soon after.

I recommend exploring these herbs for yourself and learning more. They have no side effects, nor do they cost you any money. Incidentally, dandelion roots help aerate the lawn, loosening the soil. I no longer have a lawn, so I do not have access to these herbs myself and I miss them. I can however buy dandelion greens at my supermarket, for which I am grateful.

May you discover good health whether or not you garden.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

P.S. Do you have a garden? I have in the past for most of my life, though not any more. I do have a few plants in pots, however. How about you? Write and tell me your garden tales, it’s such fun to share. Write me at tashahal. You can sign up on my blog to receive my Love Notes weekly as well as see past ones: http://tashasperspective.com/pujakins.

Patty L. Fletcher

Bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled

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