[Disclaimer: The information on this page represents my own perspective, practices, beliefs, and experiences. I am not a botanist nor am I a doctor or nutritionist. I have done my research and each reader must do his own. I take no responsibility for an individual reading and using this information. SOME PLANTS CAN KILL YOU OR MAKE YOU SICK IF YOU EAT THEM OR HANDLE THEM WRONGLY SO YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE WILD EDIBLES THAT YOU MIGHT INTERESTED IN USING OR INGESTING. YOU ALSO NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR ACTION AND INTERACTION WITH MEDICINES, ETC. PREGNANT WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN, OLD PEOPLE, PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC DISEASES (DIABETES, ETC.), CAN BE NEGATIVELY/BADLY AFFECTED BY THINGS THAT HEALTHY PEOPLE CAN TOLERATE. I HAVE EATEN WILD EDIBLES--SO HAVE NATIVE AMERICANS, EUROPEAN AMERICANS, AFRICAN AMERICANS, AND TRIBAL PEOPLES. FOR ME, LEARNING THIS KNOWLEDGE HAS JUST BEEN RECAPPING AND LEARNING WHAT GOD GAVE US FOR FREE OUTSIDE. THIS PAGE IS JUST A PLACE FOR SOMEONE TO GET SOME INFORMATION--IT WILL NOT MAKE YOU AN EXPERT. I take no repsonsibility for the use, non-use, abuse, misuse, etc. of this information. Some weeds have medicinal action. I have heard that dock is so high in vitamin A that we don't need to eat more than two inches of it (maybe the person meant raw, I don't know)--and yet it is good to know about dock--some children have lost their eyesight (especially in "developing"/raped countries) for lack of vitamin A. If you are taking medication, you will want to be sure that eating wild edibles will not negatively impact your body. If you are a woman with child, you will not want to eat these things without ensuring that there are no contraindications (ill side effects) for you--or the baby in your womb. The very young, the sick, women with child, lactating (breastfeeding) women, those with chronic diseases, and the elderly can be afflicted by things that most healthy persons can tolerate. Talking to a knowledgeable doctor and performing research examining multiple sources is important. Look for what can go wrong. Look up the words "dangers" and "contradindications". This page could be used as a primer based on a few weeds I've interacted with but it is by no means authoritative. You need to know something about their action under various conditions and what parts you can eat and can not eat. A potato is good, BUT ONLY EAT THE POTATO PART of the plant. A person cannot just eat any plant or any portion of any plant. Irresponsible actions can kill.. Consult multiple color photographic references (not drawings). Even if you go on a weed walk with what seems to be an expert, double-check everything. Further down this page is a list of resources that I have found helpful--for those interested in further research. CHILDREN DO NOT EAT ANY WEEDS WITHOUT YOUR PARENTS' PERMISSION!]
Weed Walk Quiz
(for those who have viewed The Weed Walk Page
Can you identify these plants? After clicking on "Answer" use your back arrow to return to the quiz.
Which of these foods must be cooked before eating?
- Lamb's Quarters
What is found outside that can help bind ingested plant poison?
Our small friend here who we named, "Rana" (Spanish and Latin for "frog") was a regular in our makeshift pond, a small Rubbermaid tub we placed in the garden that features native aquatic plants--including the edible pickerel weed*-- and a few goldfish to eat mosquitoes. The cool water attracts frogs all summer (three tried to hibernate in the pond). With my daughter at the helm, there has been more than one frog leg snack as a result. [Note: The plant that you see pictured near the frog is not pickerel weed, it is a cultivated grape vine]
*We tried the small nutty seed (it had a little bite, maybe because it was not ripe). The leaf tastes like paper but the stem is very good--this is an aquatic plant, water purity is a factor to consider before consuming...from the internet, "Young washed leafstalks can be eaten raw in salads or boiled as a potherb. Fruits also contain a single solid seed that is edible raw or dried and ground like grain." and, "The nutritious, starchy seed can be eaten straight from the plant or dried and added to cereals, it tastes a bit like puffed brown rice. The seeds can also be dried for storage, then boiled, or roasted to improve the flavour or ground into flour. The young leaf-stalks can be cooked as greens or eaten raw in salads." You must be careful where you collect aquatic plants from because many waters nowadays are toxic from industry wastes, agriculture chemicals, and yard chemicals that find their way into our waterways.
Here is pickerel--
Pickerel in our pond (grapevine to the right).
Pickerel in a five gallon bucket. That plant with the white flowers in the background is Feverfew. I bought it because old names usually meant something. I eventually learned that Feverfew cures headaches. I no longer take over-the-counter medicine for my occasional headaches and have not done so in some time. I just chew up and swallow 6 leaves which may be too much but it has not adversely affected me. Somebody said six leaves a day should be enough. I heard that Feverfew is not only good for treating migraines but for preventing them. In order to get the Feverfew in the ground quickly, I stuck it in poor, clay soil. It took off and self seeded freely with no help from me. I now have thriving feverfew plants in many spots in the yard. I dig them up and place them where I want them. I need to bring one in the house for winter use (I haven't had the need to try my dried Feverfew leaves). Imagine focusing on houseplants that are useful instead of those that are purely ornamental.
[Disclaimer: The information on this page represents my own perspective, practices, beliefs, and experiences. I am not a botanist nor am I a doctor or professional nutritionist. I have done my research and each reader must do his own. I take no responsibility for an individual reading and using this information. Some plants can kill you or make you sick if you eat them so you need to be able to positively identify the weeds that you are going to eat. Consult several photographic references to help you make positive identification. CHILDREN DO NOT EAT ANY WEEDS WITHOUT YOUR PARENTS' PERMISSION!]
A. White Clover
B. Comfrey (this was not found wild. I believe this is Symphytum officinale.)
D. Lamb's Quarters
E. Plantain (broadleaf)
F. Pokeweed (Polk Sallet)
G. Plantain (narrow leaf)
H. Polkweed (Polk Sallet)
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