Preppers, homesteading families, and off the grid enthusiasts should never look at weeds as pests. The wild plants boast a vast array of both medicinal and gardening uses. Many weeds, which are likely growing in your backyard, can help soothe burns, heal sores, curb sickness and be uses as ingredients in a plethora of ointments.
Allowing specific weeds to grow among your crops may help reduce unwanted visits by insects that plan to feast on your carefully planted seeds. Plus, growing your own pharmacy should be an important part of your overall preparedness plan. Stockpiling dehydrated weeds and cultivating (not killing) wild healing weeds on your property will enhance the family’s survival medicine plan.
Top 15 Healing Weeds and Herbs
- Crow Garlic – This weed is a wild cousin to both the onion and garlic. It is commonly referred to as an onion was found to have an antioxidant potent that prevent or decrease the effects of peroxynitrite-induced diseases . Crow garlic is also known to repel slugs, aphids, carrot flies and cabbage worms.
- Purslane – This one is a great source omega-3 fatty acids. It is often regarded as one of the best natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids by individuals who do not eat fish. Pulsane is a wild-growing green that is often used in salads and in recipes that call for lettuce. The weed begins to lose its heart-healthy nutritional benefits after it is plucked from the ground and loses its freshness. Pulsane has successfully been grown indoors year-round and flourishes when placed in a sunny windowsill.
- Ground Ivy – The ivy has been used in natural and traditional medicines in Europe for thousands of years. Ground ivy is known to help reduce inflammation of the eyes, alleviate tinnitus, and it is also used as a diuretic, astringent and gentle stimulant. This weed is often referred to as a wild mint. It makes excellent ground cover, and when allowed to grow around other crops, it covers up their scent and deters pests.
- Dandelions – These are an excellent source of potassium. The wild weed boasts significantly high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Nearly all the parts of the plant have long been used in herbal medicines. Dandelions have been used to aid gall bladder and liver problems. They have also been used as an appetite stimulant and as a dyspeptic remedy. The inside of the yellow flower can be gently rubbed onto stings and burns to soothe the wound and to reduce swelling. Dandelion tea and dandelion wine taste delicious and have a multivitamin effect on the body.
- Chickweed – Chickweed boasts nutrients that support both the gland and lymph node systems. The weed has also been heralded for its ability to speed healing of both internal and external inflammation. chickweed tea has been used to combat obesity for hundreds of years and to cleanse the blood. Poultices made from the weed can also help soothe skin rashes, dryness and itching. When chickweed is consumed orally, it has been known to help treat constipation, arthritis, lung diseases like asthma, urinary tract inflammation, general stomach complaints, kidney problems, scurvy and rabies. Wash and steam chickweed leaves and add them to your salad to regularly benefit from the weed’s multitude of nutrients.
- Rosemary – Rosemary may be able to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease because of its carnosic acid content. This weed contains nutrients that have been known to stimulate the immune system, improve digestion, increase circulation, and reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Digestion problems rosemary has been known to aid include heartburn, intestinal gas, liver disorders, gallbladder problems, and loss of appetite. Rosemary has also successfully been used to treat headaches, coughing caused by the common cold, gout, memory loss caused by the aging process, and high blood pressure. Pregnant women should avoid using rosemary because it has been known to cause miscarriages. When used topically, the weed has been able to help stop tooth, muscle and joint pain and decrease circulation problems. It even helps prevent baldness.
- Milkweed – This weed has been used to treat scrofula, edema, kidney disorders, bladder issues, stomach ailments, water retention discomfort, various feminine problems, bronchitis and arthritis. Milkweed often causes an increase in perspiration, which has been known to help curb fevers. Native Americans rubbed the juice from the weed onto ringworms, warts, and moles to help the skin condition go away more quickly. Some varieties of milkweed are highly poisonous, so learn to identify the various types of milkweed before allowing it to grow on your property or harvesting for herbal remedies.
- White Clover – White clover has been used in herbal compounds designed to treat respiratory and bronchial disorders. White clover possesses vitamins A, E, C, B2, and B3, calcium, chromium, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and silicium. The clover has been used as an expectorant and as a blood purifier. Make a tea by steeping the clover plant in hot water for about 30 minutes. Drink about five cups of the tea a day to reap its health benefits.
- Stinging Nettles – These weeds have to be handled with care, but the benefits far outweigh the small risk to your hands. Never, ever use bare hands when picking nettles or touching them until after they are boiled. They have been used to treat acid reflux, asthma, gas, Alzheimer’s, celiac disease, hay fever, urinary tract infections, gout, fibromyalgia, colitis, arthritis, autoimmune disorders and tendonitis.
- Horse Nettles – This variety also boasts many health benefits. The cooked weed has been used as both a sedative and a diuretic by herbalists from around the world.
- Lavender – This herb not only smells pretty, but also possesses powerful antiseptic, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves and the flowers of the plant are both routinely used in home remedies. Typically lavender is turned into an oil or tea when being used to treat mental or physical conditions. The plant can also be used to help heal minor wounds and burns, treat acne, reduce the signs of aging, treat psoriasis, and reduce the discomfort of headaches. It can be harmful to the liver and kidneys of dogs and can’t and should not be used to treat animal issues unless approved by a vet.
- Burdock Root – This one has been used to help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and to treat sore throats. The root contains insulin fiber and helps promote the growth of good bacteria and microbes in the gut. Commonly referred to as gobo by Japanese herbalists, the root also helps bolster the immune system, intestines and bowels. Burdock root may also help convert colonic enzymes before they become cancer-causing molecules. Gobo can be chopped and tossed into soups, sautéed as part of stir fry recipes, or juiced and turned into a healthy drink.
- Sow Thistle – The sow thistle is used to treat digestive and inflammation issues. The leaves of the sow thistle possess vitamins A and C, riboflavin, calcium, niacin, thiamine, iron and phosphorous. The young leaves from the thistle are often used as greens in salads. Like some varieties of lettuce, sow thistle can have a slightly bitter aftertaste. The flowers from the weed can also be added to salad dishes.
- Plaintain – This weed has been known to help with digestion disorders, heartburn and ulcers. Topically, the weed has been used to help heal and prevent infection from snake and insect bites and to soothe and help heal rashes and minor cuts. The common weed also possesses natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The greens can be eaten raw after washing, used in tinctures and ointments, and made into a decent-tasting tea.
- Queen Anne’s Lace – This delicate weed has been used as a natural contraceptive by some herbalists. While Queen Anne’s Lace is not known to be harmful to humans, its close cousin, water hemlock, can be deadly.