Ahh the time for spring has arrived and with those April showers, brings pesky weeds that come along with the warmer seasons. But did you know, a lot of those annoying weeds could be used for medicinal uses? I’m going to list for you a couple of very common weeds/herbal plants that you probably see everywhere in the Northeastern areas.
Those most common plant you’ll see are Dandelions. Those sweet little yellow flowers that bumble bees adore and you can’t seem to remove from your lawn.
Did you know, the name dandelion is taken from the French word “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-tooth leaved.
You may not know that dandelion is one amazing herb that has been regularly used for medicinal and taste-improvement purposes. It’s one of the oldest surviving plants in the world.
The dandelion (taraxacum officinale) leaves were typically used in popular Chinese and Native American cultures. From boils to diabetes, this herb has been associated with amazing healing properties. It can also be used to make wine and the leaves are often added in salads to add flavor and helps with appetite.
Benefits: Not only is the flower useful, but the root and leaves are as well.
- Diuretic: Researchers have found that dandelion can be a relief for urine problems. Liver and bladder problems are also relieved by releasing body fluids with dandelion teas.
- Appetite: Dandelion root has long been used to help get an appetite back for those who’ve had a long bout of sickness where you may have put off eating for a long while.
- Digestion: Dandelion tea is a great solution for someone who has been suffering constipation or stomach issues. The tea helps cleanse the entire digestive system. I personally enjoy a dandelion and peppermint tea in the mornings.
- Stings: The sap of a dandelion is great for a bee sting or any other lightly poisoned insect.
- Skin Care: The sap is also very effective against common skin problems like rashes and sunburn.
This is just the beginning of possibilities dandelion presents. From kidney issues, diarrhea, rashes and an overall great herb.
Red Clover is a perennial wildflower that grows in meadows all over Europe and Asia naturally. These days, it is also wild growing in North America and is also a plant of the legume family, which includes beans, lentils and pulses. While this plant is generally grazed on by cattle and sheet, it also has surprising health benefits. The red clover is rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C, just to name a few.
- Menopausal Relief: Red Clover is also rich in isoflavones, which is a substance that acts like the hormone estrogen. As a result, it can potentially be used to treat hot flashes and menopausal complications. However, research is still be conducted on the effectiveness of such treatment, even though many people swear by it. The estrogen boosting capabilities also help combat menstrual cramps along with PMS symptoms.
- Cholesterol: Red Clover cleans the blood and can help lower cholesterol levels significantly
- Bone Density: It can also help ensure continued bone health in post-menopausal women.
It is believed that red clover may help to prevent heart disease. Although results from human studies are not definite, some show that taking red clover may lower the levels of ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and raise the levels of ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the body.
As a member of the aster family, yarrow (achillea millefolium) is closely related to chamomile and chrysanthemums. It’s flowers are arranged in white clusters with hairy stems (often no more than 3 feet in height) edged with feathery, cauline leaves, but hot pink and pale purple flowers have been known to dominate entire tracts of mountainous areas.
Did you know, Native American herbal medicine makes extensive use of yarrow. In Greek mythology, it was believed that Achilles painted himself with a tincture of yarrow to make himself invulnerable to arrows.
For a time, yarrow was called ‘herbal militaris’ for its ability to stem blood flow from soldiers’ wounds.
Hailed as a powerful and magical herb for centuries, yarrow was used to “drive out the devil” from those who were unfortunate enough to be possessed. However, the holy mass had to be recited 7 times in order for this to work – and the victim was obliged to drink yarrow while hanging upside down from a church bell…..
- PMS & Cramps: A healthy dose of yarrow tea can relax your uterine muscles, driving the pain away in no time.
- Stomach Pain: Yarrow also has the ability to relax stomach muscles and contains flavonoids. In combination with other herbs, it is effective in battling against bloating, flatulence, GI cramping and other GI related problems.
- Fever: A cup of yarrow tea during a fever should be effective in sweating out the infection. Fevers are often accompanied by cold, which yarrow can solve when combined with elderflower and peppermint.
- Natural Diuretic – Because of its antiseptic properties, yarrow is believed to be a kidney and urinary tract cleanser. It is effective as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory in case of urinary infections, such as cystitis.
Whether to splash some color into a monotonously green garden or to use as a remedy for colds, fever or chest pains, yarrow with its many names and colors is a plant worth having around the house. You never know when you may be in dire need of herbal gauze for open wounds!
There are so many more plants that have many amazing medicinal uses. What are some weeds that grow in your surround areas that you’d like to learn more about? Next time you think about pulling that sweet yellow dandelion, think about using it’s leaves in a yummy salad or drying out the flower for a cleansing tea.
Comment below and tell me more about your findings.
**Always consult a physician before pursuing any treatment option and never consume/use any plant that has been treated or sprayed.
This information has been collected from the Smart Majority – Natural Holistic Remedies Course.