A few weeks ago, my husband and I ventured down the bike trail that runs for miles behind our house. It was a beautiful spring day with temperatures in the 70's and the trees were just beginning to show their leaves. We were amazed at all the "weeds" growing along the trail even though we've walked this trail for 20 years or more. But since we have changed our diet to include more raw greens, we were very curious about all the green things we saw. I study herbs and their beneficial properties, but usually buy them USDA certified organic and they arrive all nicely dried and packaged. We use them extensively in our creams. But - this was new and uncharted territory for me! We took some pictures, picked a couple greens that looked tasty (not sure about the legal ramifications of picking weeds on a city bike trail) and brought them home in an attempt at identification. Luckily enough our neighbor, the landscaper, was in his yard as we walked past. He quickly identified the few leaves in our hands as "curly dock" and it was in fact a weed. We went home got on the internet, pulled out our books and began to research this plant, oh, I mean weed. We discovered that not only did it taste really good, it did have some of the same beneficial properties found in other dark leafy greens that we purchase every day. 


So, what's my point? We all have weeds in our yards - well, of course we do. Then again, maybe we don't because we use toxic-laden pesticides to kill those unsightly things.  My point is this - we decided to start learning plant identification and putting the knowledge to good use to go out and forage for our own organic greens. The dandelions in our yard is just one of many examples of leafy greens.  Don't eat them if you use pesticides or herbicides!  We don't use toxic chemicals on our yard and gardens and haven't for years - the size of our earth worms is testament to that. Never thought I'd be more proud of the size of my earth worms than I was at the lack of weeds in my yard! The dandelions are really good in salads and many other ways. According to this article on "4 Reasons to Love Weeds" -  "Aside from being prolific, one cooked cup offers a third of the daily value (the new RDA) of vitamin C and a whopping seven times the daily value of vitamin K. It also provides 144 percent of your daily vitamin A needs, 10 percent of your daily calcium, 12 percent of your manganese and 10 percent of your iron. Dandelion leaves are used medicinally in tea, vinegar or tincture as a bitter, taken before meals to improve digestion, and as a simple diuretic to reduce excess water in the system. The root is used in similar fashion as a bitter and also to nourish and optimize function of the liver, the body’s most important detoxification organ." 

So, I don't know about you, but there is a garden in my back yard that I don't have to "weed", they taste good, they're quite cheap and they're really good for me. So, don't tell me you can't eat organic greens because they're too expensive!  And, tell me, how many of you purchase the herbal supplement Dandelion - not nearly as good as the real deal raw green itself.

Thanks for listening!


Ann Wooledge, RN, CCAP
Student in herbalism, Certified Aromatherapist, Holistic Nutritionist and lover of all things natural.