Northern Michigan is bursting with spring these days. Leeks, morel mushrooms, and the first of the cleansing herbs are making their way to the surface for our dining pleasure. Here are three beauties I found in my backyard. While caution must be used for some wild edibles, none of these herbs have any known side effects or contra indicators for use.
Lambsquarters are a good source of Niacin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Every part of the dandelion is both edible and stocked full of nutrition. The leaves are a good source of magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese. It is best to gather them early before they turn bitter. Dandelion flowers are a rich source of the nutrient lecithin and the leaves have more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron and calcium than spinach.
Over the years, dandelions have been used as cures for countless conditions including kidney stones, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hepatitis.
Violet leaves and flowers contain an abundance of beta-carotene and vitamin C.
The leaf and flower have been used for thousands of years by millions of people as an antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic agent, as well as being used to improve acne, anger, asthma, bronchitis, colds, eczema, fever, fibrocystic breast disease, lymphatic congestion, mastitis, mumps, psoriasis, scurvy, sore throat, ulcers, urinary tract infection, varicose veins, and whooping cough.
Nibble these tasty nutritional power houses by themselves, combine with other greens, fruit, and nuts for a tasty and nutritious meal, or add to your favorite smoothie!
These are just a few of the examples of what is literally right in your own back yard. These gems are better and fresher than anything you could buy in the produce section of your grocery, more nutritious than any supplement or vitamin pill you could take, and absolutely free. A gift to you from Mother Earth.