Other names: Guelder rose, water elder, cramp bark, snowball tree and European cranberry bush (not related though)
Dutch: Gelderse roos
French: viorne obier, rose de Gueldre, obier, viorne aubier -
German: Gewöhnliche Schneeball, Gemeiner Schneeball, Herzbeer, Blutbeer, Dampfbeere, Drosselbeerstrauch, Geißenball, Glasbeere, Schlangenbeere, Wasserholder, Wasser-Schneeball
Parts used: bark, harvested before the leaf buds open. I usually use the tinctured bark for menstrual cramps, muscle cramps, bowel cramps & spasmodic coughing. I explain how to make tincture in the video above.
Salix sp. (Salix alba -white willow- is preferred, but I've used others too, and they work)
There is a lot to be said about willow, but for now I'll just mention the bark. Willow bark is harvested in early spring, preferably before the catkins appear or leaf buds open. But there is enough power in willow bark to harvest it at other times as well. Due to its high acetylsalicylic acid content, it serves as a pain killer without all the side effects aspirin comes with. I usually tincture it.
Sevensong has a great video on harvesting willow bark.
Other names: Pilewort
Dutch: Gewoon speenkruid
French: Ficaire fausse-renoncule, Herbe aux hémorroïdes
German: (Frühlings-)Scharbockskraut, Feigwurz
It's the messenger of spring! The leaves are edible and high in vitamin C (look at the German name, 'scurvyherb'. Always harvested before the first flower buds appear (in this case, quite important because toxins starts to form and the flowering plant may really irritate your stomach).
Dutch: Gewone berenklauw
French: Berce sphondyle ou Berce commune
German: Wiesen-Bärenklau, Gemeine Bärenklau
I did a blog post about common hogweed here, and a video here. I've used the seeds in this recipe.
Other names: Birdweed, pigweed, lowgrass
Dutch: Gewoon varkensgras
French: Renouée des oiseaux
Yes, common knotgrass is edible, raw or cooked. It's quite rich in zinc and mostly the young plants and leaves are interesting as a wild food. I mainly use the young leaves in salads and soups, removed from the stem. The seeds can be used as a substitute for buckwheat, raw, cooked, roasted or ground into a flour. The seeds are quite small though, and it's a lot of work to harvest them. I've never done it, I prefer the seeds to grow into a new supply of wild greens.
The leaves make a herbal tea that resembles green tea.
Ther names: lady's thumb,spotted lady's thumb, Jesusplant
French: Renouée persicaire, Persicaire douce, Pied-rouge, Pilingre, Fer à cheval
German: Floh-Knöterich, Pfirsichblättriger Knöterich
I talk about redshank in detail here. I've also used it in some recipes: a summer smoothie, a wildflower ice tea, and a green juice.
Other names: melde, (white) goosefoot, fat-hen
Dutch: Melganzenvoet, witte ganzenvoet
French: Chénopode blanc, ansérine blanche, poule grasse, drageline, senousse, blé-blanc, herbe aux vendangeurs, chou gras
German: Weiße Gänsefuß, Weiß-Gänsefuß
I've used the leaves in a summer smoothie and the seeds in wildfood power balls. You can use the leaves as a substitute for spinach. Keep posted for more recipes!
Other names: Herb Robert, Red Robin, Death come quickly, Storksbill, Dove's Foot, Crow's Foot, Robert Geranium
French: Géranium Herbe à Robert
German: Ruprechtskraut, Stinkstorchschnabel, Stinkender Storchschnabel
I've already mentioned the flowers in a wildflower vinegar recipe. Browsing through the blog, I can't believe I never wrote a more detailed post about it, as this is one of my favourite plants. More to come :) (Will post the link here when ready)
Other names: Flatweed, False dandelion
Dutch: Gewoon biggenkruid
French: Hypochaeris radicata
German: Gewöhnliche Ferkelkraut
Italian: Cosci Vecchi
I did a video about cat's ear that you can view here. There is a video on wildflower lemonade with cat's ear flowers as well. The leaves I used in green juices, here's a recipe. And we also like this in a backyard salad, view the recipe here.
Symphytum officinale (Symphytum uplandicum is also used)
Other names: Comphrey
Dutch: Gewone smeerwortel
French: Consoude officinale
German: Beinwell, Wallwurz, Beinwurz
There is quite some controversy when it comes to using comfrey internally, due to the pyrrxolizidine alkaloids. As there are so many other delicious wild edibles that are harmless, I do not encourage experimenting with ingesting it. On the other hand, I think it's a fabulous medicinal plant for external use (both leaf & root, on bruises, fractures, and more), but I think that's also worth a blog post in detail. Stay tuned!
Dutch: Rode klave
French: Trèfle des prés, Trèfle violet
German: Wiesen-Klee, Rot-Klee
I've been doing a lot of experimenting lately with red clover (including sprouting the seeds). I've introduced them in my garden because the bees love them so much and so do I.
I'm definitely going to post some more red clover adventures soon, for now you can already read about red clover in Wildly Nourished.
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