What ya got growing outside right now? Weeds, of course! Weeds, weeds, and more good weeds, I should really say. There is a bunch of good stuff out in my garden and pastures right now -Chickweed, Henbit, Purple Dead Nettle, Plantain, Dandelions, Dock and more green stuff that I have yet to identify!

So what can you do with all this? No…..don’t kill it with that crummy weed killer! Poor little weeds. 🙁

Here are some ideas of what to do with some of the plants I listed. Ask me for more ideas too! Even though I am posting pictures for you, please make sure 100% you have identified the plant.

Chickweed, ahhh my favorite garden weeds. 🙂

100_1173 chickweed too

Chickweed(Stellaria media), means little star because if you look real close at the plant, you can see a super tiny little white star-like flower on top of the more mature plants. /the leaves are smooth and bright green. Smush a stem and a few leaves between your fingers and feel the slippery liquid, very mucilaginous. Smell the plant, to me it smells and tastes like baby spinach. Very edible and high in vitamin C so eat your weeds! Chickweed is excellent for skin conditions, especially rashes. Very soothing!

Henbit(Lamium amplexicaule) Many people confuse this with dead nettle, Technically it is called Henbit Dead Nettle according to Wikipedia because of the Botanical name(Lamium) but they are two different plants!!! Amplexicaule means “leaves grasping the stem”.

Lamium_amplexicaule_HENBIT

It is a low-growing annual plant growing to 10-25 cm tall, with soft, finely hairy stems. The leaves are opposite, rounded, 2-3 cm diameter, with a lobed margin. The flowers are pink to purple, 1.5-2 cm long. The plant is anti-rheumatic, diaphoretic, excitant, febrifuge, laxative and stimulant. Henbit is also edible in salads or cooked. I have not used Henbit medicinally but when I do, I will post a remedy recipe for you.

Purple Dead Nettle(Lamium pupurea) is called dead nettle because unlike stinging nettle, it has no stingers. It is not even related to stinging nettle. I wonder who comes up with these names. The leaves look kind of like lemon balm leaves but they are hairy or furry as I like to call them. I am a very visual person and associate a bunch of descriptive words with plants to help me remember them. Does anyone else do that? Dead nettle grows right next to henbit but once you see both, you can tell the difference. Henbit has leaves that are more round and scalloped as well as they encircle the stem completely whereas Dead Nettle has scalloped, furry leaves that are more spade shaped, if that makes sense. Don’t worry, the pictures show it better!

Lamium purpureum DEAD NETTLEPretty, isn’t it?

The entire plant is edible raw or cooked, high in fiber and iron. For internal use, purple dead nettle can be made into an infusion or (with sweetener of your choice, preferably honey) a tea, and taken orally to induce sweating or as a diuretic. It has a reputation, historically, as being valuable in flushing out the kidneys and spleen of toxins. For women’s health issues (ie., menstrual problems) it also can be of help taken internally. According to Culpeper, a famous old herbalist, when crushed and used as a poultice applied to the back of the neck, purple dead nettle can stop a nose-bleed. Other purposes for poultices made from the herb are for sciatica, gout, and various muscular and joint pains. *** from examiner.com***

Wildcrafting WednesdayDeep Roots At Home
shared on Frugally Sustainable

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17 comments

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Gotta research henbit and purple dead nettle. I have a LOT! Thanks for sharing this.

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You are welcome! My friend Cyndi shared it with me. I knew what they were but did not know they were both medicinal.

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I have pulled henbit and puple dead nettle by the bushels in my lifetime. Who knew I was throwing away a veritable drugstore/salad bar?!? Thank you so much for this information and I look forward to your post on the results of your experiment with them!

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It is quite amazing how many plants we all have gotten rid of thinking they were no good! You are welcome!

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This is a great article. Thank you! I make green soup with mine – all three together:) Sautee the greens with butter. You can add onion (even wild onion) and bell pepper if you like it. cover, boil, and then simmer until the water is dark green. strain out the fibrous material (the leaves will mostly be soft enough to rub through the strainer). Cook the liquid down by about half. Add bouillon. Add milk or cream or half and half. spice to taste. Serve with cheese toast like french onion:)

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Cat thank you! Sounds delish!!!!

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Aarrgh! Error, error:) This recipe works great for chickweed by itself. If you are using all three do NOT reduce the liquor, the henbit and nettle get too bitter! You can still make the broth, just don’t boil it down by half. otherwise the recipe stays the same.

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Thank you. 🙂

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Thanks for the info! I have used chickweed before, but I’m not very diligent about because of all the gardening work in spring. I’ll have to try to make some chickweed oil this year…thanks for the post!

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You are welcome. This year I am doing better than last year by harvesting it early

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Dear Anne-Marie,
I stumbled upon your blog through the title of your post! We love edible weeds, too, and I’m also working on a ‘someday’ post on this topic! I would love to ask you if you would care to link this up (and anything else you wish to from your informative blog) on the “EOA’ link-up going on now at Deep roots at Home.
I hope to get to know you and read more.
Blessings and thank you,
Jacqueline

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Thank you Jacqueline! I will link up as soon as I can. 🙂

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I have purple dead nettle growing in my lawn, so I don’t want to eat it. But I would like to find a way to kill it organically without using chemicals. Any suggestions? And thank you.

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Susan, you might try vinegar(straight)and spot treat it unless you have a giant area of it. But it won’t be around much longer. Hope that helps!

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Does anyone know the dose of the henbit and how to prepare it for arthritis? ie; tea, from dried or fresh? how much is safe to use and how often to use it?

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Hi Kayle, I am not finding an exact dosage but most herbs are 2 tsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried in 1 cup boiling water, steeped 10-15 minutes, strained. Try 1-3 cups a day. As for length, I would try it for a couple weeks and then off a week, just my personal opinion.

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Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

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