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. 🙂
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”.
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!
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***