wild herbs series, part I

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A hearty dose of herbal remedies that you can conjure with ingredients found on your walks or even in your garden. They are easy enough to recognize but for beginners I recommend buying a book highlighting the similar but toxic friends.

Chickweed (Vogelmiere)
Stellaria Media


Edible parts: leaves, stems, buds and blossoms

Contents: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, B-vitamins, phosphorus, zinc, copper, silicic acid, vitamins A and C, essential oils, tannins and plant-based proteins

Effects : cooling, anti-inflammatory, blood-cleansing, hemostatic, diuretic, digestive and analgesic

pure in salads, dips or crostini
juiced with apple
blended in smoothies
dried as a metabolism-enhancing tea


Nettle (Brennnessel)
Urtica Dioica


Edible parts: leaves, seeds, buds

Contents: flavonoids, magnesium, potassium, iron, silicic acid, vitamin A, C and E, plant-based proteins
In the seeds: 30% oils, especially linoleic acid and vitamin E

Effects: diuretic, blood-cleansing and detoxing, anti-inflammatory, digestive, anti-rheumatic, anti-diabetic, tonic

leaves: fresh or dried for tea
blanched similar to spinach, raw in salads, juices and smoothies
seeds: dried or roasted as a condiment


Dandelion (Löwenzahn)
Taraxacum Officinale


Edible parts: leaves, stems (the milk is not toxic), blossoms and roots

Contents: bitter substances, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins A, C, B2 and flavonoids.

Effects: diuretic, detoxing, blood-building, anti-inflammatory, wound healing
The bitter substances have a beneficial effect on the stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver, gall bladder and kidneys.

juiced or blended in a smoothie
in salads and dips
dried (leaves and roots) for tea
flowers: in salads, or fried in batter


Violet (Veilchen)
Viola Odorata


Edible parts: blossoms and buds, leaves, roots

leaves: saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, bitter substances
blossoms: essential oils, natural blue colouring Cyamin

Effects: stress relieving scent

decoration for desserts and salads, aroma in sugar and vinegar


Goosegrass (Klettenlabkraut)
Gallium Aparine


Edible parts: leaves and shoots

Contents: glycosides, alkaloids, tannins and essential oils

Effects: diuretic, stimulates lymph flow, detoxing. In Chinese Medicine it’s assigned to liver, gall and bladder

juiced in drinks and soups
blended in smoothies
in scrambled eggs, vegetables, cottage cheese, Quark
fresh or dried for tea


Ground Elder (Giersch)
Aegopodium Podagraria

Ground Elder

Edible parts: leaves, blossoms and fruits

Contents: potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamins A and C, plant based proteins, flavonoids, resin and essential oil

Effects: diuretic, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, de-acidifying

leaves and blossoms: raw as salad, blanched like spinach, juiced or blended in smoothies
fruits: fresh or dried as a condiment

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