Foodstuff Nutrition from Weeds – Types Of Weeds
As globally the population is burgeoning and food inflation in spiralling sky high and unsustainable levels there is now a compelling urgency to find out how best to extract nutritious food mainly from sources available aplenty in the world. Weeds wildly grown have been found proper for the purpose of obtaining nutritious food. Of course not all the weeds interfering with plant life need to be weeded out. But select weeds furnish nourishing food that can replace traditional foods that are becoming prohibitively costly.
Bees gather honey in immense quantities from weed blossoms. Some weeds are invaluable drug plants appearing in not only herbal medicines but are also being listed in the official pharmacopoeias. Numerous weeds furnish valuable forage for domestic animals. Weeds do not thrive under crowded conditions even of their own making and readily give way to more tolerant plants.
A weed thatʼs possessing good food value and makes a toothsome dish is the dandelion (Taraaacum officinale) belonging to the family composite. It makes excellent cooked vegetable or salad; its root is roasted as a substitute for coffee. The much-hated crab grass, also called finger grass, the name for various species of Digitalis, especially D. Saguinalis and D. Ischaemum, the troublesome weed in lawns and on agricultural lands, was formerly planted in kitchen gardens in Poland where its seeds were considered a delectable breakfast cereal when cooked like rice.
FIVE COMMON WEEDS TO CULTIVATE FOR HEALTH AND NUTRITION
- Lambʼs quarters, a name given to the cosmopolitan weed.
- Chenopodium album of the goose-foot family (Chenopodiaceae).
- Amaranth belonging to the genus Amaranthus, with upwards of 50 species.
- Purslane known as Portulaca deracea of the family Portulacaceae.
- Milkweed belonging to the genus Asclepias of the family Asclepiadaceae.
Lambʼs quarters, Chenopodium album, Amaranth are often given to pigs and the assumption that these weeds are for only pigs is misplaced.
Lambʼs quarters – Weed Plants And Their Health Benefits
Lambʼs quarters were intimately related to our domestic beets and spinach and they taste better than either. The young tender leaves of this weed are delicious in salad, a superior source of A and B vitamins and rich in organic iron. Lambʼs quarters appear early in spring and only plants not over a foot in high should be gathered. The leaves of lambʼs quarters absorb water when they are boiled.
Chenopodium album – Weed Plants And Their Health Benefits
Chenopodium album is a common garden weed that has many health benefits. It is known for numerous medicinal benefits.It is generally grow in hot places.it has so many medicinal properties which are as follows
- Chenopodium album helps in curing constipation.
- It is a good source of vitamin A which helps in bone formation, growth, wound healing.
- It helps in purifying the blood.
- Chenopodium album is a of many minerals such as potassium, magnessium, zinc, phosphorous, iron etc.
- It makes digestive system strong and healthy.
Amaranth – Weed Plants And Their Health Benefits
has a superficial resemblance to lambʼs quarters and the two often grow together. The leaves of Amaranth are long-pointed with wavy margins and are quite rough to the touch. This roughness renders them unsuitable for consuming raw but they make a good potherb with an cooked and flavoured a bit. Amaranth can also be mixed with dandelion, Chicory, wild mustard, cress or other strong flavoured greens.
The young leaves and tips are boiled for about half an hour in a small quantity of water and then drained. The cooked greens are then added to cider vinegar and a garnish of hard boiled egg. It is a delicious dish.
The Delicious Purslane – Weed Plants And Their Health Benefits
Purslane, a native of India and introduced into Europe as a salad plant, is a ground-hugging weed only a few inches high with purplishstems radiating from the centre and forking freely as it creeps along the ground. The tiny leaves are thick and fleshy; small yellow flowers grow in the stem forks. Purslano is delicious, raw, cooked or pickled.
The stems are juicy, tender and mild and the leaves are succulent. Itʼs else delightfully acidic and is devoid of bitter taste. The vegetable is always to be thoroughly washed as it is likely to be gritty.
The tender tips with their growth leaves make a pleasant salad. They can be used alone or mixed with other salad materials and seasoned with an oil dressing. The stems, leaves and tips can be boiled and served like amaranth lambʼs quarters, but parsland needs less cooking than either of them. It is stirred well, then covered and cooked for around 10 minutes. Thereafter it is seasoned and a small quantity of cider-vinegar is sprinkled on it. The fat, tender stems of purslane also make splendid pickles. The plant packs its many tiny seeds into a round pillbox, growing in the forkings of the stem after flowers when the outer half of this pops off.
While weeding the garden, throw the purslane plants onto a canvas to dry. Beat the dried plants, then winnow. The seeds, ground in a hand grist mill and mixed with wheatflour, make dark but delicious pancakes. When I mention that a wild vegetable is cooked and served like spinach or asparagus it doesnʼt mean that these wildlings will taste exactly like the vegetables with which they are compared.
Each of the domestic vegetables has its own flavour and texture and wild vegetables do likewise. Neither should you think of wild plants as substitutes for domestic vegetables. They are good enough to stand on their own as independent taste sensations. It will, however, do you good to be able to pull these plants out. And you can derive the double advantage of gathering and unusual vegetable dish and weeding the garden.
Milkweed – Weed Plants And Their Health Benefits
Monarch butterfly is completely depends on milkweed for their food.Sometimes milkweed can be dangerous to human health when it consumed incorrectly Milkweed has many medicinal properties.
Health Benefits Of Milkweed
- milkweed helps in healing wounds.
- it helps in curing stomach diseases like diarrohea, constipation etc.
- it also helps in curing diseases related to lungs such as bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis etc.
- Milkweed can be used against snake bite.