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Medicinal Uses For Weeds Commonly Found Around Your Home – Part 4

In Medicinal Uses For Weeds Commonly Found Around Your Home – Part 1, I went over the medicinal properties of three extremely beneficial wild plants: purslane, ground ivy, and chickweed. In Part 2, I went over the medicinal properties of four additional beneficial wild plants: thistle, wild violet, hairy bitterness, and prickly lettuce. Part 3 covered the medicinal properties of four more additional beneficial wild plants: lamb’s quarters, mallow, stinging nettle, and chicory.

All of these plants have one thing in common – they can usually be found close to or around your home. Today, I’ll go over the medicinal uses for four more wild plants that can be found close to or around your home: henbit, curly dock, garlic mustard, and amaranth.

Word of caution…

As I did in part one and two, I would like to share with you two articles which include information on safety precautions you need to be aware of when foraging for wild, edible, plants. In my article, Foraging Tips for the 7 Most Common Edible Plants, I share great tips on things to consider and to look out for when you forage for any and all wild, edible plants. Another great article, “Need To Know” Rules When Picking Edible & Medicinal Plants, is written by Mykel Hawke, star of Discovery’s “Man, Woman, Wild”. He also talks about considerations and safety precautions to take when foraging in the wild. I sincerely encourage you to read these articles if you have never foraged for wild and edible plants. Foraging can be a great experience but, safety precautions are a must!

Let’s get started!

Medicinal Uses For Weeds Commonly Found

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

As a child, this was one of my favorite wild flowers to pick. I just loved the small purplish blooms on the top! I remember bringing in a little bouquet of henbit every time I would pick them. My Mom would put them in a small glass of water and they usually sat in the window sill above the kitchen sink. Little did I know then that I was picking a medicinal plant!

Henbit belongs to the mint family but, does not have a minty scent. This plant is covered in very fine hairs pointing downward. The stems are green but can turn a purplish color as it ages. The tiny purplish blooms of henbit are on the top and closely resemble the shape of an orchid bloom when their tiny blooms open. The leaves have scalloped like edges and are arranged opposite of each other in pairs. Henbit can grow between 10-30 cm high.

This edible and medicinal plant is high in iron, various vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. It possesses anti-rheumatic, diaphoretic, laxative, and stimulant properties.

The edible parts of this plant are the stems, leaves, and flowers. Henbit can be eaten raw and cooked. Some use dried henbit as a tea. You can add raw henbit to salads, soups, and green smoothies. Some say the taste of henbit resembles the taste of kale.

Curly Dock (Rumex Crispus)

Also known as yellow dock, the flowers are green, sometimes with a touch of red. The flowers do not have petals and grow in clusters. Each flower contains a seed which will eventually turn brown

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Curly dock is rich in protein, magnesium, iron, vitamins A and C, and bioflavonoids. All parts of this plant are useful but, the roots of this plant possess the strongest medicinal properties.

The edible parts and medicinal value of curly dock:

  • Leaves in very small quantities are edible (until flower spikes appear). The leaves can be cooked as long as they are green. The leaves can also be added to stews, soups, and salads.
  • The inner portions of the stems are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. To get to the inner portion of the stem just peel the outer layer of the stem.
  • The seeds of curly dock can be eaten raw or cooked but, only once they turn brown. Seeds can also be a substitute for coffee.
  • The roots of curly dock possess the most medicinal properties. The roots are best boiled to make a tea. The tea acts as a detoxifier for your liver, is great for skin ailments, and possesses laxative properties which helps to cleanse toxins from the digestive system.
  • Used as first aid, the powder of dried curly dock roots can be made into a poultice and applied directly to your skin to heal wounds, itching, inflammations, and eczema.

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

The leaves of this beautiful plant are green and shiny. The leaves also have a slight ‘mustardy’ type scent. The flowers are tiny white blooms

The whole plant is edible and can be eaten raw or you can dry the plant and make it into a powder which makes a great spice to use for cooking.

Garlic mustard possesses antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It is also loaded with vitamin A and C. Consumption of garlic mustard treats a number of ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, ulcers, gangrene, and eczema.

Amaranth (Amaranthus)

This edible and medicinal plant has greenish (sometimes purplish) colored flowers with a red stem.

The amaranth is high in protein and 2 essential amino acids.

Medicinal Uses For Weeds Commonly Found Around Your Home - Part 4

Medicinal Uses For Weeds Commonly Found Around Your Home - Part 4

The whole plant is edible. It can be eaten raw or steamed. The seeds of the amaranth plant can be used to make flour or even added to smoothies. Seeds are better when they are soaked overnight. The roots can be boiled or roasted. Boiled amaranth roots are a great potato alternative.

Do not consume if you are pregnant or nursing.

This plant has been used to treat symptoms of the stomach flu including diarrhea. It has also been used to treat symptoms of gastroenteritis.

This plant has a TOXIC look alike called hairy nightstand. The leaves of the hairy nightstand plant look the same but, the stem is hairy and the blooms are white.

**Information within this article is for informational purposes only. Read our full disclaimer HERE.

What weeds commonly found around your home do you use for medicinal purposes? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Check out these other great articles on other medicinal wild plants:

Dandelions: Not Just a Weed

10 Powerful Medicinal Plants From Around the World

30 Medicinal Plants That Could Save Your Life

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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