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Wonderful

Weeds

Copyright ©2013 Linda Ursin Cover design and graphics ©2013 Linda Ursin Edited by Teresa Langille .

This book is dedicated to all the women who don’t yet know what the weeds they work so hard to pull up could be used for. .

Thanks to all my fellow herbalists for the input, and to
my friends for being persistent and for all your
support.
...and thanks to all those who came up with solutions,
ideas, suggestions, and tweaks

Contents Foreword Disclaimer Stinging Nettle Chickweed Dandelion Couch Grass Lady’s Mantle Scurvy Grass Lupine Mugwort Colt’s Foot Oxeye Daisy Cow Parsley Wood Sorrel Ground Elder Melancholy Thistle Wild Carrot Birch Lamb’s Quarters Sorrel Goat’s Beard Buttercup Red Clover Goldenrod Meadowsweet Eyebright Afterword Appendix I: Names Appendix II: Sources 11 13 15 21 25 29 33 37 41 45 49 53 57 59 63 67 71 75 81 85 89 93 95 99 101 105 107 109 113 .

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although mostly physical. because they’re always there. . garden plants. and not nearly as intrusive. Weeding also uses energy. store-bought. We don’t take the time to have a closer look. you probably haven’t. In addition to this come herbicides and pesticides that pollute our environment. which isn’t always produced in an environmentally friendly way.Foreword Have you given a thought to what the weeds in your garden might be useful for? Like most of us. Since they have a habit of being in the way and hard to get rid of. we often consider weeds as less valuable than other plants. often non-native. They grow where we don’t want them to and compete with our expensive. Domestic weeds also rarely pose a threat to the local flora and fauna. Growing exotic plants also require a lot of energy. and that they can be just as beautiful to look at as the ones we buy. There are many examples of introduced plants that take over and wreak havoc. to find out more about them. as introduced plants might. What most people seem to have forgotten is that weeds have a value too.

Personally I think all plants are of equal value. Another bonus is that you can find them virtually anywhere – city or countryside – you know you’ve seen them. You might know that Dandelion. Some can be used in crafts and cooking as well. But were you aware that Ground Elder. You can go out and pick them yourself. and your wallet. Many of them have medicinal. magical and culinary uses. and should be treated as such. Yarrow and Clover are used in both medicine and magic. or maybe you just pluck them out of the ground without thinking. Compared to pulling them out of the ground and/or using harsh chemicals. Between the stones and in ditches.When it comes to us and our kind .and by that I mean pagans and other alternatively interested people . I suggest that you try using some kind of cover. So it’s worth thinking about. Nettle.weeds have added value beyond being nice to look at. they’re there for you to find. like bark. this will spare Mother Nature as well as your back. I’m sure you know of a few weeds already. Couch Grass and Chickweed also have their uses? Maybe you know this. and they’re free! They’re the perfect solution for those of us with limited funds. so that they don’t appear at all. . If you don’t want weeds in your flower beds or your herb garden. Most people do the latter and don’t think twice about using a lot of energy and money or even poison to get rid of them.

you do so at your own risk. crafts and other areas. magic. nor do I pretend to be. medically trained.Disclaimer This book presents information about the historical use of plants in medicine. I. Linda Ursin. because the knowledge has come from over 20 years of research. So if you choose to try any of the information in this book. I am not. cannot under any circumstances be held responsible. I cannot name all the sources for all the information. . cosmetics.

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but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind. The plant not is self-fertile. in flower from June to August. It often grows in large clusters because of its crawling rhizomes. often just a foot high and has oval leaves. Caution! Do not handle fresh herb or plant without gloves. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female. Dead Nettle and Nettle-leaved Bellflower look like the Nettle in the way they grow and the shape of the leaves. and the seeds ripen from July to September. In this part of Norway. despite its sting. Similar plants: Burning Nettle. This . Contact with the leaves produces a stinging or burning sensation in the skin and a wheal and flare at the site of contact.Stinging Nettle Nettle is a plant that has been appreciated and used for a long time.) tall. It has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs and tiny greenish flowers. but it’s annual. but they lack stinging hairs and have bigger flowers. The Nettle is a perennial herb that grows to be about 1 m (~3 ft. it’s in leaf from May to October.

stimulates the digestion. skin diseases. and urinary suppression. discontinue use of the herb or decrease the amount taken. if so. Possible allergic reactions (skin conditions. burning sensation of the skin. and is strengthening for anemia. A poultice is soothing and cleansing for burns. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should also not take this herb due to its potential diuretic effect. because the effect of this herb is mild compared with modern diuretics. With proper use of this herb. eczema and irritated skin. Diuretics may lead to potassium loss. The seeds are used to strengthen the lungs after bronchitis. there are no health hazards. antiseptic. liver and gall. stomach irritation. rheumatism. Nettle may also cause stomach cramps or diarrhea.Wonderful Weeds reaction is thought to be produced by histamine from the plant that is released as the hairs pierce the skin. 16 . potassium deficiency is unlikely. erythema or edema) rarely occur. It prevents scarring. and good for gout. Do not use this herb if you have fluid retention that is a result of cardiac or renal dysfunction. Burns: Smear a few drops of Nettle extract on the wound to take away the pain. Uses Medical It’s diuretic. works against impure skin. Ingesting large doses may cause constipation. The root strengthens the scalp. However.

against dandruff. It also increases the power of other herbs in for example amulets. Nettle is a valuable food crop and most people think tastes good. Cosmetic Nettles are mostly used for things to do with hair. to name one. carried with yarrow to stop fear and carried as an amulet to keep negativity away. and also in herbal shampoos. which will give a “more effective purification”. put Nettle in a doll or carry it in a bag around your neck. At this time of year the herb contains up to three times as much protein as cabbage. It can be carried in the hand to keep ghosts away. Early in the spring when the shoots are about 15 cm high. The tea can be used to promote desire or in the bath water to get a purifying effect. Culinary Nettles can be used in the same ways as Spinach in food. but sends the energy it stops back where it came from! To stop. and they have a higher nutritional content and less oxalic acid than spinach. and return a curse. The good thing about Nettles is that it not only protects. This is because of the burning effect. Because of the 17 . Spray Nettle tea around the house for protection. The leaves also contain carotene (precursor of vitamin A) and vitamin C in the same amount as in spinach. thrown on the fire to keep danger away.Stinging Nettle Magical The protective power of the Nettle has been used in magic for a long time.

Wonderful Weeds high content of vitamin C. The leaves are also great to use for herbal tea. is a springtime favorite dish for many. After midsummer the content of vitamin C in the plant quickly decreases. Fresh Nettle leaves can be blanched and used in soups and stews. zinc and silicon. and used throughout the winter as a versatile food additive in cooking. Nettle is easy to use as an additive. which is an invigorating drink you can drink as often as a couple cups of day. especially iron. and they’re fatty and nutritious. manganese. so you need to get more fluids on  board. plus a number of trace elements. Nettle soup with “egg boats” (and often a fair bit of cream!). Just remember that it’s a diuretic. dried Nettle leaves provide the same benefits as fresh leaves in spring. It’s also used to make beer. phosphorus. and you’ll find a recipe for that below. Blanched Nettles may well be frozen in portion sized containers. Dried Nettle seeds can be used in food. You crush the dried leaves into a powder and use 1-2 tablespoons a day in your food. The whole plant is rich in chlorophyll and minerals. Nettle juice can be used as a vegetarian substitute for rennet. magnesium. crushed. 18 . In winter. Nettle can also be consumed as fresh squeezed juice or tincture. the Nettle could in ancient times be helpful against scurvy in the spring.

The plants are harvested commercially for extraction of the chlorophyll. Nettles can be used for dyeing. Nettles growing near beehives will keep frogs away. The seed oil can also be used in lamps. It can be fed to horses and cattle to improve the condition of their coat. which is used as a green coloring agent (E140) in foods and medicines. 19 . The fibers are shorter than flax. Harvest Parts above ground are harvested during bloom. but only when cut and wilted (so they don’t sting). but are treated in much the same way. They can also be used to make fishing nets and cord. Nettle seed may be added to the food for hens. and the seeds and the root in autumn. The leaves give off a green color and the roots provide a red color.Stinging Nettle Other The fibers are used to make clothing. If you grind dried Nettles. to encourage them to lay eggs. you can use them to make paper. A bunch of Nettles will keep away flies. young topshoots and leaves before the plant blossoms.

To create this strong “nutrient soup”. soak the Nettles in water for about two weeks before separating the liquid from the plant remains. It is noted for attracting wildlife. If you let the Nettle leaves soak in water for a few days. remained fresh for 24 hours. This comes from the fact that male and female flowers are found on different plants. they pressed oil from the seeds and used it as lamp oil. and the lady in the Oseberg ship also had Nettle with her. Dilute with more water before using it on the plants. 20 . In ancient Egypt. you get a pesticide that could be effective against pests such as aphids and mildew. Nettle left in water to ferment produces a strong (but smelly) liquid fertilizer that can be used for both vegetables and ornamental plants. which was placed in the patient’s urine. If the Stinging Nettle. or was placed in a vase in the pantry to keep the flies out. then the patient would recover.(two) and oikos (house). Nettle has also been used as insecticides indoors. The name dioica means “two-builder” comes from the Greek di. or that he was in the grave danger. It was strewn in the bedroom and barn to keep fleas away. Simon Paulli (1603-1680) gave this tip on how to find out how sick a person is. If it withered. it was a sign that the patient would die.Wonderful Weeds Fun facts A bundle of Nettle stems was found in the remains of the Kvalsund boat from about 500 AD.

they hold a wacky competition involving eating raw Nettles. In Marshwood. a tropical member of the Nettle family. Its fiber is very similar to that of Hemp or Flax and it’s sometimes used instead of linen because it’s said not to wrinkle as much as linen would. Fresh root boiled in water were used to color eggs at Easter. Nettled.Stinging Nettle In the 16 and 1700’s they made fabric from Nettle fiber. the fiber of the Rhea. Forty kilograms were calculated to provide enough stuff for one shirt. marked with the dates 1915 and 1916 respectively. Cloth made from Nettle fiber was employed in many articles of army clothing. I am whipped and scourged with rods. were found to be woven of a mixed fiber consisting of 85 per cent of the common Stinging Nettle and 15 per cent of Ramie. In 1917 two captured German overalls. in the southern English county of Dorset. and stung with pismires. and they still do in some parts of the world. 21 . but can also be used for dyeing if you add alum. “Why. A mix of Stinging Nettle and Red Clover as a tea is suggested as an aid to re-establish the normal PH of your body that has been destroyed by smoking. look you. which is used in the manufacture of gas-mantles and is also valuable for making artificial silk and was largely employed in war-time in the making of gas-masks.

239-41 . sc. It often grows near the Nettle too. But the easiest version of all is to use a handful of damp soil.when I hear Of this vile politician. 3. If you’ve burnt yourself on a Nettle: Try to rub some pure Lavender oil on it and presto.“pismires” = ants). It is a strange fact that the juice of the Nettle proves an antidote for its own sting. The sting of a Nettle may also be cured by rubbing the part with Rosemary. Mint or Sage leaves. Part 1. act 1. Bolingbroke “ (William Shakespeare. . l. Henry IV. I mostly use Aloe Vera gel. It also helps to rub the yellow part of a Dandelion on the skin where you got burnt. You can also cut a Tomato in half and rub the cut side on it. and being applied will afford instant relief. it doesn’t hurt anymore.

It has juicy stalks with paired leaves and lots of small white flowers.700.200 to 2. There is a good correlation between seed number and plant dry weight. Mouse-ear Chickweed is coarsely hairy.Chickweed Chickweed is a low-growing annual which flowers in early spring. However. flowers are produced that do not open making self-pollination inevitable. It spreads easily. Common Chickweed can complete its life cycle in 5-6 weeks. Common Chickweed has stalked leaves. It has been known to flower and ripen seed under a snow-cover 10-20 cm deep. when in fact there are only 5. Flowers are normally selfpollinated but there is a short period when insects can effect cross-pollination. creating the impression that there are 10 petals. Individual seed capsules contain around 10 seeds and the average seed number per plant is 2. Common Chickweed flowers and sets seed all through the year. The petals are cleft. Stems cut off in flower do not produce viable seed but any green immature capsules present will ripen and the seeds within them can become capable of germination. plants with 25. In winter. and is quite pervasive.000 seeds have been recorded. . The leaves of Star Chickweed are stalkless.

Although toxic. Saponins are found in many plants. Chickweed should not be used internally by pregnant or nursing women or children. It eases arthritis. These case reports. and cooking destroys them. such as certain beans. In excess doses Chickweed can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If you experience symptoms of nitrate poisoning after consuming Chickweed. appear to have been isolated reports. headache. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Chickweed contains nitrate. A decoction is given to drink as a 24 . and dizziness. bluish fingers and lips. fainting. however. call your doctor’s office. psoriasis and varicose veins. Side effects may include contact dermatitis after skin contact with the herb. Uses Medical A poultice or an ointment made from the astringent plant (parts above ground) heals infected skin. Symptoms may include weakness. pulls out splinters and heals cuts. There have been case reports of muscle paralysis from very large oral doses of Chickweed.Wonderful Weeds Caution! The leaves of Chickweed contain saponins. including several that are often used for food. People with allergies to the daisy plant family may also react to Chickweed. these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body. itching eczema.

Taken internally it is useful in the treatment of chest complaints and in small quantities it also aids digestion. A decoction of the whole plant was taken internally as a post-partum depurative. sore. refrigerant. carminative. emmenagogue. 25 . Chickweed is rarely taken internally. Today. It’s more common as a topical remedy for skin conditions. An infusion of the fresh or dried herb can be added to the bathwater and its emollient property will help to reduce inflammation . laxative. conjunctivitis (pink eye). galactogogue and circulatory tonic. irritated eyes. diuretic.Chickweed cleansing tonic which eases constipation. The decoction is also used externally to treat rheumatic pains. wounds and ulcers. and bug bites.in rheumatic joints for example . It can be applied as a poultice and will relieve any kind of Roseola and is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins. weakness and catarrh. demulcent. inflamed. diaper rash. Chickweed also has an excellent reputation for aiding those dealing with eye problems including infections.and encourage tissue repair. It is also believed to relieve constipation and be beneficial in the treatment of kidney complaints. and vulnerary. Chickweed infused oil helps heal minor skin irritations. The whole plant is astringent. blisters. and tired. expectorant. The expressed juice of the plant has been used as eyewash. sties.

Add a little Aloe Vera to promote fast healing and reduce acne scarring. It enhances the magic of other herbs as well. It can be carried for the same purpose. Culinary You can eat all the many Chickweed species. It also has cell-proliferating properties. It strengthens magical energy and promotes attraction and balances the magical properties of nettles. for example in the case of acne. useful in speeding-up the healing process. Both are proven to attack acne bacteria and the relating inflammation. Chickweed helps you ask for what you want. Young green tops in spring are excellent in salads and used like Spinach for tonic. Mixing Chickweed and Tea Tree oil to use as a diluted warm compress can have an almost magical effect on acne. It helps for varicose veins and a number of conditions where the skin is irritated.Wonderful Weeds Magical Chickweed is often used in workings to strengthen or maintain a relationship. The seeds are ground into a powder and used in 26 . Also. Adding Chickweed tea to your bathwater will help banish negative energies. Cosmetic Chickweed soothes and calms the skin. Chickweed can actually be beneficial in any lunar based workings. or when working with a bird totem or patron. While its area of concentration is relationships. consider Chickweed for animal magic or bird magic. and you have an all-natural acne treatment. or other rituals of love.

taste good. phosphorus. Cooking shrinks Chickweed by 3/4. The issue revolves around whether Chickweed has medical properties or not.Chickweed making bread or to thicken soups. despised weed has caused great disagreement among herbalists. and silica. Unlike most other edibles. C. It would be very fiddly to harvest any quantity of this seed since it is produced in small quantities throughout most of the year and is very small. as well as the leaves and flowers. by some. calcium. and advocate both external and internal use. Chickweed is an excellent source of vitamins A. D. Include any of the species in soups and stews. concentrating the nutrients and compensating for whatever vitamins cooking destroys. potassium. the stems. zinc. but cook no more than 5 minutes to prevent overcooking. Other Chickweed gets its common name because chickens love it. Some swear by this herb as a remedy for many conditions. It can be used fresh or be dried and stored for later use. copper. Harvest Chickweed is best harvested between May and July. Fun Facts This. B complex. manganese. 27 . sodium. Aerial parts are harvested during bloom. and rutin (an accompanying flavonoid). as well as iron.

Seed buried in soil for 10 years still gave up to 22% germination. Buried Chickweed seeds are known to stay viable for at least 25 and probably for over 40 years. pigs and rabbits love the bright green leaves and small seeds. while it seems as the sheep despise them and goats will not touch the plant at all. described Chickweed’s applications as follows: “It (Chickweed) may usefully be applied with cornmeal for inflammation of the eyes. we find those who consider Chickweed to be close to worthless. the bottom of the container will within a few days be covered in a layer of tiny yellow-orange seeds that have ripened and come loose. Hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of saponin rich plants in streams. in order to stupefy or kill the fish.Wonderful Weeds Chickweed could. Chickweed water is an old wives’ remedy for obesity. lakes etc. 28 . itching. Even among the animals there seems to be a difference in opinion on the value of Chickweed. according to its fans. a Greek physician writing in the 1st century AD. hemorrhoids. coughs. sore eyes and rheumatism. colds. If you pick Chickweed and leave it in the fridge. tumors. represented among others. In the other camp. Chickens. Dioscorides. by the well-known herbal doctor Varro Tyler. The seeds will ripen even if you cut the plant or uproot it. be used for example for inflammation.

M. Gerard. According to Mrs. Chickweed. especially important to those who depended on poultry for their livelihood. Although now considered a nuisance plant. Chickweed helped maintain healthy birds. Boil it all together with Oatmeal. and the cold and trouble will soon disappear. chief physician of the Tuatha-de-Dannan: “Porridge made of Hazel-buds. J. and Wood Sorrel. Here’s a cure for colds from Dianecht. 1633 edition) Chickweeds were not just for small pet birds. Grieve in A Modern Herbal (1931). it was popular winter treat for chickens and rabbits.” (The Herbal. whereupon it was called of some Passerina. Gerard commented “Little birds in cadges (especially Linnets) are refreshed with the lesser Chickweed when they loath their meat (lose their appetite).Chickweed Beside Chickweed’s medicinal uses for humans. Porridge should be taken morning and evening.” 29 . Dandelion.

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It is now naturalized throughout the Northern Hemisphere. resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis. although there are some people who should use caution. Dandelion is a perennial herb thought to have its origins in Europe and Asia. Caution! Dandelion is generally considered safe. daisies.Dandelion The Dandelion is a truly under-appreciated plant. chrysanthemums. and there is some debate on the origin of the plant. followed by downy balls of seeds with a tassel. you should avoid Dandelion. often with brown stripes. . or gallstones should ask their health care provider before eating Dandelion. gallbladder problems. deeply jagged leaves.  People with kidney problems. where the seeds are produced without pollination. chamomile. marigold. and diabetics. This hardy herb has rosettes of oblong. as should people on antacids or diuretics. or iodine. goldenyellow flowers. If you are allergic to ragweed. yarrow. No one is sure exactly how the Dandelion has spread so widely.

so they help to compensate for potassium lost with increased urination. The white stalk juice is used against warts. and others may develop mouth sores. how long you’ll live. Dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. They de-toxify the blood and are given for eczema and acne. gall stones and rheumatism. To each plume attach a fond thought.Wonderful Weeds Some people may develop an allergic reaction from touching Dandelion. corns and plantar warts. The root reduces inflammation and stimulates the liver. Uses Medical The leaves are strongly diuretic and are used to treat urinary tract infection and fluid buildup. then turn in the direction of your friend and blow the seeds off the stem. In some people. If any remain. You can blow on a seed ball and count the remaining plumes to determine time of day. 32 . pick a puffball with all the seeds still attached. There are many variations to this. and so on. your friend is also thinking of you. how many children you’ll get. at what age you’ll marry. It may also help fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The bitter compounds in Dandelion root help stimulate digestion and are mildly laxative in activity. It might also irritate the skin if used topically. Magical When separated from a friend or loved one. but they’re also high in potassium. The leaf tea is used as an appetite suppressant when dieting. It’s used for jaundice.

and add color to herb vinegars and oils. Cosmetic A cosmetic skin lotion made from the appendages at the base of the leaf blades distilled in water. The flower heads can be used as garnishes. as they’re rich in vitamins A and C. Culinary Tender. This yields a great substitute for coffee. The taproot is gathered in late fall.Dandelion Grow Dandelions at the northwest corner of your house to bring favorable winds. Blanch the leaves to reduce their bitterness. or wassail. Both can be beautiful. or in seed. often combined with chicory. Leave a steaming cup beside your bed to summon spirits. mulled cider. is used to clear the skin and is effective in fading freckles. roasted. The taste resembles that of Rocket/Arugula. young leaves are used fresh in salads. The flowers are used to make wine. Other They can be used as purely decorative. It can also be used as an additive. Drink tea made from roasted Dandelion roots to promote psychic powers. either when in flower. Older greens make an excellent substitute for spinach. Some people add it to hot chocolate. and ground. For wreaths and garlands. I’d use them when they’re in flower. Thee bright yellow petals can be used as a natural food coloring. When placed in a paper 33 . or wait until autumn when the bitterness naturally dissipates.

The name refers to the strong diuretic effect of this plant. If you’ve burnt yourself on a Nettle. The smooth leaves are bright green with uneven.bag with unripe fruit. Dandelions are important plants for northern hemisphere bees. originated either from the Persian ‘tark hashgun’ (wild endive) or from the Greek ‘taraxos’ (disorder) and ‘akos’ (remedy). Taraxacum officinale. Most botanists favor the Greek derivation. which would cause the fruit to ripen quickly.century records of Arabian physicians. In modern French. It often grows near the Nettle too. the plant is named pissenlit (piss in bed). The English and Norwegian names for this plant come from the shape of its leaves. A liquid plant food is made from the root and leaves. the flowers and leaves of Dandelion are said to release ethylene gas. . which makes it even more practical. Fun Facts The Latin name. jagged margins of backward pointing teeth reminded someone of a lion’s teeth. providing an important source of nectar and pollen early in the season. The earliest written reference to the Dandelion appears in the tenth. and the French ‘dent de lion’. the flowers at the beginning of bloom and the root after. rub the yellow part of a Dandelion on the skin where you got burnt. means lion’s tooth. Harvest The leaves are harvested before the plant blossoms. and a dark red dye is obtained from Dandelion root.

and North West Africa. The glumes are 7–12 mm long. and the leaves are linear.Couch Grass Most of us know Couch Grass as a really invasive weed. It’s native to most of Europe. kidney infections and kidney stones. The leaves higher up on the stems are 2–8. Couch Grass has 0. and has been naturalized across the Northern Hemisphere.5 m tall stems.4-1. but it’s been used in herbal medicine since ancient times. Otherwise.5 mm wide. Asia. prostate inflammation (prostatitis). 5–7 mm wide and 3 mm thick with three to eight florets. The flower spike is 100–300 mm long. enlarged prostate. but which in fact has many good uses. usually without an awn or with only a short one. with spikelets 10–20 mm long. . high cholesterol. Couch Grass flowers from the end of June through to August. Uses Medical Couch Grass has been used to treat urinary tract disorders such as cystitis. It’s a really good example of something which most just consider a nuisance. ureteral inflammation. the intestinal worms. 150–400 mm long and 3–10 mm wide at the base of the plant.

It’s used in unhexing and uncrossing rituals. rheumatism. 36 . jaundice. Magical Couch Grass is used to gain love. Cosmetic Couch Grass helps to remove waste products from the body. catarrh of the lower urinary tract. Because of its cleansing. When carried or sprinkled under the bed it attracts new lovers. When roasted. Tea made from the dried root has a blood-cleansing action. Although the roots are thin and stringy. lust and exorcism. gout. The root is used as tea. and when worn it dispels depression. eliminating properties it is used in bronchial disorders. constipation and skin diseases. they contain starch and enzymes. and catarrh of the upper airways. metabolic complaints. arthritis. and thereby to clear blemished skin. for happiness. Externally it is applied as a wash to swollen limbs. the root has been used as a coffee substitute. and are quite sweet. as it activates the metabolic activities and elimination processes. The juice from these shoots is sometimes used as a spring tonic. and as dried in bread making when there was a shortage of flour. rheumatism.Wonderful Weeds gout. Culinary Young leaves and shoots are eaten raw in spring salads.

Harvest The roots are harvested during spring or fall. A grey dye is obtained from the roots. then chopped. When this is done.Couch Grass They need to be boiled for a long time to break down the leathery membrane. Other The foliage is an important forage grass for many grazing mammals. and are dried whole at a maximum of 30 C/85. and some caterpillars use it as a food plant. so it would probably be more like eating fiber than cereal. The seed is very small and has a large husk surrounding it. 37 . The plant has been planted in sand dunes near the coast to bind the soil together because of its long. creeping root system. A cereal mash can be made from the seeds. Fun Facts Both Pliny and Dioscorides suggested it for improving urine flow and against kidney stones. the seeds are eaten by several species of birds. and Culpepper is said to have stated that half an acre of Couch Grass was worth five acres of Carrots twice over. and this is sometimes brewed into a beer. An infusion of the whole plant is a good liquid plant feed. The leaves are gathered when young and tender.9 F. syrup can be made from the roots.

In France today this is still a very popular method for improving health and urinary function. It has been observed that cattle. epidemics and ward off disease-bringing demons. This plant is also a favorite medicine of domestic cats and dogs. 38 . including sheep and goats. It was thought to purify the blood. which will often eat quite large quantities of the leaves to induce vomiting. have improved health in the spring when they begin eating this herb. At one time a decoction of Couch Grass was a popular drink taken in the spring time.Wonderful Weeds Its disinfecting and purifying action led to the burning Couch Grass as incense in order to prevent skin problems.

Lady’s Mantle Lady’s Mantle is another very useful weed. In some literature. It’s also important that the plants aren’t collected too early or late in the season. northeast USA and Greenland. with both primary leaves and stems with flowers or fruits. but it also has other uses. and loose clusters of green-yellow flowers. You’ll find it both in the wild and cultivated in gardens. The Lady’s Mantle is a hardy perennial with green leaves which collect dew drops. Lady’s Mantle is native to most of Europe. To classify Lady’s Mantle species requires complete plants. The Alchemilla group consists of a number of species that all produce seeds by apomixis. . Caution! Do not use during pregnancy. they rarely distinguish between different species. In herbal medicine. Prolonged intake of tannins should be avoided as there are indications that these may increase the risk of cancer. Most think of its use for female heath. The tannins in the herb can lead to liver damage if used excessively. northwest Asia. the Grassland Lady’s Mantle is the one described. Any diarrhea that lasts past three days should be checked out by a doctor.

It combines well in equal parts with Motherwort and Chasteberry for hot flashes. and vaginitis. such as heavy periods and fibroids. reduces inflammation and accelerates convalescence after childbirth. It reduces bleeding from grazes and pulled teeth.Wonderful Weeds Uses Medical An infusion on the green parts eases itchy privates. It is also indicated for 40 . it’s tranquilizing. Lady’s Mantle is perhaps the best astringent for reproductive bleeding of a known cause. The fresh root has been used at least since medieval days to stop the bleeding of a cut. and as eyewash. especially Swedes. in which case it combines well with Shepherd’s Purse. and heals wounds. It is specific for improving poor uterine tone and relieving heavy bleeding. find it useful to reduce heavy menstruation and prevent menstrual and even intestinal cramping. antispasmodic. strengthening. Europeans. They also recommend it when a woman’s body is adjusting hormone levels. It makes an astringent douche for vaginal infections and is usually combined with antiseptic herbs. astringent. menopausal hot flashes. such as after childbirth and during menopause. The tea also controls diarrhea and is used as a mouthwash for sores and ulcers and as a gargle for laryngitis.

and helps prevent the destruction of connective tissue. Magical Lady’s Mantle increases the working power of any type of magic. It’s also one of the herbs used in magic directed at animals. 41 . It’s mainly used as an astringent. It’s also used for ground cover in gardens. Culinary Young leaves can be eaten. It’s used in magic to enhance inner beauty and others’ impression of one’s physical beauty.Lady's Mantle hardening of the arteries and external and internal bruising and wounds. and it’s added to other herbs for sleep pillows. Other The above-ground parts of Lady’s Mantle generate yellow colors in wool. to promote compassion and caring. as well as protect newly formed fibers. although the flavor may be slightly tart due to the tannins. and at weddings to bless the union. Cosmetic Because of the tannin it contains. Lady’s Mantle has astringent and styptic properties. You can use it in any love potion. The flowers are used for fresh or dried arrangements. It has a toning and binding effect on loose sagging skin. the pressed leaves to decorate note paper or for bookmarks.

Collect the pollen from the flowers during bloom. The dew that was captured in the hairs of the leaves was thought to have magical properties. “celestial water”.” used to help many female ailments. but this proved unpractical. They called the water droplets that bead up on the foliage. The roots are harvested in autumn and may be dried and powdered for magic. and ancient alchemists used it to assist in their search for the philosopher’s stone. One German herbalist . The morning dew collected from its leaves is much prized in magic and alchemy. It’s been called “Bear’s Foot” in old recipes. Harvest The leaves and flowering shoots are collected for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Grazing animals won’t eat the leaves till the moisture in them is gone. Its powers were so reputedly so potent that the Christian Church named it “Our Lady s Mantle” and became known as “a woman s best friend.Horses and sheep like the plant. Fun Facts The name Alchemilla comes from the Arabic word al-kimia. with which they wished to turn base metals into gold. You may also collect the early morning dew from its leaves for use in any magical working. and look so attractive in the garden after a rain. The name “Lady’s Mantle” probably also refers to the herb’s use in treating many female health problems. and it was suggested as a profitable fodder plant.

as stated by Nicholas Culpepper in 1653. One was the powdered root mixed with red wine for internal and external wounds and an infusion of the aerial parts for greenstick fractures and broken bones in babies and young children. and reduced risk of some cancers. Lady’s Mantle was a popular wound herb on the battlefields of the 15th and 16th centuries. An increased intake of phytosterols has been associated with decreased cholesterol. and it’s still sold in Middle Eastern markets for this purpose today. Despite its reputation as a female herb. 43 . most notably breast cancer. Arabs claimed that regular use of Lady’s Mantle would ensure fertility. An herbal from 1570 recommended two preparations. The women of Switzerland use poultices of Lady’s Mantle to firm and tone breast tissue. It has been said that should man or animals take this herb on midsummer’s eve they could become invisible. one-third of the gynecological operations would not be necessary. among others.Lady's Mantle went so far as to claim that with prolonged use.

Wonderful Weeds 44 .

) high. of which three are found here in Norway. and the juicy. The flowers are pure white with four petals. The plant has a sharp taste and a mustard-like odor. heart-shaped leaves in a rosette. crisp leaves are edible throughout the year. and are placed in dense clusters. intestines and kidneys. The plants can withstand severe cold.Scurvy Grass Scurvy Grass is an up to 30 cm (1 ft. fresh. it can  cause  damage to mucous membranes and cause bleeding in the stomach. usually biannual herb with fleshy. The literature on herbal medicine does not distinguish between these subspecies Caution! If taken  in  too large  quantities. . The species is divided into different sub-species. The fruits are almost spherical seed pods. but you can tell the difference by Scurvy Grass flowers having a strong fragrance when rubbed. These leaves are round to heart-shaped and have long shafts. Some might get this herb confused with Watercress. Scurvy Grass grows wild along the coasts of Central and Northwestern Europe and in the temperate areas in Asia and North America.

Wonderful Weeds Uses Medical This herb is antiscorbutic. Therefore. This will however cause the vitamin C to oxidize. The herb is astringent and may be applied to lessen or stop a nosebleed or other types of bleeding wounds. The young plant possesses common detoxification properties and encloses an assortment of minerals. aperient. this herb is also known to be an effective diuretic and is used to treat conditions like fluid build-up and kidney stones. It is best used when fresh though it can also be harvested in late spring or early summer and dried for later use. In the past. a section of the herbalists were of the view that this plant would also be effective in dissolving the ‘salt’ of rheumatism and gout. Scurvy Grass is also known to be antiseptic and possess gentle purgative properties. In addition. Since it’s found growing naturally in saline marshlands. Herbalists also recommend the topical application of the leaves to treat ulcers and wounds that heal very sluggishly. disinfectant. The leaves may be used as an antiseptic mouthwash to treat canker sores. diuretic and stimulant. 46 . the young Scurvy Grass plant is generally consumed as a tonic during spring. the sailors held this herb in high esteem and they also consumed it as a part of their diet with to avoid developing scurvy caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.

Scurvy was a common disease in Northern Europe up until the 1800’s. As well as associate it with gods like Thor and Zeus.Scurvy Grass Magical It’s said to correspond to Jupiter. Cosmetic The juice can be applied topically on the skin to treat pimples as well as spots. The flavor resembles that of horseradish and watercress . Culinary The leaves are eaten raw. they can be added to salads in small amounts. and because of their sharp.both close relatives of this herb. luck. Other Scurvy Grass is also an important bee plant. abundance. business. Harvest The leaves and/or the parts above ground are collected before the plant comes into flower. Both because of the nutritional content. Fun Facts There are records of Scurvy Grass being used as a remedy in Roman times. power and honor. loose 47 . The symptoms are bleeding gums. and Martin Martin mentions the Shetlanders using it. That would put it the area of success. mustardy taste.

If you dry Scurvy Grass. It has similar names in Norwegian. it loses much of its effectiveness against scurvy. . it’s a  common ingredient in Confusing Draughts and Befuddlement Draughts. and points to the spoon shape of the leaves. and sold it to the Southern parts of the country under the name ‘Finnmarkskål’ (Finnmark Cabbage). Only recently have scientists discovered that the herb encloses high amounts of vitamin C. If left untreated. meaning spoon. The name Scurvy Grass obviously comes from its use for scurvy. the English doctor Robert Turner recommended Scurvy Grass in beer as a cure for different conditions. since the vitamin C oxidizes. Danish. Swedish and German. including fever.teeth. this disease can be fatal. There are written sources stating that people in Finnmark (in Northern Norway) put the herb on barrels for winter use in the 1600’s. similar to that contained by fresh oranges. For the Harry Potter fans. In the 1600’s. bleedings in muscles and tendons around the joints. In the 1850s Scurvy Grass extract was a fashionable breakfast drink. anemia and increasing general weakness. The Latin name Cochlearia comes from cochlear. Linnaeus writes about the plant being used for shortness of breath and pulmonary edema caused by heart failure.

and has leaves that are cut palmately into five or seven divisions. circular. hairy. flattish. Some species. The upright flower spikes are typically surrounded by many pea-like blossoms which attract bees for pollination. such as the Yellow Bush Lupine are considered invasive weeds when they appear outside their native range. and contains three to six white. . Although the escaped. underneath. The pod is 3 to 4 inches long. there are Lupines which can be used for more than their looks. on short stalks. smooth above. and the seeds ripen from August to September. and are white and rather large. The leaves are 1 to 2 inches long. flattened seeds. Others. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. There are numerous hybrids and cultivars. The flowers are in placed in terminal racemes. ornamental Lupines are quite a nuisance in Norway (they’ve been black-listed because they take over where native roadside plants grow).Lupine Lupines are popular ornamental plants in gardens. and white. The White Lupine is native of Southern Europe and Asia. such as Garden Lupine and hybrids like the Rainbow Lupine are common garden flowers. It grows 1-2 feet high. It is in flower from June to July.

These unsegmented worms can cause damage to the internal organs of livestock. It is similar to Neurolathyrism. This fungus produces Phytotoxins known as Phomopsins and causes a disease known as Mycotoxic Lupinosis. Both sweet and bitter Lupines contain toxic alkaloids that cause Lupine Poisoning. The taste of the plants depends on the alkaloids contained in them. There are both bitter and sweet forms of Lupines. Caution! Some individuals suffer an allergic reaction to Lupine which can result in anaphylaxis. because it’s vulnerable to attacks from pests such as Nematodes. Lupines infected with fungus Diaporthe Toxica can also be very harmful. a nervous condition. which is produced from the ingestion of seeds of Sweet Peas. People with peanut allergy should generally avoid Lupines. Wild varieties of Lupines are poisonous in nature.Wonderful Weeds Lupines are strongly and deeply tap-rooted. 50 . and the roots of Yellow Lupine can penetrate to a depth of 6 ft. and has been cultivated since the days of the ancient Egyptians. the sweet kinds being found in North America while the bitter varieties are found in Mediterranean regions. The plant is probably of Egyptian or East Mediterranean origin. Blue Lupines are also highly damaging to animals. Poisonous seeds of Lupine cause death of many sheep and other cattle every year. This disorder damages the liver and can even lead to death.

Lupin Uses Medical The seeds. Greece. Algeria and parts of Brazil. Some cosmetic companies use Lupine ingredients in their skincare products. The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute. emmenagogue. Cosmetic The seed contains up to 12% oil. Culinary The roasted seeds can be used as a snack in much the same way as peanuts. Other A fiber obtained from the stems is used for making cloth etc. Lupines are widely used as a source of protein and energy for livestock. Egypt. which is used in making soap. Bitter Lupines are typically used for green manuring 51 . Edible oil is obtained from the seed. North America and Australia. Lupines are also used as a Soy substitute. taken internally. Lupine foods are commercially manufactured in Europe. this is used to invigorate tired skin. Italy. Bitter large-seeded European White Lupine is eaten (after de-bittering) as a snack in Portugal. are diuretic. A cosmetic face-mask can be made from Lupine flour. When bruised and soaked in water they are used as a poultice on ulcers. hypoglycaemic and vermifuge. France. Spain. The beans are commonly sold in a salty solution in jars (like olives and pickles).

good to destroy worms. Fun Facts John Parkinson said “Many women doe use the meale of Lupines mingled with the gall of a goate and some juyce of Lemons to make into a forme of a soft ointment. to reduce the likelihood of pod shattering. when eaten dry.” This Lupine was cultivated by the Romans as an article of food. and other cutaneous distempers. But make sure you know what you’re doing. it will contribute a fresh colour and a cheerful countenance. whereas alkaloid-free varieties are also used for forage and silage. scabby ulcers. Lupine oil is edible oil extracted from Lupine seeds and used to manufacture technical as well as edible refined oil. opening and cleansing.Wonderful Weeds alone. Pliny said: “No kind of fodder is more wholesome and light of digestion than the White Lupine. Blue and Yellow Lupines are mentioned as good honey plants. Outwardly they are used against deformities of the skin. It assimilates the free nitrogen of the air.” He also says that the burning of Lupine seeds drives away gnats. somewhat bitter in taste. If taken commonly at meals. Harvest Lupines should be harvested when weather is moderately cool.” 52 . scald heads. Culpepper had the following to say: “The seeds. and can be used for green manuring.

The plant was cultivated widely across the Baltic regions which provided the perfect breeding ground to the crop due to the sandy. while Lupine fiber paper and envelopes with Lupine adhesive were available for writing. then bread containing 20 per cent of Lupine. acidic soil.Lupin In 1917 a “Lupine banquet” was given in Hamburg at a botanical gathering. after the soup came Lupine beefsteak. Lupine was used in the 17th century to treat nervous disorders and kidney problems. It is said that sweet varieties of Lupines were first produced in the early 20th century by breeders in Germany. Lupine margarine and cheese of Lupine albumen. Members of native tribes in South and Native America used to soak Lupine beans in salt water before eating them. It was also used to treat hand and finger conditions. Lupine soap served for washing the hands. The Navajo People used Lupine to cure 53 . Sweet Lupines became a popular part of European cuisines from this time. At a table covered with a tablecloth of Lupine fiber. and finally Lupine liqueur and Lupine coffee. the King of Prussia. and the seeds of one species were once used for food in the Old World. However. In the late 18th century Lupines came to Europe through the efforts of Frederick the Great. Lupine dishes were popular in the heydays of the Roman Empire. The use of Lupine-flour soap was mentioned in Arabian Nights. it is Australia that now ranks first among nations involved in Sweet Lupines productions in the world. Lupine soup was served. roasted in Lupine oil and seasoned with Lupine extract.

They also made a remedy for boils from Lupine seeds. . and they also believed it helped produce female children.infertility.

up to 1.5 m (5 ft.) high and usually a reddish brown color. roadsides. Mugwort is native to Europe and Asia. It should be avoided during pregnancy and during breast feeding! Those who are allergic to the pollen of this plant should not use it . sites of demolished buildings in towns. but is rarely encountered in cultivated fields. Caution! Mugwort may be poisonous in large amounts. The stalk is straight. The fruit is very small. and natural areas. and a variety of other disturbed situations.Mugwort Mugwort is a large perennial with deeply lobate leaves and lots of small umbels. The umbels are small and downy with whitish flowers. It is rare. It is a problem weed in turf grass. Mugwort is most common on rubbish heaps. but is now also found throughout the eastern US. but Wormwood has silver gray leaves. larger umbels with purely yellow flowers and a stronger. anywhere in the extreme north and south. nurseries. and the lobes are flat and pointy. however. The leaves are usually smooth on top and have gray down on the underside. Mugwort resembles Wormwood. It has been grown as an ornamental and a medicinal herb. saturated aromatic fragrance. Mugwort blossoms from July to September.

and to improve bad digestion with symptoms like a lack of appetite and cramps. It’s used against liver problems where nausea and headaches are symptoms. ne lassus sim in via’.Wonderful Weeds in any way. It helps against skin problems and works as an insecticide. It’s also used for early stages of fever and cold. since the juice brings forth an allergic reaction. Magical Put Mugwort in your shoes for strength on long walks. Uses Medical Against burns. It’s very efficient against nervousness and a good agent against joint inflammations. It’s used for delayed and painful menstruation and irregular menstruation with little bleeding. take two handfuls of leaves pr. Mugwort can also be used as an aperitif. you pick the herb at sunrise while you say ‘Tollan te artemisia. Mugwort can also be used as a compress on bruises and swollen or inflamed joints. For this use. A pillow filled with Mugwort promotes true dreams when you sleep on it.1 pints) of water and boil for 15 minutes. Mugwort is burned as incense with Sandalwood and Wormwood in 56 . It’s also been used against shivering. Soak the bandage in the liquid. gout and intestinal worms. liter (~2. and against depressions with nausea and very strong headaches. Avoid long term use.

Mugwort rituals. and in perfume. Mugwort is carried to increase desire and fertility. It’s used in salads and vegetable dishes. you can’t be poisoned. preferably picked shortly before the plant flowers. Culinary Mugwort is used as a spice both fresh and dried. Cosmetic It’s used in skin toning products. At the side of the bed it promotes astral travel. 57 . and may be used successfully in liver pate and stuffing for turkey or goose. Leaves and buds. or instead of Hops. Ground up Mugwort is also used to clean crystals and magic mirrors and the leaves are put under the crystal ball to help. according to old traditions. were used as a bitter flavoring agent to season fat. In a building it prevents elves and evil beings from entering and in Japan they use it to prevent disease (the disease demons hate the smell). When you carry Mugwort with you. to prevent headaches and to cure illness and madness. or you drink it as tea or juice (ground with honey in warm water) for clairvoyance. meat and fish. It has also been used to flavor beer before the introduction of. attacked by wild animals or get sunstroke. primarily in China and Japan. and in a pillow it promotes psychic dreams.

generality) and means “common”. Harvest The parts above ground are collected during bloom and stored for a maximum of one year. This plant and its relatives are named after the goddess Artemis (Artemisia). The name vulgaris comes from the Latin word vulgus (heap. In the Midieval times a crown made from its sprays was worn on St. Mugwort derived its common name from being used to flavor drinks like beer before the introduction of hops. John’s Eve to gain security from evil possession. In Native American folklore Mugwort was also a Witchcraft medicine. Fun Facts A tip from Fang of Loki at The Pagan Grove: If you make a tea out of Mugwort or even use the fresh juices. The name Mugwort comes from the old Germanic muggiwurti meaning “fly or gnat plant. it is a great cure if you have been in contact with Poison Ivy. rubbed the leaves on one’s body to keep ghosts away or wearing a necklace to prevent dreaming of the dead.” and refers to the plants usage of repelling moths and other insects. .Other It’s used in “dream pillows” to stimulate dreams and ease sleep.

It often grows on moist. and also common in America because of introduction. “filius ante patrem” (son before father). shell-like stems with dull-yellow flowers. It’s native in many parts of Europe and Asia. gravelly or clay soil. The plant flowers in early spring and the leaves only appear when the flowers withered. This substance is suspected to be able to cause cancer and liver damage. Colt’s Foot contains a certain amount of the pyrrolizidinalkaloid senkirkine. As for how relevant this danger really is. there shouldn’t be any danger in drinking Colt’s . and this is the reason for the plant’s old name. This herb should not be used by children.Colt’s Foot Colt’s Foot is a plant you commonly find along the side of the road and railroads. pregnant or nursing women because the possible harmful effects haven’t been researched well enough yet. Used in moderate amounts. They disappear in cooking but don’t use it in combination with sour things. the learned disagree. It’s a perennial herb with a crawling root. Don’t use it more often than necessary and not for several consecutive days. Caution! There’s a risk of liver damage at high doses or long term use because the plant contains alkaloids that may be harmful.

burns. Drink the tea hot. sweetened with honey if possible. when used in connection with respiratory problems. Side effects from consuming large quantities of Colt’s Foot may be diarrhea. It’s nevertheless recommended to limit the intake to a maximum of 6 grams (0. Uses Medical The effect of Colt’s Foot is primarily due to the plant’s mucolytic effect. Colt’s Foot can be combined with Horehound and Great Mullein for irritating coughs. vein infections. nausea. It has a soothing and healing effect.Wonderful Weeds Foot tea. leg soars. and for muscle and nerve pain. elevated blood pressure. fever. a substance that’s shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. is made by taking 2 teaspoons finely cut herb. Even if the herb is primarily 60 . pouring a cup of boiling water over it and letting it steep for 10 minutes before you strain it. repeat up to three times a day. This has been confirmed in later studies. for example colds.2 ounces) of dried herb a day. In the 1950s they found that the plant sterols lower cholesterol. It’s suitable for many types of respiratory problems. or vomiting. lack of appetite. something that probably both comes from the tannin in the leaves and the Zink content. jaundice. swellings. and that it isn’t used more than a total of 4-6 weeks a year. You can use the leaves externally as a poultice for stubborn wounds. Herbal tea from Colt’s Foot.

In China Colt’s Foot is classified as a ‘warming’ medical plant that relieves chronic coughing and difficult breathing caused by ‘energy depleted’ lungs. it can also be used as a gurgle water to reduce infections in the oral mucous membrane. drip freshly pressed leaf juice into the ear. I’ve used it myself to get rid of neck and back pain. crushed leaves. while the Chinese prefer the buds and the flowers. Magical Colt’s Foot is used in love amulets and in potions and spells for peace and balance. For an earache. make a foot bath from a strong decoction from Colt’s Foot leaves or put on a poultice made from fresh. In the western world (except the US) it’s primarily the leaves that are used. Here is some old woman’s advice about how to use Colt’s Foot: If you have a headache. coughs and asthma.) For swollen and tired feet. 61 . The leaves can aid clairvoyance if smoked or used in incense. put some fresh Colt’s Foot leaves on your forehead with the underside towards the skin (remember to change the leaves every now and then). (I wouldn’t recommend dripping anything into your ear though. Tea from Colt’s Foot leaves is a very effective analgesic.Colt's Foot used to treat respiratory problems like bronchitis.

It’s used in moisturizers. and conditioners. Raw or cooked young leaves can be used in salad. Raw or cooked buds give a nice anise taste to salads. and with iron vitriol as mordant you can get beautiful gray nuances. Culinary Dried and burnt Colt’s Foot leaves have been used instead of salt on cooking. shampoos.Wonderful Weeds Cosmetic Colt’s Foot softens and soothes the skin and also soothing for the scalp. The leaves have a bitter taste if they’re not washed after cooking. Some say it tastes a bit like licorice. Fun Facts 62 . but personally I think the leaf tea tastes like dried grass. It gives gray-green or yellow to brown colors. An aromatic tea can be made from fresh or dried leaves and flowers. Harvest The flowers are collected without the stems. Undamaged leaves are collected when they’ve arrived. The thin root stock can be candied in syrup. added to soup or cooked as a vegetable. Make sure that there are no rust stains on the leaves. Other Colt’s Foot is also known as a dyeing plant. The rust stains are a kind of fungus (Puccinia poarum) which can make you sick.

Colt’s Foot as herbal tea has been used against coughs for more than 2500 years. Because of this it was used against all evil. at least in Jämtland (a part of northern Sweden). Linnaeus writes of its use in his Swedish Flora of 1766: “Indicates clay soil and also watery ground and wells for well diggers. and agere = drive away. However. This probably comes from the traditional use of the plant as a cough drug.Colt's Foot The Latin name for Colt’s Foot. but now Colt’s Foot leaves are a prescription drug in Norway because of the alkaloids. No shot was heard. and the leaves have also been smoked to ease breathing. It’s reported to have been in use already when the Greeks and the Romans rules the known world. It was officially accepted and legal to sell in Norway until 1939. 63 . but the evil and disease-bringing powers were effectively scared off. Hippocrates (400 BC) mentions it as a remedy. the plant is so common that you can harvest and dry the leaves yourself. and so did both Dioscorides and Pliny in the first century. comes from the words tussi = cough. It binds the clay on steep riverbanks.” Tinder is made from the roots for fire-making. For some reason the Devil really hated this plant. Tussilago. One way was to pretend to load the rifle with Colt’s Foot and point it skywards.

Thyme. are a very old medicine. In Paris. it may flower as early as February. It is still smoked as herbal tobacco in some areas. Because the buds are generated in autumn. smoked as tobacco. The leaves make up the basis of the British Herb Tobacco. a Colt’s Foot flower was painted on the doorpost of an apothecary as a sign. . In Scandinavia. Betony. The names ‘baccy plant’ and ‘poor-man’s-baccy’ are still in use in some parts of Britain. Eyebright. Lavender. already mentioned by Pliny. spring has arrived when this flower blossoms. The other ingredients are Buckbean. and Chamomile flowers.The leaves. Rosemary.

are permeated with an acrid juice that is obnoxious to insects. It usually has a singular. It has 15-30 white. and sometimes has a crown-like.4 inches wide. membrane-like ring at one end. usually sparsely hairy on both sides. The upper leaves are without stalks or have short stalks.2-2. small female florets and yellow. with long-toothed edges. These not only protect and support the blossom. In Scandinavia. 10-ribbed. The leaves are alternate. bisexual. nearly naked. tubular disc florets grouped together in the flower-like heads. the leaf shafts shovel-shaped. They. Beneath each flower head is a ring of green sheathing bracts. The taste of the dried . with largetoothed edges.Oxeye Daisy I think it’s a damn shame that some consider this beauty a weed. which are 3-6 cm/1.5 inches at the most. It’s one of my many favorites. but probably also prevent insects from biting their way to the nectar from below. The Oxeye Daisy is a perennial (rarely biannual) plant very common in dry meadows. as well as the rest of the plant. it’s in bloom from June to September. While the lower leaves are long-stemmed. but is now more often seen as a weed rather than an ornamental plant. and the blade is narrowly elliptic or lanceolate to shovel-shaped. stalk which grows as tall as 70 cm/27. The fruit is cylindrical. tongue-shaped.

Uses Medical The Oxeye Daisy is antispasmodic. diuretic. Caution! Those who are allergic might get contact dermatitis. It grows in fields. It’s hard to eradicate. but the flowers are more effective. roadsides. but has been introduced to other areas. tonic.Wonderful Weeds herb is bitter and tingling. and disturbed areas. and in Australia and New Zealand. emmenagogue. 66 . diaphoretic. It’s native to Europe and  temperate regions of Asia. It’s now found all over the continental USA and Canada. Water distilled from the flowers is an effective eye lotion against conjunctivitis. asthma and nervous excitability. and vulnerary. These properties are for the whole plant. It’s been successfully used against whooping cough. It’s used topically as a lotion on bruises. and the odor faintly resembles that of valerian. The root was used for stopping the night-sweats caused by pulmonary consumption (now known as Tuberculosis). ulcers and some cutaneous diseases. wounds. since it can regenerate from rhizome fragments. The Oxeye Daisy is unfortunately a host for several viral diseases affecting crops. antitussive. something which makes people see it more as a problem than something pretty.

Cosmetic A decoction made from dried flowers and stems has been used as a wash for dry and chapped hands. and is it often sold commercially in seed packets labeled as wildflower seed. You can also make wine from the flowers. Culinary Young spring shoots are edible. Oxeye Daisy Capers are the flower buds from Oxeye Daisy. Everyone knows the ‘He loves me. and idealism. The root is also used in spring. and the parts above ground during bloom. The florets have also been used for other questions. he loves me not’ rhyme with which one learns the fate of a romance by plucking a daisy’s petals. 67 . to get clearer of one’s place in the world. luck. Other It’s used as an ornamental. Young leaves are cooked as a pot herb. optimism. They can be finely chopped and sparingly added to salads. Harvest Harvest the leaves before the plant blossoms. although said to be strong and bitter.Oxeye Daisy Magical Oxeye Daisies are used in connection with lust. They should be used sparingly or mixed with other salad plants.

In Somersetshire there is an old tradition connecting it to the Thunder God. but eating three of the blossoms after a tooth extraction means one will never have another toothache. Mary Magdalene and called Maudelyn or Maudlin Daisy after her. . Eating the roots is said to stunt a child’s growth.Fun Facts The Swedish and the Norwegian names for this herb translate as priest’s collar and indicate the kind of collar the priests used in the 18th century. and hence it is sometimes spoken of as the ‘Dun Daisy. horses. but cows and pigs refuse it on account of its acridity.’ In Christian days. According to Linnaeus. King Henry VIII ate dishes of daisies to relieve himself from his stomach-ulcer pain. it was transferred to St. sheep and goats eat the plant.

completely smooth and oblong. the secondary umbels have a 5–6-leaved subtending bract. about 10.Cow Parsley This tall. The primary umbels lack subtending bracts. as a diuretic.000 seeds per plant. and 3 times pinnate. Caution! Cow Parsley can be mistaken for several poisonous plants that have a similar appearance. colic. The leaves are bright green. stalked. The seeds are dark brown.5 meters. a mild sleeping aid. lacy umbels from May to July. The flowers are white and form open. The stems can grow as high as 1. with a short hair on top. The lower parts of the stems are ribbed and hairy. Uses Medical The plant has been used in folk medicine against indigestion. smooth and hairless. Cow Parsley blooms in the third year of life and has a large seed production. and the upper are branched. shiny. Secondary leaflets are ovate– elliptic and large-toothed. base sheath-like. and for bathing . alternate. triangular. perennial umbellifer has hollow stems which often become purple with age.

When the plants are in bloom. although the flavor can’t be compared. there’s little left of the food in the plant and it will be extra tart. These pieces should be blanched (boiled and the water discarded) two to three times. The roots are dug up. washed and chopped into smaller pieces. The part that’s used is the root of non-flowering plants.Wonderful Weeds slow-healing wounds. Magical I haven’t been able to find any magical correspondences for this plant. Cow Parsley is said to get rid of stones and gravel in the gall bladder and kidneys but very little research has been done. As an alternative. but often they taste nothing at all. Culinary Cow Parsley belongs to the same plant family as Parsnips and Carrots. The flavor of the root is said to 70 . Cosmetic The extract is used in cosmetics as a skin conditioning agent. Then the roots can for example be used in stews. But I guess you could use the stems for wands. and it can actually be used in a similar way as these plants. you can boil the roots for 45-60 minutes in plenty of water. The roots may still taste slightly bitter. It’s also been used to treat the kind of diarrhea which plague so many during summer. This will take away some of the bitterness.

Cow Parsley is rumored to be a natural mosquito repellent when applied directly to the skin. used in Småland to make cows expel the afterbirth faster after calving. they give a yellow color. According to Nyman (1867) you can use a decoction from Cow Parsley and lime to stain wood yellow. It does. The most common use for the hollow stalks is as pea-shooters. A decoction of the seeds was as late as the 1950s. Dried stalks can still be used for decorative crafts. however. taste bitter if it’s grown in very dry soil. and when alum is used as a mordant. Fun facts Pliny writes about Anthriscus in his Natural History written in the late 2nd or early 3rd century AD. Other The leaves provide a beautiful green color. The common name 71 . leaves and stems are harvested before the plant blooms. Harvest Roots. The foliage used to be sold by florists in Victorian times and used in flower arrangements. The colors are not considered durable.Cow Parsley improve the further north you get.

.e.alludes to it being an inferior plant to the true Parsley i. Parsley fit only for cows.

shady area. the carpets of Wood Sorrel become a firing range. The species has also been introduced and has strayed elsewhere in the world. Wood Sorrel blooms in May-June in Scandinavia. The leaves are clover-like. Wood Sorrel prefers shaded areas with fresh. with white to pale purple. and if kept free from weeds they’ll thrive and not need further care. These flowers will remain closed. If the roots are planted in a moist. The leaves taste sour (hence the name). moist and fertile soil. China and Japan.Wood Sorrel Wood Sorrel is a low. northern and central Asia. bellshaped flowers with purple veins. When the fruit is ready. crownless flowers throughout summer. bright green with scattered hairs. The fruit capsule opens explosively so that the seeds are thrown out. It’s native in Europe. and the pollination that takes place is self-pollination. they’ll multiply freely. Its leaf stems are reddish. . but are smaller and insignificant. The flowers sit separately and are semi nodding. and the leaflets fold together in the rain and in the evening. both in deciduous and coniferous forests. creeping perennial with thin rhizomes and often forms large carpets. These flowers usually occur together with the normal flowers of the plant. Most of these seeds are produced by self-pollinating.

Poisoning due to excessive intake of Wood Sorrel may lead to dizziness followed by vomiting. diarrhea and possibly respiratory distress. heartburn. Uses Medical As a diuretic and astringent infusion it’s been used against fever and urethral and kidney disorders. fever and nausea. It’s used externally as a soothing rinse for rashes. intestinal parasites and scurvy. 74 . constipation. One should therefore warn children not to chew too much on the leaves. There is little danger of injury or side effects of eating a few leaves of Wood Sorrel.Wonderful Weeds Caution! The leaves of the Wood Sorrel contain quite a lot of oxalic acid. bile disorders. scabies and boils. typhoid. rheumatism or kidney stones. jaundice. others ate Wood Sorrel to alleviate mouth sores and a sore throat. since oxalic acid can easily lead to the formation of stones in the urinary tract and be harmful to the kidneys. and others to help with cramps. but people are cautioned against prolonged intake of large doses. This is especially true for people who suffer from gout. This is what gives the plant the sour taste. Some tribes have considered it an aphrodisiac.

swollen feet. Clark). they can be very decorative in the salad bowl. Clark). in fairy magic. The crisp. Other It can be used to color fabric or fibers dark grey (I. tart taste of the blades can be a substitute for vinegar or lemon juice in salads and the leaves can improve the taste of soups and sauces. The white flowers can also be eaten. it is said to be better than Epsom salt. It’s associated to Fairies. The Potawatomi cooked it with sugar to make a dessert. and for evocation of elves.Wood Sorrel Magical Make a wish as you eat the first Wood Sorrel of Spring (I. Culinary Wood Sorrel can be eaten raw as it is. It’s been chewed to alleviate thirst on long trips. MsNani30 on Twitter says it can be used for Rum Punch when added to vodka. It can also be used in rituals and spells for healing. and with their beautiful purple veins. Elves and Woodland Spirits. 75 . or used in salads or porridge. it can also be used as a curdling agent for plant milk. Harvest The whole plant above ground is collected during bloom and is primarily used fresh. When dried. For soaking tired.

In Scandinavia. It’s sometimes referred to as a shamrock and given as a gift on St. Conserva Ligulae used to be made by beating fresh leaves with three times their weight of sugar and orange peel. because it blossoms between Easter and Pentecost. The flowers close at night or if there’s bad weather on the way. The leaves have a mechanism that allows them to close when it gets dark and in bright sunshine. stop vomiting. It contains a lot of vitamin C. and will strengthen a weak stomach. 76 . Patrick’s Day. The old herbalists write that Wood Sorrel is more effective than Sorrel as a blood cleanser. promote appetite. when the Psalms which end with Hallelujah were sung. and remove obstructions of the viscera.Wonderful Weeds Fun Facts It’s also known as Alleluia in The States. it’s been common (almost a ritual) that children ate the first flowering plants they found in spring. and that’s why the herb in ancient times could have value as a remedy against scurvy. These movements of leaves and flowers were in the past used to predict the weather. The species name acetosella derived from the Latin word meaning acetosus sour or acidic. This was the basis of a cooling and acidic drink which for a long time was a favorite remedy for fevers and scurvy. and refers to the sour taste of the leaves.

Wood Sorrel

An oxalate called “sal acetosella” was formerly extracted
from the plant, through boiling. This was used as a cooling
agent.
Wood Sorrel was first described for science in 1753 by the
Swedish father of modern biological taxonomy Carl von Linne
(Linnaeus).

77

Ground Elder
For most gardeners, this weed is their ultimate nightmare.
It’s known by many names, in many places, and rarely a
welcome sight. It’s a perennial, and it grows up to 1 m (3
ft.) tall. The umbels are rather large, with small, white (rarely
reddish) flowers, which are in bloom from June to September
(in Norway).
The large leaves are alternate, the lobes ovate and sharplytoothed, and 5-8 cm (2 -3 in.) long. The radical leaves are on
long stalks, bi- and tri-ternate. There are fewer stem-leaves,
and they’re less divided, with smaller segments. The lower
leaves are long-stalked and leaf discs are double-triple such
that a fully developed leaf consists of nine leaflets, but often
some of leaflets are missing or merged.
The fruit is a split fruit with two columns of seed vessels, each
with five longitudinal ribs. The number of seeds per flower
stalk is an average of 2800. It prefers partial shade and moist
soil but is highly tolerant to changes in soil quality and pH as
well as availability of light. The species is native to Eurasia,
but has been introduced in many parts of the world as an
ornamental plant.
One plant can cover an area of 3 m² (10 feet²) in a single growth
season. If it gets established, the plant is highly competitive,
and can severely reduce the diversity of other ground cover,
and prevent the establishment of tree and shrub seedlings.

one should avoid skin contact when handling the herb and avoid sun exposure at the same time as it can cause phototoxic skin irritation. Even if you chop it up really fine. it’s been used against joint pain. 80 . Since Ground Elder allegedly contains furano-coumarins. It’s also been applied in hot wraps externally after boiling both leaves and roots together for treatment of inflamed body parts.Wonderful Weeds The primary reason for it spreading to new areas these days. Mistaking Poison Ivy for this herb is however a lot easier. sciatica and gout. are humans accidentally spreading rhizomes by dumping of garden waste. Ground Elder does not look much like Water Hemlock. Uses Medical Ground Elder has a history as treatment for gout and arthritis. I sincerely doubt you’d want this plant in your garden. Internally. make sure you are absolutely certain you can ID them correctly. So if you intend to harvest ANY of the umbellifers. the leaves have a diuretic effect and also act as a mild sedative. each piece of root may lead to a new plant. However. If ingested. so the chances of such a mistake are quite remote. Caution! There are some very poisonous members in this family. unless you’re completely certain you’re able to control it.

soups. Other A variegated form is grown as an ornamental plant. it can be used in the same ways as Spinach. mildly antispasmodic.” The following charm is from the Anglo-Saxon Herbal Lacnunga: “To preserve swine from sudden death take the worts Lupin. antipruritic. drive the swine to the fold. antibacterial. It’s also anti-inflammatory. As the Nettle. It is still commonly used as a potherb in Scandinavia and is used as a vegetable in Latvia and Russia. in stews and various oven dishes. and wound healing. hang the worts upon the four sides and upon the door”. Culinary The tender leaves can be used as a spring leaf vegetable. Magical Culpepper says: “The very bearing of it about one eases the pains of the gout and defends him that bears it from the disease. it’s also used for hemorrhoids. burns. bug bites and wounds. It is used for food by the larvae 81 . as well as for kidney. also along with Nettle. bladder. or cooked as a vegetable. and intestinal disorders.Ground Elder Because of its diuretic properties. Because of this. Bishopwort and others. though it’s advised to keep it isolated. in salads. it can be used on itchy and irritated skin.

young leaves are preferred. It’s said to be a useful herb to help ‘move things around’ whenever there is an energy blockage in the body.Wonderful Weeds of some species of Lepidoptera. For use as a vegetable. and the root after. Gerard said: “Herbe Gerard groweth of itself in gardens without setting or sowing and is so fruitful in its increase that when it hath once taken roote. although it’s not their only source of food. because it was dedicated to St. it takes on a pungent taste and has a laxative effect.” John Parkinson recommends Cumin seed and Bishop’s Weed “for those who like to look pale”. such as Carrot. If it’s picked later in the growth season. Parsnip and Fennel. The name “Ground Elder” comes from the superficial resemblance of its leaves and flowers to those of Elder. Fun Facts It has many tasty relatives. the leaves are harvested before bloom. it will hardly be gotten out againe. and it’s best to harvest it picked between when it appears to just before it flowers. spoiling and getting every yeare more ground. who was formerly invoked to cure gout. Gerard. 82 . Harvest For medicinal use. to the annoying of better herbe. It was called Herb Gerard.

” Linnaeus recommends the young leaves boiled and eaten as a green vegetable. podagra. because it was at one time a specific for gout. and CumminRoyal. It is also used by Chinese and Tibetan monks. it abates an high colour. and it used also to be eaten as a spring salad. 83 . It is still found growing in patches surrounding many monastic ruins in Europe. and states it is also called Æthiopian Cummin-Seed. aigos (a goat) and pous. The specific name is derived from the Latin word for gout. podos (a foot). such as in Physica by Hildegard von Bingen.” He also (like Parkinson) said “being drank or outwardly applied. from some fancied resemblance in the shape of the leaves to the foot of a goat. and descriptions of its use are found among monastic writings. as in Sweden and Switzerland. also Herb William and Bull-Wort.Ground Elder Culpepper stated “Bishop-weed a separate description. and makes pale. The plant is said to have been introduced into England by the Romans as a food plant and into Northern Europe as a medicinal herb by monks. The generic name is a corruption of the Greek aix.

.

The fruit is a nut with long. strong stem which is leafless and white felted at the top.2 ft. very drought-tolerant. slightly curved. feather-shaped plume. dark green on top and white felted underneath. It flowers in June-September in Norway. The surface is slightly scratched lengthwise. For a Thistle. are places single or a few on long shafts. The Melancholy Thistle is an almost thorn-less Thistle with large umbels.8-1. and resistant to deer. oval in cross section. and the color is bony yellow. so deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season. It belongs to the biological group of wandering perennials with rhizomes.) high. The leaves are very variable. to deeply indented or semi-finned. pointed at the base which is blunted. butterflies and/or birds.6-3. The plant has underground runners and a single or sparingly branched. and the number of seeds per umbel is about 1600. All the leaves are soft. Its’ considered a .6 in) in diameter.Melancholy Thistle I guess you’re not surprised to see a Thistle among my weeds. and tapering towards the top which has a skewed collar. The purple umbels are 2-4 cm (~0. from broadly lanceolate with an intact brim. It self-sows freely. this one is pretty easy to handle. The adult plant is grows to a height of 50-100 cm (~1. This plant is attractive to bees.

But I guess you already know that. and then with the white side down. In Norse medical books from the Middle Ages it’s indicated that when an arrow was stuck in a man. but the plant has. the edge of bogs and roadsides. 86 . The Melancholy Thistle occurs in grasslands. It’s mostly found in Northern areas. and less spiny.Wonderful Weeds weed in most countries. or you put the leaves directly on the wound as a band-aid. at least in Norway. tall perennial meadows. You squeezed the juice from the leaves and dripped it on the wound. grapes and egg white. along streams. this advice was commonly used. Caution! Be careful when handling this plant. but it’s not quite as invasive as most other Cirsium. as it has sharp spines or edges. marshy thickets. one would put on a bandage of leaves. The leaves are large and have been used as poultices on wounds. like Scotland. Uses Medical Melancholy Thistle is not widely discussed in herbalist literature. Most references to the use of Melancholy Thistle in recent times concern the application of the herb on wounds. like the more commonly used Plantain. forests. been a part of folk medicine. Especially when you cut yourself during harvest. ditches and canals. Sweden and Norway.

Place a bowl full of Thistles in a room to strengthen the spirits and renews vitality. In the literature. Wearing a garment made from Thistle fiber will break any spell. Magical Thistles are herbs of protection and vitality. The ointment was boiled on Melancholy Thistle. It’s said that 87 . which is town about 56 km (3. They squeezed the juice from the leaves. Carry one for added strength and energy. something we recognize from the use of plantain (Plantago major).Melancholy Thistle Holes were often made in the leaves with a needle before they were put on. Throwing Thistles onto a fire is said to deflect lightning away from your home. Use them in healing spells and against depression. Juniper berries and cream. St. Especially from Oppdal. a recipe is given for an ointment which would also be a remedy for ringworm and deformity of the nail. “Gout Grass” as a local name for the plant indicates such use. and rubbed themselves with this. John’s Wort. Poppets are also stuffed with Thistle to break spells. Leaves of Melancholy Thistle were also put on burns and blisters. They offer protection when grown in the garden or carried in the pocket. It was common belief that the leaves prevented inflammation and the wound would heal faster.5 miles) from where I live. The leaves could also be applied to old wounds and wounds that wouldn’t heal. or the leaves were boiled in water. the tradition of using Melancholy Thistle against gout is well known.

As the steam rises. Thistles have mild and pleasant taste. so will your questions and the answers will be heard. i. Thistles/Burrs the Italian way: Peel 1. som i blandning med björklöf en ganska wacker gul färg. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C/356 F. as well as in mixture with Birch 88 . sit down next to the bowl and begin meditation. Drain and distribute the stalks in a greased. Use young stems before flowering. One method of calling forth spirits is to boil some Thistle. After removing it from the heat. ovenproof dish.J. and in the arts and crafts community to dye fabric and yarn.e. Stalks peeled.” Translated.5 kg Thistle stalks. he becomes a better lover. Put the stems in boiling. It takes half an hour or more. you scrape away the outer fibrous layer. Add plenty of melted butter and grated parmesan. Boil until tender. this says: “The leaves provide by themselves. lightly salted water with 1 tbsp. Retzius wrote: “Bladen gifwa så wäl för sig sjelfwe. although the leaves are too spiny to eat raw. och på blå botten wackert grönt.Wonderful Weeds when a man carries a Thistle. Other The leaves have been used and are still used among enthusiasts. cut into pieces and place in some water with lemon juice for a couple of hours so that they won’t darken. In “Försök til en Flora Oeconomica Sveciæ” (1806) A. Culinary Both the root and the leaves are edible. of lemon juice.

In the old days. The seeds of all the species yield good oil by expression. the root borne about one doth the like. He then adds: “Dioscorides saith. but I’d advise you to plant it in a pot. Fun Facts It’s said by some to have been the original badge of the House of Stuart. instead of the Cotton Thistle. and on a blue base a beautiful green. Harvest The parts to be used should be collected before the plant blossoms. and then bury the pot. This kind of fodder was formerly used in Scotland before the introduction of special crops for this purpose. Plant juice from the leaves was rubbed on horses under the tail when they had been hurt by the harness. the leaves of all Thistles have proved excellent fodder for cattle and horses. they boiled the leaves and washed the teats of cows with the decoction against rashes. and the root after. When beaten or crushed to destroy the prickles. and fairly pretty yellow color. and in times of limited access to Tobacco the leaves were dried and smoked. The seed wool was used as filling for pillows.Melancholy Thistle leaves.” It’s used in gardens as an ornamental. Culpepper considered that a decoction of this Thistle in wine “being drank expels superfluous melancholy out of the body and makes a man as merry as a cricket”. 89 .

they that please may use it.and removes all diseases of melancholy: Modern writers laugh at him: Let them laugh that win: my opinion is.” . that it is the best remedy against all melancholy diseases that grows.

The base of the leaf stem clasps the main stem. To help dispersal. It grows in dry. The white to rosy-white flowers are in compact terminal umbels. hills and roads. It’s a biennial. wiry-haired herb which can become almost a meter (3. open ground. The lower leaves are larger than the upper leaves. They are finely divided. It flowers in July and August. . from Scandinavia south and east to North Africa.2 ft. China and East India. or even black. but both before and after flowering. they’re barbed so as to easily catch onto animals. Seeds are dull brown. fleshy and strongly aromatic. They’re arranged alternately along the stem and pinnately compound.Wild Carrot Wild Carrot is another one of those weeds that have uses. During the flowering. in meadows. and the leaves are 5-20 cm (2-8 inches) long. The root is yellowwhite. Each of the main flower clusters may contain as many as 500 individual flowers. the umbels are flat and wide. Its range is Europe. Under the umbel there are 3 forked bracts. they’re constricted. which is characteristic of the species. The stem is erect and furrowed. One flower in the middle of the cluster is dark red to purple.) high. convex on one side and flat on the other. including Britain. with a pungent and slightly bitter taste.

Celery. stimulant. It supports the liver. Poison Hemlock. Leguminoseae vegetables. Mustard. Mugwort. or bowel obstruction. nuts. especially wet foliage.Wonderful Weeds Caution! Avoid use of this plant for individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to Carrot. Lychee fruit. stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. including Apples. Pear. Carrot. Several other plants also have similar allergens. hormone-sensitive conditions. ophthalmic. deobstruent. diuretic. Zucchini. can cause irritation and vesication. spices. Orange. carminative. An infusion 92 . Don’t confuse Wild Carrot with Poisonous Water Hemlock. Skin contact with the sap may cause photo-sensitivity and/ or dermatitis. Strawberry. Uses Medical The Wild Carrot acts as a diuretic. stone fruits. soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. Because of this similarity. or Fools Parsley. Carrot pollen contains an allergen that is similar to the birch pollen allergens. galactogogue. and Soybeans. Carrot seeds can be abortifacient and should not be used by pregnant women. Potato. The whole plant is anthelmintic. Handling Carrot foliage. diabetes. patients allergic to birch pollen may have allergic reactions to Carrot as well. Persimmon. Use cautiously in patients with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Usually only the root is consumed. The grated raw root. the digestive and respiratory systems. and to diminish stones that have already formed. is used as a remedy for threadworms. as well as for muscle pains. boosting the liver. although the leaves are also edible. The earthy smell will also help to “ground” a person who’s fighting stress and exhaustion. and also of the root. The seeds are diuretic. has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation. The essential oil obtained from aerial parts at the end of the flowering stage is reported to be an antimicrobial against Campylobacter jejuni. Although primarily used as a food source. Carrot probably originated around Afghanistan where there is the greatest variety of Carrots today. emmenagogue and anthelmintic. flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems. An infusion has been used in the treatment of edema. Carrots have also traditionally been used to treat infantile diarrhea.Wild Carrot has been used in the treatment of digestive disorders. An infusion of the leaves. The root of the wild plant can induce uterine contractions. An infusion of the flowers has been used in the treatment of diabetes. 93 . The root is also used to encourage delayed menstruation. especially the cultivated variety. carminative. The seed is a traditional ‘morning after’ contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. but this requires further study. Carrot seed oil can be used aromatherapy for relieving stress. kidney and bladder diseases and dropsy.

Cosmetic The essential oil obtained from the seed has a scent similar to Orris. The oil has also been used cosmetically in anti-wrinkle creams. mixed juice from Wild Carrot and Parsley roots. it isn’t that surprising that it’s connected to fertility and sex. Culinary The cultivated subspecies (ssp sativus) is one of our most popular roots. The dried and roasted roots may be ground into a 94 . Magical Given the shape of the root. for raw food and juice. Wash your face and apply this mixture and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.Wonderful Weeds As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath. but it can also be used in baked goods and jams. but to assist with cell growth and skin rejuvenation. while detoxifying the body and boosting the manufacture of red blood cells. to not only soften and smooth the skin. It has a nearly magical rejuvenating effect on the skin. soups. It’s also a very good oil to use in a makeup removal blend. which is used in perfume. and thicken with honey and yogurt. The root is used in casseroles. Women can use Wild Carrot in rituals/spells for increased fertility. and men can use it to increase potency and/or sexual desire. Carrot seed oil can assist with muscle pains and in boosting the respiratory tract. stews. To even out redness on your face use 4 tbsp.

when intercropped with it. The essential oil is used as a food flavoring. that feeds well and makes the milk very creamy and good for butter production. The small seeds are found during late summer. Even the leaves are a valuable livestock feed. it can result in a black eye. The flower clusters can be stir fried to produce a Carrotflavored gourmet’s delight. flowers during the summer. Harvest Gather leaves and roots during spring. if this is done in the neighbor’s garden. The aromatic seed is used as a flavoring in stews etc. Carrots provide excellent cattle feed. To get a good tan faster. Like most members of the umbellifer family. This species is also documented to boost tomato plant production when kept nearby. Other The seeds can be used as a hangover cure. and it can provide a microclimate of cooler. go Carrot scrimping. But be careful.Wild Carrot powder and used as a coffee substitute. 95 . it attracts wasps to its small flowers. This beneficial weed can be used as a companion plant to crops. moister air for lettuce. The leaves can also be cooked like spinach.

The seeds of Wild Carrot were recommended for relief of urinary retention and to stimulate menstruation by the physician Dioscorides. is to attract insects. Wild Carrot is believed to be native to Afghanistan and surrounding areas. insomnia. the name Daucus carota. where it is often known as “Queen Anne’s lace”. France and China by the 13th century. The cultivated variety reached Britain in the 16th century. and irritability. 96 . the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne (1665-1714) pricked herself with a needle while making lace. Compulsive Carrot eating is a rare condition in which the patient craves Carrots. It is so called because the flower resembles lace. Withdrawal symptoms include nervousness. It was used in Germany. when freshly cut. colored by anthocyanin. Women used the leaves to decorate their hair and hats. Wild Carrot has been introduced and naturalized in North America.Wonderful Weeds Fun Facts The Wild carrot. Also in the 2nd century the name Carota can be found in the writings of Greek scholar Athenaeus. This effect is only visible on the “head” or flower of the plant. as the official name of both wild and cultivated Carrot. water brash. In the 16th century Linnaeus gave. will draw or change color depending on the color of the water in which it is held. cravings. The function of the tiny red flower.

hence the common names Birds Nest and Bees Nest. The cultivated subspecies Carrot usually has an orange root and is normally not as hairy as the main sub-species. it gives their milk a bitter flavor. Spent flowers draw together to form the cup-like shape.Wild Carrot If cows consume too much of this plant. 97 .

.

heart or egg shaped and serrated.2 ft. Young twigs are thicker than on the Silver Birch. The trees have stems with bark that at least in the beginning is smooth and white. Downy Birch has bark that stays smooth and white for a long time. Downy Birch is about 3-15 m (9. Young twigs are thin . They’re hairy. in addition to a number of other things that shouldn’t be there. I have Birches. thick bark that cracks into irregular furrows. while the female variety doesn’t develop until spring.) high. The variation is interpreted as the result of extensive hybridization and often makes it difficult to tell the species apart.4 ft.8-49. The flowers are catkins where the male type is constructed in the fall. Flowering coincides with blade emergence in the spring and both kinds of catkins are found on the same tree. which can be up to 30 m (98. The two species are very varied in shape. but lack the resin warts of the Silver Birch.Birch You may not consider trees as weeds. Grey Willow and Cherry Trees growing in my flower beds. and the branches are tough. The leaves are short hafted. but I bet you’ll change your mind when you find them starting to grow in your flower or herb bed.) high and is usually smaller than Silver Birch. Older Silver Birches have drooping branches and dark. without extracted point.

The range of these Birches is: Downy Birch: Europe (except most of the Mediterranean region). with resin warts. sharply double serrated with transverse or wedge shaped base and extracted point. one must remember to drink plenty of water. Birch Leaf is a powerful diuretic. The roots are quite shallow.Wonderful Weeds and bare. The leaves are glabrous. east to Siberia Lena valley. and tannins may constitute an undue burden on the liver. mountain regions of Central Asia and North Africa. Siberia east to the Lena valley. as many other trees do. Caucasus. Birches don’t have a tap root. South-West Greenland. People with edema (fluid retention) due to heart weakness or failure should not apply therapies that involve flushing of the urinary tract. Caution! There are no reported side effects from normal use. 100 . and sometimes even more. but prolonged use of large amounts of Birch leaves (or Birch leaf extract) should be avoided as saponins may irritate the kidneys. and when used for tea. Silver Birch: Most of Europe (except the Iberian Peninsula and Greece). and they fan out from the base of the tree to a distance of up to 3 times its height. The blade shaft is about half the length of the blade.

tuberculosis. boils. arteriosclerosis. It was said that by eating the young leaves you could get kidney stones to come loose. Birch can be used against gout. fever. sciatica. fibromyalgia. urinary tract infections (UTI’s). bladder stones. proteinuria. different skin disorders. warts and chapped lips. ulcers. Against gout you could fill the bed with fresh Birch leaves. ulcers. kidney stones. scurvy. cold sores. Uses Medical Birch has been widely used in the folk medicine in Scandinavia. eczema. accumulation of slag in the connective tissue. kidney inflammation. The thin layer of Birch bark that lies between the bark and 101 . imbalances in urine acidity.Birch Use of purified Birch tar (Betulae pyroleum rectificatum) in ointments as an antipruritic agent is discouraged by some. psoriasis and eczema. rheumatism. Oil from Birch tar has been used in topical ointments for burns. painful menstruation. liver diseases. fluid retention. aching fingers. hair loss. People with Birch allergies must be cautious of all preparations containing Birch. psoriasis. There’s lots of advice how to use different parts of the tree. and chronic inflammation of the bladder. because it can induce aggressive allergy. dandruff. A tree planted very close to a building can potentially cause extensive damage to its foundation. arthritis.

something many people do nowadays. Birch leaf tea is one of the best urine and sweat driving assets we have in herbal medicine. The effect is long lasting and it is important to note that Birch has no irritating effect on the kidneys. You take 1-2 tbsp. and after purifying baths for rituals. Magical Since Birch is seen as purifying. for the treatment to have any appreciable effect. This is still widely used in saunas. The powerful diuretic effect can help to drive out kidney and bladder stones and the tea can also kill harmful bacteria in the kidneys and urinary tract. twigs have been used to drive spirits out by carefully whipping the possessed. In Russia they used to tie red ribbons around Birch trunks to protect themselves against the ‘evil eye’. of dried Birch leaves. Recent studies in Finland have found that Birch leaf extract kills the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. In chronic disorders such as rheumatic complaints and eczema.Wonderful Weeds the wood was accepted as a good remedy to stop bleeding and as a drawing band-aid for boils. and letting them steep in a large cup of boiling water. Two such cups should be consumed daily for two weeks. It was formerly customary to drink tea of Birch leaves as a ‘spring detox’. Birch leaf has to be used for several months at a time. Birch rods were used for 102 . as is the case with. juniper berries. The tree is also said to protect against lightning. Tea made on the bark may be used against warts by drinking it or rubbing it directly on the wart. for example.

and spells for discipline and service. procreation. It’s also used in love spells. and to protect the carrier from harmful magic and influences. The traditional broom was made by tying the twigs of a Birch tree around a handle made of Ash with strips of Willow. The Birch is associated with the rune Bjarkan. Birch twigs were used to bestow fertility on cattle and newlyweds. In Britain. spells of youth and fresh starts.Birch protection spells. and carried for protection in little pouches. which is Frigg’s rune. the bark was used to write on. The Birch is a feminine tree and by some seen as the embodiment of the Great Mother. and the wood was used to carve runes in. Birch twigs were carved with Ogham symbols. Its trunk was frequently used to form the traditional maypole. At the start of any project or journey. purification. Long associated with fertility and healing magic. It is especially suited to magic of new beginnings. you 103 . In the Celtic Ogham Beith is given the honor of being the first tree. creativity. a harbinger of youth and springtime. and children’s cradles were made from its wood to protect the newborn. one of the trees that emerges first to establish a new forest. bardic enchantment. renewal and rebirth. It got its association with inception and new beginnings because it’s the first tree to come into leaf after the Winter Season. Twigs were used at Beltane celebrations to light the festival fires marking the beginning of a new season.

and you can make wine and vinegar from the sap.Wonderful Weeds can call on the power of the Birch to protect you. and also used for flogging in the sauna to increase blood circulation. Other When used for dyeing the leaves give yellow colors and the bark a neutral tan. The pitch was made into glue for fixing flint arrow and spear heads onto their wooden shafts. Birch twigs with leaves were laid on the floor as possible against fleas and lice. In spring. Birch is the tree of new beginnings and new perspectives. The oil extracted from the bark is used to condition leather. The Silver Birch is popular as a landscape and ornamental tree because of its white bark and drooping branches. the fresh cambial tissue was made into highly nutritious bread. Culinary Birch beer can be made from a bark extract. although you’ll probably have to filter it. Cosmetic Birch sap has been used in the hair to get it to grow. You can also drink the sap fresh. Birch bark has been stitched together to make food vessels and canoes for thousands of years. which can also be boiled down to syrup. 104 .

Birch. for baskets. It is sometimes used as a pioneer and nurse tree. 105 . the bark was used on roofs to keep the rain out. The timber is tough. Harvest The leaves are collected during spring to early summer. The sap is tapped off in spring as it’s rising. cabinet and furniture making. Some say this is the origin of gaiters. plywood and flooring. Fun Facts The Birch Moon is the first month of the Celtic year (Dec 24 – Jan 21). for smoking ham and fish. bedding and providing a firm base for roads over marshy ground. Birch ash is considered to provide the best lye for lutefisk. The sawdust is good for smoking fish. Branches and wood are harvested when needed. thatching roofs. Birch burns well if dry and is very useful as firewood. carving. The twigs are ideal for besoms. the same way as asphalt paper is used today. spools and bobbins. unless it is treated. clogs. preferably while they’re still small (‘mouse ears’). stiff and fairly easily worked and is used in joinery. Buds and bark are also harvested in spring. The timber is unfortunately not very durable. The pulp can be used for making paper.Birch In Scandinavia. people of old wrapped the bark around their legs to keep the moisture out. Yew and Oak form the three pillars of wisdom from Roman Mythology.

The Vikings used to drink the sap after a long winter. this ash lye was the only know form of ‘soap’. which means “a tree whose bark is used for writing upon”. In many places. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a fungus that primarily grows on Birch. Betula was an old Roman name for the Birch. Witches Brooms (also called Mare twigs).Some theorize that Birches get their name from the ancient Sanskrit word “Bhurga”. This is an important medicinal mushroom that may be worth getting to know. which grow on the branches of Birch. it was supposed to help against nightmares. From Birch ash they made something which translates as ‘casting caustic’ by pouring boiling water over it. . it ridded the hair and scalp of lice and made it bright. Such brooms were attributed to supernatural powers when it was believed that the Mara sat in the twig. The Altaic shaman of central Asia ritually climbs a Birch tree in which steps have been cut. When such a broom (caused by the fungus Taphrina betulae) was hung up indoors. It was used to wash hair. each one representing a stage of heaven through which he must pass. shiny. are by some considered to be a sign that the tree is on a water vein. and last but not least clean.

while the other is slightly larger and black. Lamb’s Quarters produces two kinds of seed. and scattered on the stems. The flowers are very small and sit in the balls on a separate stalk from the leaf axils. The upper part of the stalk has few.Lamb’s Quarters The plant I’m going to talk about now is one of the edible weeds. The egg or rhombus shaped leaves are usually rough and coarsely saw-toothed. but they may retain their ability to germinate even if they remain in the soil for many years. narrow and pointed leaves. Most of the others are only palatable for a shorter period of time. but there are plants that lack these hairs and thus have leaves that are pure green. They usually appear to have grey dust on them. sap-filled and whitish hairs. which comes from tiny. one is small and brown and germinates in the fall. but it does have other uses. It’s an annual plant with a rigid stalk and erect branches. What sets it apart from the other edibles is that it can be used throughout summer. This often makes . and the plants are usually from 25 to 40 cm high. The species is highly variable. almost ball-shaped. but on good soils extend to over 1 m in height. The plant is in flower from July to September. The weed I’m referring to is Lamb’s Quarters. At least it’s most known for being edible. and don’t normally sprout until winter is over.

or who know that they can easily get kidney stones. it could be an indication of soil pollution. but it does contain oxalic acid. roadsides. and on earth heaps. After ingestion of large quantities of raw leaf some have developed hypersensitivity to light. It’s a “purifier herb” and in its effort to cleanse the soil. and is often found in large quantities in fields and gardens. so it is best not to overdo it. especially when eating it raw. should only use Lamb’s Quarters in limited quantities. 108 . manure heaps. but is now widespread as a weed in temperate regions worldwide. Where it grows in abundance. like arthritis and gout. It’s of European origin. Caution! Lamb’s Quarters isn’t considered poisonous. In Norway. use it for dinner. as it can exacerbate such problems. pull it up or before it goes to seed. it absorbs and concentrates pollutants in its leaves.Wonderful Weeds Lamb’s Quarters the first plants to emerge when the soil is disturbed by digging. sea shores and waste deposits. People who suffer from rheumatic conditions. It seems to be a plant which enjoys the company of people. Or better yet. You should only harvest Lamb’s Quarters growing on uncontaminated soils. If you happen to have Lamb’s Quarters where you don’t want it. It could also indicate artificially fertilized or treated soil. it’s common throughout the country.

and a leaf poultice can be used for burns. swollen feet. soar fingers. The flower essence is said to heal separation between the heart and the mind. to balance the power of the mind with the joy of the heart. One of many home remedies is to apply the juice of the plant on the affected area.Lab's Quarters Uses Medical Lamb’s Quarters may be eaten raw or cooked as a vitaminpacked tonic. Gelatin capsules filled with Lamb’s Quarters make a potent vitamin supplement. It’s also said to have sedative and refrigerant properties. you do have to eat it. or dried. sweaty feet. Chew it raw to help for toothaches. The leaves can be eaten to treat stomach aches and prevent scurvy. bites and stings. To do so. moist eczema. a restore lack of balance and harmony between the rational and the intuitive. It can also relieve itching. arthritis and gout. 109 . swellings. How you eat it is less important. cooked. Magical It can be used when calling on your ancestors. A cold tea made from the leaves is used to treat diarrhea. once a day. also called vitiligo. It can also be used as a home remedy for Leucoderma. This should be kept up for 2 months. whether it’s raw. This is an uncommon skin disease characterized by white colored spots and patches anywhere on the skin area.

The leaves of this plant have a very mild taste and are a complete protein. so pick a lot. The roots yield a mild soap. Other Lamb’s Quarters seed is excellent bird feed. The leaves shrink a lot (just as Nettle and Spinach). When spinach was introduced during the Medieval period. when it helped to relieve famine. 110 . The small grey seeds are not unpleasant when eaten raw. Excess leaves harvested can be frozen for later use. In many places in Europe it had a revival as a food crop during the 2nd World War. Culinary Lamb’s Quarters is related to Spinach. When used for dyeing. One ounce of Lamb’s Quarters leaves contain 67% of your daily value of Vitamin A. Seeds can be ground into nutritious flour and made into gruel.Wonderful Weeds Cosmetic The flower extract is used in cosmetics as an anti-inflammatory and astringent. It has also been used to fatten livestock.  37% of Vitamin C  and a host of other trace minerals that our bodies need to stay healthy. the tradition of eating Lamb’s Quarters was almost lost. and can be used in much the same way. it’s said to give a bright yellow.

which can be added to other flours. Leaves and stems were cooked with beans to reduce abdominal pain and intestinal gas production from the beans. but that’s a lot more work. more Calcium and vitamin B1 than raw Cabbage. Their ancient name was “all good. the leaves may be dried. Flowers and seeds are collected when available. in late fall or early winter. Fun Facts The seeds can remain viable in the soil for as long as 40 years. For long-term storage. or blanched and frozen. and more vitamin B2 than Cabbage or Spinach.” and all good they are. It’s also possible to thresh them fresh. The seeds are normally collected when the flower heads have dried. In Japan. and let them dry. they also preserve them with salt. You can also collect them while they’re still wet. collect just the leaves and tender tips.Lab's Quarters Harvest Lambs Quarters can be collected throughout the summer. and then when the stems become tough. and was used by the Romans. Several Native American tribes used to gather the seeds to dry and grind into flour. Bronze Age and early Iron Age people. They contain more iron and protein than raw Cabbage or Spinach. Collect the young tender plants whole. In 1950 a 2000 year old body was discovered in a bog in Denmark 111 . It vaguely resembles Buckwheat. canned. It was in the common diet of the Neolithic.

The name “Fat Hen.” used for several plants of the Goosefoot family. Red Beets. Richard Chandler Alexander Prior (1809-1902) said that the name of this herb was a corruption of “Lammas Quarter”. Spinach. Chenopodium comes from the Greek chen=goose. and there they found Lamb’s Quarter seeds. A single Lamb’s Quarters plant can produce at least 75.Wonderful Weeds (the Tollund Man) who was so well preserved that they could analyze the stomach contents. referring to the shape of the leaves in some species. Make sure to leave some for everybody. and Swiss Chard. Dr. It also provides food for Butterflies. Lamb’s Quarters is the second highest in nutrition of all wild foods (Amaranth is #1). Quinoa. as well as some mammals (in addition to humans that is). which is one of the Pagan holidays. Many wild birds eat the seeds. and pous=foot or podion=a little foot. was first published in English in 1795. huauzoutte for its delicious greens. 112 . In South America several new varieties have been created: Quinoa and Canahua for their nutritious seeds. Sugar Beets.000 seeds every season. as do Chipmunks and Squirrels. The Chenopodiaceae family includes Lamb’s Quarters.

113 . sage. although that name is more commonly used for Prostrare Pigweed. and chamomile to make a special plant food for the autumn garden. Lamb’s Quarters is extensively cultivated and consumed as a food crop in Northern India. purslane.Lab's Quarters Bio-dynamic farmers dry Lamb’s Quarters and combine them with equal parts dried dandelion. nettle. Ambiguously. It’s sometimes also called Pigweed. the name “Fat-hen” or “Fat Hen” is also used for Smearwort. and therefore it may in English texts it be called by its Hindi name Bathua or Bathuwa.

.

It’s dioecious and has male and female flowers on different plants. the outer are fused at the base and bent in fruit ripening backwards. but also grows in open forests. It is as the name suggests mainly a meadow plant.Sorrel You may not be aware of this. which in turn can . but this weed. which may bind to the body’s calcium and form calcium oxalate. Sorrel is a perennial herb with inconspicuous flowers that are gathered in flowers grow in burnt red cylindrical clusters. which I’m sure you’ve seen standing in the fields. The species has been introduced in New Zealand. and about two to three times as long as wide. The stem is erect and can become almost a meter high. The leaves are usually quite broad.8 to 2. The inner perianths are large. Leaflets are turned downwards at the base. It’s widespread in Europe and temperate parts of Asia. along roadsides and riverbanks. This species blooms from May to July. often arrow-shaped. has been cultivated for centuries. and shiny black. It is common throughout the Nordic region.2 mm in size. in gravel beach or hills in the mountains. The fruit is a triangular nut which is 1. and goes into the mountains almost up to 1900 m. Caution! This plant contains a lot of oxalic acid. on neutral or slightly acidic soil.

Wonderful Weeds

lead to calcium deficiency in the body. Oxalate can be flushed
into the kidneys and form kidney stones which can damage
the kidneys and cause kidney stone attack.
In foreign countries there are reports of fatal poisoning in
children who have eaten large quantities of fresh leaves.
Children are hit hardest because they can only tolerate small
amounts of oxalic acid, and they like to eat fresh plants and
cannot control their intake. Lethal dose of pure oxalic acid is
estimated to be between 5 and 13 g intake of such amounts
causes severe gastro intestinal catarrh with vomiting and
diarrhea, kidney damage, convulsions and death due to
cardiac arrest.
If you wash fresh leaves in hot water, or give them a light
boil and discard the water before the leaves are consumed, it
reduces the amount of oxalic acid. And if you eat the leaves
together with milk, a lot of the oxalic acid will be neutralized.
People with kidney problems, or who have a disposition for
rheumatism, arthritis, gout or excessive stomach acid, should
refrain from eating fresh Sorrel, as the intake of the herb may
worsen these conditions. Do not cook in aluminum pots.

Uses
Medical

Sorrel has a diuretic, laxative, tonic, antiseptic and appetite
inducing effect (bitter). The astringent action means that
Sorrel has a styptic effect. The plant is a good source of vitamin
C. It has been used against scurvy, poor appetite, intestinal
worms, constipation (root), and diarrhea. The leaves reduce
116

Sorrel

fever and is taken as diuretic tea against disturbances in
the kidneys and liver. A poultice of leaves works on infected
wounds, burns, rashes, eczema, acne, boils, scabies, sutures,
and sunburn.
Magical

It can be eaten or carried to make the workday, and the work
itself go faster. You can also use it for healing. The dried leaves
are supposed to bring luck, protect the heart from disease,
and let you to see the fairies.
Cosmetic

Chopped Sorrel leaves inside a gauze compress applied
for 10 minutes a day have been known to lighten spots of
hyperpigmentation (so called liver spots). Repeat every three
days, but do consult a dermatologist first.
Culinary

Sorrel has been used as spinach (Spinacia oleracea), for soups
and stews. In East Europe and France it’s still used to make
sour soups, stewed with spinach, added fresh to lettuce
and spinach in salads or over open sandwiches. The flavor
is less acidic when the leaves are cooked, and if you discard
the water you’ve also removed much of the oxalic acid. The
leaves can be dried and powdered for later use, but the flavor
will be much weaker.
It goes well with fish, onions, pepper, potatoes, meats, pork,
veal, eggs, salads, cream-based sauces, and goat cheese.
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Wonderful Weeds

Sorrel is pureed to flavor goose, fish, or soups or for use in
condiments for meats. It is also used in teas.
Tough meats can be wrapped in Sorrel leaves to tenderize
them before cooking.
To prevent Sorrel from blackening and developing a metallic
taste, only stainless steel knives and noniron pots are used.
Sorrel is a natural acidifier and can be a substitute for fresh
lemon in salads, stews, and sauces.
The seeds and flowers of the Sorrel can be eaten fresh, cooked
in soups or dried for later use. The seeds can be ground into
a powder and mixed with flour to make bread. It’s been used
for this purpose during times of flour shortage.
Other

The juice from fresh Sorrel has been used to remove rust,
mold and ink stains on linen, wood, wicker baskets and
silverware.
Common Sorrel roots harvested in early winter gives an olive
yellow when alum is used as mordant. If the dyeing is done
in an iron pot, you don’t need the alum. If you use ammonia
(urine) you get a range of colors from brownish orange to
brick red.
Common and Sheep’s Sorrel are both used as an aftermordant for indigo to increase the fastness of the dye.
Common Sorrel is a mordant for black, and the leaves picked
in summer produce a blue-green dye. The leaves are known
to be a thirst quencher.
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The leaves are collected before bloom. The leaves were finely chopped and cooked into a dish they called juobmo.Sorrel Harvest The leaves are what most people use. which meant that they were rarely exposed to scurvy. The oxalic acid in the plant is possibly to protect against grazing by rodents. This was among other things eaten against lethargy and poor appetite. The effect of Sorrel was described by the Greek physician Dioscorides as early as the first century CE. The Sami used to eat Sorrel frequently. heavy foods. and the herb has been featured in many herbal books. When worn as an amulet round the neck it was supposed to protect against goiter. and the root is harvested in autumn or early winter. Romans and Egyptians used Sorrel to offset rich. Fun Facts The name acetosa comes from the Latin acetosus (sour. acidic) and points to the acidic taste of the leaves. 119 . but the root and the seeds can also be used.

Wonderful Weeds 120 .

roadsides. and become smaller as they ascend the stem. south to Spain. The flowers are yellow and tongue-like. When the seeds are mature the umbel opens and forms a large ball. The stem is simple or has a few branches with a single flower head at the top of each branch.) across when fully open. and disturbed areas in Europe. and east to Caucasus. Goat’s Beard blossoms in June-July. The leaves are lanceolate and the cauline leaves alternate sparingly. The latter has umbel shafts that are greatly . Each flower head is about 5 cm (2 in. like Dandelions. juveniles can sometimes be sparsely hairy. You can find Goat’s Beard in fields. Siberia. and consists of numerous. but with feather brushes on the seeds. Each floret has a truncated tip with 5 small teeth. and Iran. and the outer florets are quite a bit longer than the inner florets.Goat’s Beard Goat’s Beard is a biennial herb which can grow up to 80 cm (31. The whole herb is a grayish green and bare. but there’s no danger in this. Goat’s Beard can be confused with Salsify. from Scandinavia and Great Britain. The ray florets spread outward from the center of the flower head.5”) tall. but the flowers are only open during the morning and in good weather. yellow ray florets and about 8 green floral bracts that are lanceolate-linear in shape.

The root is astringent. It appears to have a detoxifying effect and may stimulate the appetite and digestion.Wonderful Weeds thickened at the top and bracts that are clearly longer than the flowers. loss of appetite and disorders of the breast or liver. The young roots can be eaten raw but older roots are best cooked 122 . A decoction of the root is given in the treatment of heartburn. diuretic. depurative. nutritive and stomachic. relieving the stomach without side effects. expectorant. Its high inulin content makes this herb a useful food for diabetics since inulin is a nutrient made of fructose rather than glucose units and therefore does not raise blood sugar levels. Culinary The roots have a sweet flavor due to their inulin content. The fresh juice of young plants is said to be a good dissolver of bile. Syrup made from the root gives great relief in cases of obstinate coughs and bronchitis. Uses Medical Goat’s Beard is considered to be a useful remedy for the liver and gallbladder. and distilled water made from the plant is used in cleansing lotion for dry skin. Cosmetic A petal infusion is used to clear the skin and lighten freckled areas.

In order to keep the seeds from dispersing. Just like the Dandelion. Young leaves and shoots are eaten either raw or cooked. In rural Armenia. kids make bubble gum from the juice of this plant. Fun facts If you enjoy blowing the seeds off the seed heads of Dandelions. which is thought to have been suggested by the fluffy character of the seed-ball. Goat’s 123 . The flowering stem. its long taproot can be dug up. ground. is cooked and served much in the same way as Asparagus. and used as a coffee substitute. roasted. is formed from two Greek words. Other Some people use the seed heads in floral arrangements. They can be added to salads or used in soups etc. including the buds. Harvest Aerial parts are harvested during bloom. They do this by collecting the juice from broken stems on the sides of a glass and drying it. The leaves are best used as they appear in spring.Goat's Beard like you would with parsnips. Tragopogon. they apply hair spray to the seed heads. take a deep breath because you’ll love these! The name of the genus. Goat’s Beard. having the same signification as the popular English name. The root is harvested in autumn and dried for later use.

Beard used to be cultivated as a vegetable, but that’s no
longer the case. The flowers open at daybreak and close
before noon.
Here’s what Culpepper had to say about it:
“A large double handful of the entire plant, roots, flowers and
all bruised and boiled an then strained with a little sweet oil,
is an excellent clyster in most desperate cases of strangury or
suppression of urine. A decoction of the roots is very good
for the heartburn, loss of appetite, disorders of the breast
and liver, expels sand and gravel, and even small stone. The
roots dressed like parsnips with butter are good for cold,
watery stomachs, boiled or cold, or eaten as a raw salad;
they are grateful to the stomach strengthen the lean and
consumptive, or the weak after long sickness. The distilled
water gives relief to pleurisy, stitches or pains in the side.”

Buttercup
Buttercup is one of the prettiest flowers in the meadow, but
by some it’s considered a noxious weed. This is due to the
fact that it spreads fast by runners.
This flower is an upright, usually quite tall (1 m or 3 ft. 3 in.),
perennial herb. The leaves are bald or hairy, and deeply and
repeatedly  lobate in three to five lobes. The stem leaves
are narrow and sparingly lobate. Buttercup blooms from
June to September here in Norway, with rather large yellow,
hermaphrodite flowers sitting in collections. The flower
stalks are plump. It has five overlapping petals above five
green sepals that soon turn yellow as the flower matures.
The sepals lay snugly against the petals.
Buttercup is variable and several more or less well-defined
subspecies are distinguished. It is one of the more common
Buttercups in Europe, and grows on healthy and preferably
damp soil, as wet meadows, beaches, pastures, mountain
pastures, open forests, but also on the heaths, right up to an
altitude of 2400 m or 7874 ft. The Buttercup is common in
Europe, including Britain, from Iceland to Spain, and through
Asia to China and Japan.

Caution!
When we pick a fresh Buttercup, ranunculine will be broken
down to protoanemonine. This can cause skin irritation and

Wonderful Weeds

vomiting, and one should therefore treat the plant with
caution. The toxin is broken down by drying or cooking.
People have died from ingestion, but the instances are few
and far between.

Uses
Medical

Buttercup has been applied as a poultice to the chest to
relieve colds and chest pains. A poultice of fresh, chewed
leaves has been used on sores, muscular aches and rheumatic
pains. Flowers and leaves have been crushed and sniffed
against headaches, and a root infusion has been used to treat
diarrhea. A poultice made from the root has been applied to
boils and abscesses, and the sap has been used to remove
warts.
Magic

The Buttercup can be used to attract happiness, love,
prosperity, abundance, or for healing, for self-worth, the
power of words. Use it in rituals associated with commitments
and vows, for example marriage or handfasting. You can use
it to deepen your spiritual connection by placing petals in
a bowl on your altar and asking your deity to deepen the
connection.
The same method could be used to see the future. It can
be hung over the front door for protection or used to help
divination/readings. But do not use this fresh in incense.
There’s a tradition in Ireland to rub Buttercup onto a cow’s
126

Harvest Aerial parts and flowers are harvested during bloom. Buttercup is the national flower of the Faroe Islands. This was said to encourage the cow to produce plenty of milk. Other Buttercup retains its yellow color upon drying and is therefore well suited for dried flower arrangements.Buttercup udders during the festival of Beltane or May Day. This 127 . roots after it’s died down in autumn. The flowers yield a light fawn dye if you use alum as mordant. In folklore there is a sympathetic connection between the rich yellow of the Buttercup. Culinary The leaves and roots have been used as famine foods. its occurrence in pasture and butter. which is why they are left standing alone in grazed pastures. There are rumors that beggars used to use the sap to ulcerate their feet in order to gain sympathy. where it is called Sólja (sœlja). Fun facts Buttercups taste sharp and are not eaten by cattle. It’s said to give a brighter yellow color to butter. and thereby more donations. green with chrome as mordant or yellow with tin as mordant.

Ranunculus comes from the Latin for ‘little frog’ and is said to be because the plants like wet conditions. .survives in the game of holding a flower under a friends chin or nose to see if they like butter. The acris part of the name means ‘biting’ or ‘sharp’. and comes from the unpleasant taste. Victorians believed it stood for ingratitude and childishness.

Himalayas.Red Clover This is one of a select few flower still in bloom in September here. so it provides a welcome splash of red and pink in all the yellow. Asia Minor. It’s usually annual but may sometimes be biennial. It spread to England around 1650 and was carried to America by British colonists (Taylor and Smith. Balkans. Russia from Arctic south to east Siberia. . 1981). Other colors of Clover flowers are white. appearing May through September. the Mediterranean region. and the Far East. Each leaflet is marked with a prominent crescent or “V” shape in a lighter color. The leaves are divided into 3 oval. brown and green of early autumn. India. It’s been widely introduced and cultivated. The colors of flowers range from pink to red. oblong or obovate leaflets that are finely toothed. purple. Clover grows to 18 inches. Red Clover is native to north Atlantic and central Europe. Caucasus. Iran. Caution! Stay away from Red Clover if you’re on blood thinners. yellow and combinations of these colors. The flowers are on rounded heads that may hold from 50 to 200 florets.

This plant is considered diuretic. scrofula. Make a strong tea and use as a gargle 4-5 times a day for sore and inflamed throats. and is used in poultices for burns and abscesses. It’s considered a strong natural antiseptic. Use Clover in a poultice for athlete’s foot and other skin problems. Clover was used in anti-asthma cigarettes. malignant ulcers. It has also been used for chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis. when it was replaced by synthetic drugs. constipation. rebuilding. chicken pox. antispasmodic. and impetigo. It was said to open bronchial tubes. It has also been used to treat asthma. Other uses included: coughs and bronchitis because of its expectorant and antispasmodic action. stimulation. It is considered soothing to nerves and ulcers. cancer. rectal and vaginal irritation. 130 . athlete’s foot. dyspepsia. expectorant. alterative.s. skin ailments and wounds. It’s said to be useful for children with skin problems such as childhood eczema. This use continued until the 1970’s and 80. and sedative. Herbalists have recommended Clover for detoxification. indolent sores.Wonderful Weeds Uses Medical Conventional medicine has not yet confirmed the folk uses of this plant. cleansing. and burns. catarrh.

It will help you through it. It also protects against madness. wrap Clover in a piece of blue silk and wear near your heart. If you find a two leaved Clover. and you will be able to feel the presence of spirits around you.Red Clover The juice from fresh Clover leaves has been used as an external eye wash. To remove negative spirits. add Red Clover to your bath. money or treasures. sprinkle an infusion of Clover around the affected area. eat a four-leaf Clover with your intended. The five-leaved Clover was 131 . and leads the wearer to gold. new love. It will protect you from evil. Because of its Phytoestrogens it can be used for menstrual pain. strengthens psychic powers. Place Clover in your left shoe and forget about it. To increase your chance of meeting a rich. soon you will also find a lover. to help with fertility problems and act hormone balancing during menopause. put a four-leaf Clover in your shoe before going out. Clover grown in the garden is said to keep away snakes. and they will appear to you. A decoction of the leaves were combined with salt and used as a poultice for headaches. it will bring success in all undertakings. Magical To deal with financial arrangements successfully. lay seven grains of Wheat on a fourleaf Clover. If you wear Clover over your right breast. To find mutual love. It’s also used against arthritis. wear a four leaf Clover. If you wish to see fairies. If love has disappointed you. Keep a piece of Clover in your pocket. To avoid military service.

sandwiches. and can be uses for sprouting. Other Clover is a favorite food for both livestock and poultry 132 . Use Clover in a lust potion.Wonderful Weeds said to be a powerful attractor of money. Chop Suey. Place two tablespoons seeds in a sprouting jar with three times as much water as seeds. kidney ailments and as a gynecological aid. stored in low humidity without direct sunlight. Iroquois used Clover for strengthening blood. About the fourth day place rinsed sprout jar in indirect sunlight to get some green on the leaves. Clover Seeds can be used in salads. Culinary Native American tribes ate it raw or cooked. both for its tannins. The flowers were used fresh or dried to brew tea for fevers. Wear any variety of Clover as a protective amulet. Rinse seeds and drain twice daily. Red Clover seeds are similar to Alfalfa seed. and cooked dishes. and for the phytoestrogens helping to combat premature signs of ageing. Red Clover seeds are sweet and crisp with a mild Clover blossom flavor. The raw blossoms are delicious in salads and nutritious when cooked with grains such as rice or millet. Cosmetic Red Clover is used in cosmetics. Soak overnight.

A tea made from flowering tops was believed to stimulate the 133 . The high protein leaves are a staple in China.Red Clover Using the whole plant above ground. At the time the accepted “legitimate” treatments for cancer were surgery or radiation. and seeds when they’re mature. you can get golden colors. Russians know Clover as clever. Further investigation is needed for this plant. Clover had been a popular European folk medicine. Anticancer chemicals have been discovered in this plant. and alum as mordant. Fun Facts The common names Honeysuckle and Suckles refer to the sweet tasting nectar that can be sucked from the flowers. It is now naturalized in North America. It is believed the true Clovers were brought from Europe and south west Asia Minor as forage plants. for asthmatics as well as for cigarettes like Mangalore Ganesh. Harvest The flowers are harvested at the beginning of bloom. Compounds detected in Clover by laboratory investigation may be helpful with fighting breast cancer. It’s used as a tobacco substitute. Clover was originally included in a famous cancer remedy in the 1940’s called Hoxsey’s Cure. Hoxsey thought differently and headed a chain of clinics for cancer patients. the leaves are gathered before the flowers appear.

. It was also taken for constipation and sluggish appetite. Clover is the state flower of Vermont.liver and gallbladder.

and others truly hate. it has scattered. The umbels are seven to ten millimeters long and sit in a more or less dense cluster like collection. the Azores. The ray florets are tongue like and at least four millimeters long.Goldenrod It’s time for a plant that some seem to really love. The fruit is ribbed with bristles. Goldenrod blooms from July to September. . the involucres are tubular. and mountain ranges. The stem is erect and becomes a half a meter (20 inches) high. and both North and South America. in others an appreciated beauty. Those who are pregnant. along hillsides. breastfeeding or have serious heart or kidney problems shouldn’t be using diuretics. In some areas it’s a really invasive weed. broad lanceolate leaves with coarse nervation and toothed edge. This herb is native to Europe and has spread to Asia. Goldenrod is a perennial herb with yellow flowers growing from a woody caudice or rhizome. It’s often found along roadsides and in open fields. Caution! Don’t confuse this plant with others called “Goldenrod”.

You can plant Goldenrod near your front doorstep for money. Burn or crush leaves or flowers in rituals concerning love. work against infections and can lower the cholesterol level. joint pain (rheumatism). eczema and other skin conditions.Wonderful Weeds Uses Medical The parts above ground are mucolytic. and against muscle spasms. and in fortunetelling. If you store the herb for more than a year. It is also used for gout. Give your lover some tea to seal their love. When held in the hand. It’s used to treat urinary tract infections. Magical Goldenrod is used in love and money spells. wear a piece of Goldenrod. peace. it loses most of its diuretic effect. To see your future love. as well as kidney stones. hemorrhoids. and it is also applied topically to improve wound healing. hay fever. and mildly analgesic. and prosperity. It has also been used to treat tuberculosis. love. or buried treasures. and enlarged prostate glands. If Goldenrod suddenly springs 136 . internal bleeding. the flower is said to nod in the direction of hidden or lost objects. arthritis. bladder inflammation. It’s used as a mouth rinse against inflammations in the mouth and throat. to reduce pain and swelling. diabetes. asthma. diuretic. and he or she is said to appear the next day. enlargement of the liver.

including the flowers and leaves.Goldenrod up near a house door. wasps. and butterflies. unexpected good fortune will soon fall upon those living there. Harvest The top part of the plant. Burn or crush Goldenrod in rituals concerning the future or carry it in a sachet. golden). are collected during bloom. so that you can foretell your own future. flies. The tires on the Model T given to him by Henry Ford were made from rubber extracted from Goldenrod. Goldenrod is the state flower of Kentucky. Fun facts Goldenrod is often blamed for pollen allergies. but the culprit is more often another plant which blooms at the same time. which it contains naturally. 137 . Other The flowers can be used to produce a pleasant yellow dye. Drink a tea made from Goldenrod to become more attuned with your inner self. Goldenrod is an attractive source of nectar for bees. The species name vigaurea comes from the Latin word virga (rod) and aureus (golden yellow. Thomas Edison experimented with Goldenrod to produce rubber.

. the golden-haired wife of Thor. I haven’t found any such connection in the sources I’ve read.Raven Caldera says this plant is liked by Siv. and that when carried. it brings her blessing for those going into battle.

up to 1. Caution! Don’t use together with drugs containing salicylic acid. and northern Asia.Meadowsweet One of my favorite plants and one that’s abundant in most of this area. growing in damp meadows. Meadowsweet is found in northern and southern Europe. North America. serrate leaflets which are widely tomentose beneath. . The creeping rootstock sends up a reddish. creamy-white five-petaled flowers with over twenty protruding stamens grow in panicled cymes from June to August. The small. on river banks and in damp open woodland.2 m (4 ft. angular stem. People with sensitivity to aspirin should avoid the use of Meadowsweet. ditches and bogs. It should not be used to lower fevers in children as it may possibly lead to Reye’s syndrome. at the edges of ponds. branched near the top and bearing alternate long-petioled leaves composed of two to five pairs of ovate.) tall. Meadowsweet is a perennial herb.

It’s used in amulets for popularity. or dried is used in various love mixtures. Culinary In spring the leaves can be used for salads or in the same way as spinach. especially during love magic. diarrhea and heart burn. Cosmetic It can be used as an astringent. to clear pores and to soothe the skin. and the flowers as an aromatic ingredient in 140 . Burn or strew on the floor to get a fresh smell. love. peace. Flower tea is used for ulcers and headaches. The tea’s mild analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties are used for rheumatism. It’s used to increase the chances of getting a job and it aids one during times of distress. Magical Fresh Meadowsweet is placed on the altar for love spells. as an antiseptic and diuretic agent and for fever colds.Wonderful Weeds Uses Medical The whole herb is used as a painkiller and the leaves protect the stomach from the salicylic acid. relieve disharmony in the home and remove tensions. money and happiness and to aid divination. friendship. It’s also useful as an altar offering.

and the flowers can be added to fruit compotes and jam. It was used to replace honey in times of shortage. A natural black dye can be obtained from the roots by using copper as a mordant. The flowers also make a light. Fun facts The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon “medowyrt” or “the plant used for mead”. otherwise they give a red/pink dye. That is no longer recommended. It can be used to flavor numerous drinks in the same way as Woodruff. The flower buds have been used in pickles. This is because it was used as a spice in mead.Meadowsweet several dishes. It’s better to save it for the day after. Harvest The flowers and the whole herb are harvested during bloom. The direct translation of the Norwegian name for this herb is “mead herb”. The roots also work well as a detergent. In the seventeenth century Meadowsweet was used to flavor the Claret Cup. sweetly spiced tea. Other You can get a greenish-yellow dye from the flowering tops and a blue dye from the leaves and stem. 141 . giving them a fine almond flavor. Meadowsweet Beer is a traditional English herb cordial and is often an ingredient in Nettle Beer. and it makes a good flavoring for Sloe Gin.

not only toxic but also an insect pheromone. however. where it sent out its lovely scent as it was being stepped on. Methyl Salicylate is. The buds contain salicylic acid (same as Aspirin). Felix Hoffmann chemically synthesized a stable form of salicylic acid powder. because it’s an ester. the source of salicin. which has higher salicin content. In Sweden Meadowsweet was sometimes used to strew on the dance floor. To humans Methyl Salicylate smells sweet. and “spir” from Spiraea ulmaria (another name for Meadowsweet). An infusion of the herb rubbed on an erect member is said to improve male potency. In the 1300 the physician Henrik Harpestreng recommended drinking Meadowsweet with wine against snake bites and to mix crushed seeds with oil which should then be dripped into an aching ear.Wonderful Weeds Meadowsweet was used for dyeing by the Celts. The compound became the active ingredient in Aspirin. The title was named “a” from acetyl. It was also used in other countries as a strewing herb on floors to give the room a pleasant aroma. While not as potent as Willow. While experimenting with a waste product of one of the dye components to find relieve for his father’s rheumatism. Aspirin is actually named after this plant. the salicylates in Meadowsweet may give it a mild anti-inflammatory effect and ability to reduce fevers during a cold or flu. This is what makes Meadowsweet able 142 .

In Welsh mythology Gwydion and Math created a woman out of oak blossom.Meadowsweet to attract beneficial insects that will help kill the invading herbivorous insect pests. 143 . broom and Meadowsweet and named her Blodeuwedd (flower face).

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but is now widespread in Asia and North America. Flowers are usually six to ten mm (1/5 -2/5 in. not semi). Euphrasia stricta is native wild in Europe. both north and south of the equator. Caution! Eye diseases should not be self-treated without first consulting a physician. Eyebright is highly variable and can be easily confused with other species in the genus.) long.) high. . The stem has at least four sections below the bottom flower. Its flower bracts are bald or have short and few-celled glandular hairs. more or less violet with dark stripes and a yellow patch at the mouth. The Euphrasia genus is widespread in temperate areas throughout the world.Eyebright Eyebright is a low-growing. is erect and usually branched with outgoing branches. The leaves are pretty matt. bare or fitted with short glandular hairs. Eye infections can be so severe that they require antibiotic therapy for the eye not to be damaged. Its stalk grows about 20 cm (8 in. hemi-parasitic (yes hemi. and the leaf edge is sharp or blunt toothed. annual herb. The fruit capsule has long hairs at the tip.

makeup remover. Eyebright extract is used in the following product categories: aroundeye cream. styling gel/lotion. Cosmetic Eyebright extract is a powder extract derived from Eyebright. astringent character. Eyebright helps you work with internal change. It has a particularly tannic. eye makeup remover. anti-aging. facial moisturizer/treatment. mildly astringent antiinflammatory an catarrh suppressing properties ease itchy eyes and runny nose caused by hay fever or sinusitis. it will help increase your psychic ability and also help you see through deception. and is used to help refresh and firm the skin around the eye. 146 . You can use Eyebright when life seems dark and a humorous outlook would make it better. fresh stalks is used as eye water and is a popular eye rinse which gives clear eyes. eye liner. The antiseptic. The effect when using eye pads for second sight is not instant. they it might take a few weeks. conditioner. Magical Drunk as tea.Wonderful Weeds Uses Medical An infusion on the whole plant or filtered juice from crushed. moving your attitude from the dark and negative towards the positive.  When carried. mascara. Eyebright is said to aid mental clarity and psychic abilities. facial cleanser.

147 . and refers the joy felt by those whose eye sight was saved by this plant. loganin and verbenalin have been shown to stop inflammation in test animals.Eyebright Harvest The whole plant is harvested during bloom. which have stripes and dots. The substances aucubin.” in that the flowers. Eyebright has been used since MSedieval times to treat bloodshot and irritated eyes. Aucubin also stimulates the production of proteins that are involved in the healing process. and they were able to determine that some of the ingredients of Eyebright have anti-inflammatory. The Stricta species name means straight and comes from the way the plant grows. Euphrosyne. known as The Three Graces. Zeus had three daughters. resembles bloodshot eyes. which may help to explain the use of Eyebright as a healing agent. antibacterial and astringent properties. Fun facts Euphrasia. Some believe that this use occurred because of “signature doctrine. Detailed studies of the herb ingredients weren’t made until 1999. One of these daughters. was known to have the brightest outlook on life. is derived from the Greek word that means “good cheer”.

. It relies on the root structures of surrounding plants for initial propagation as well as for a proportion of its nutrition throughout its life cycle.Eyebright is a hemi-parasitic plant.

I hope you share my opinion. or at least that you’ll think twice about cover instead of weeding the next time you do your spring gardening. Never use herbs at the same time as regular medicine and avoid all use if pregnant.Afterword Although this is only a very small comment in a potentially big debate. . Please do remember never to use herbs for any medical condition. without first consulting your physician.

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Common name Latin name Family Aloe Vera Aloe vera Liliaceae Apples Malus domestica Rosaceae Betony Stachys officinalis Lamiaceae Buckbean Menyanthes trifoliata Menyanthaceae Burning Nettle Urtica urens Urticaceae Buttercup Ranunculus acris Ranunculaceae Cabbage Brassica oleracea Brassicaceae Cañahua Chenopodium pallidicaule Chenopodiaceae Celery Apium graveolens var. dulce Apiaceae Chamomile Matricaria recutita Asteraceae Chasteberry Vitex agnus-castus Lamiaceae Cherry Prunus avium Rosaceae Chickweed Stellaria media Caryophyllaceae Colt’s Foot Tussilago farfara Asteraceae Cotton Thistle Onopordum acanthium Asteraceae Couch Grass Elytrigia repens Poaceae Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris Apiaceae Dandelion Taraxacum vulgare Asteraceae Dead Nettle Lamium album Lamiaceae Downy Birch Betula pubescens Betulaceae .Appendix I: Names Here’s a list of the common and latin names of the plants mentioned in this book.

florentina Iridaceae Oxeye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare Asteraceae 152 .Wonderful Weeds Elder Sambucus nigra Caprifoliaceae Eyebright Euphrasia stricta Scrophulariaceae Fennel Foeniculum vulgare Apiaceae Fools Parsley Aethusa cynapium Apiaceae Garden Lupine Lupinus polyphyllus Leguminosae Goat’s Beard Tragopogon pratensis Asteraceae Goldenrod Solidago vigaurea Asteraceae Great Mullein Verbascum thapsus Scrophulariaceae Grey Willow Salix cinerea Salicaceae Ground Elder Aegopodium podagraria Apiaceae Hops Humulus lupulus Cannabaceae Horehound Marrubium vulgare Lamiaceae Juniper Juniperus communis Cupressaceae Lady’s Mantle Alchemilla vulgaris Rosaceae Lamb’s Quarters Chenopodium album Chenopodiaceae Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Lamiaceae Lychee Litchi chinensis Sapindaceae Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria Rosaceae Melancholy Thistle Cirsium heterophyllum Asteraceae Motherwort Leonurus cardiaca Lamiaceae Mouse-ear Chickweed Cerastium vulgatum Caryophyllaceae Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris Asteraceae Nettle-leaved Bellflower Campanula trachelium Campanulaceae Orange Citrus × ​sinensis Rutaceae Orris Iris germanica var.

vulgaris Chenopodiaceae Red Clover Trifolium pratense Fabaceae Rhea Boehmeria nivea Urticaceae Rocket (Arugula) Eruca vesicaria sativa Brassicaceae Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis Lamiaceae Sage Saalvia officinalis Lamiaceae Salsify Tragopogon dubius Asteraceae Sandalwood Santalum album Santalaceae Scurvy Grass Cochlearia officinalis Brassicaceae Shepherd’s Purse Capsella bursa-pastoris Brassicaceae Silver Birch Betula pendula Betulaceae Smearwort Aristolochia rotunda Aristolochiaceae Sorrel Rumex acetosa Polygonaceae Soybean Glycine max Fabaceae Spinach Spinacia oleracea Chenopodiaceae 153 .Appendix I: Names Parsley Petroselinum crispum Apiaceae Parsnips Pastinaca sativa Apiaceae Pear Pyrus calleryana Rosaceae Persimmon Diospyros kaki Ebenaceae Plantain Plantago major Plantaginaceae Poison Hemlock Conium maculatum Apiaceae Poison Ivy Toxicodrendron radicans Anacardiaceae Potato Solanum tuberosum Solanaceae Prostrate Pigweed Amaranthus albus Amaranthaceae Quinoa Chenopodium quinoa Chenopodiaceae Rainbow Lupine Lupinus regalis Leguminosae Red Beet (Beetroot) Beta vulgaris var.

altissima Chenopodiaceae Swiss Chard Beta vulgaris var. John’s Wort Hypericum perforatum Hypericaceae Star Chickweed Stellaria pubera Caryophyllaceae Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica Urticaceae Strawberry Fragaria virginiana Rosaceae Sugar Beet Beta vulgaris var. cicla Chenopodiaceae Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia Myrtaceae Thyme Thymus vulgaris Lamiaceae Tomato Solanum lycopersicum Solanaceae Water Hemlock Cicuta maculata Apiaceae Watercress Nasturtium officinale Brassicaceae Wheat Triticum aestivum Poaceae White Lupin Lupinus albus Leguminosae Wild Carrot Daucus carota Apiaceae Willow Salix alba Salicaceae Wood Sorrel Oxalis acetosella Oxalidaceae Woodruff Galium odoratum Rubiaceae Wormwood Artemisia absinthium Asteraceae Yellow Bush Lupine Lupinus arboreus Leguminosae Zucchini Cucurbita pepo Cucurbitaceae .St.

Appendix II: Sources People mentioned Athenaeus Greek rhetorician and grammarian who wrote the Deipnosophists in the early part of the 3rd century CE Carl von Linne (1707-1778) Swedish botanist who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature Dianecht Chief physician of the Tuatha Dé Danann and god of healing Discordides (ca 40-90 CE) Greek physician and herbalist who wrote De Materia Medica around 50 CE Fang of Loki User at The Pagan Grove Felix Hoffmann German chemist (1986-1946) Frederick the Great or Frederick II King of Prussia (1712-1786) Henrik Harpestreng (?-1244) Danish physician and botanical author .

botanist.Wonderful Weeds Hippocrates Greek physician (ca 460-370 BCE) Ingvild Clark A friend of mine who knows a lot about fiber crafts John Gerard English botanist and herbalist (1545 – 1611) John Parkinson English botanist and herbalist (1567–1650) Martin Martin Scottish writer (?–1719) Nicholas Culpepper (1616-1654) English herbalist. Dr. and astrologer Pliny or Gaius Plinius Secundus (23-79 CE) Roman author. activist etc. published in 1664 156 . natural philosopher. naturalist. physician. educator. shaman. and navy commander Queen Anne Queen of Great Britain (1665-1714) Raven Caldera Author. Richard Chandler Alexander Prior English botanist and plant collector (1809-1902) Robert Turner English physician and author of Botanologia.

Appendix II: Sources Simon Paulli Danish physician and naturalist (1603-1680) Thomas Edison American inventor (1847-1931) 157 .

Grieve Herball.Wonderful Weeds Sources mentioned A Modern Herbal. A. M. Retzius Lacnunga Ogham 158 . William Shakespeare Flora suecica. or Generall Historie of Plantes. John Gerard Henry IV.J. Carl von Linne Försök til en Flora Oeconomica Sveciæ.

Fredrik Stary Helbredende urter : deres virkning. Deni Bown Fältflora. James A. samt…. Hansen Helbredende planter fra hele Europa…. Kristina Frølich 159 . I. M. Matthias Hermann Hälsoflora-örtmedicin. Marcussen Herbs and medicinal flowers . Björn Ursing Hagens eget apotek. Jaroslav Kresánek Håndbok i urtemedisin: slik bruker du…. Reichborn-Kjennerud Encyclopedia of herbs and their uses. Lill Granrud Håndbok i urtemedisin: urter til behandling…. Andrew Chevallier Legende urter : naturens egne produkter. Mannfried Pahlow Lægende urter : deres indsamling og bruk. Sarah Garland Den gamle urtegård : lægeurter fra…. Duke Heksens urtegård. Anne McIntyre Legende urter .Appendix II: Sources Other sources Damms store bok om helseplanter. Erik Bruun Kvinnens urtebok : en helsebok for kvinner…. Lill Granrud Klassiske legeplanter. Harold A. Jessica Houdret Handbook of medicinal herbs. urter…. Dr.

Wonderful Weeds Lærebok i medicinske planter og droger. S. Lesley Bremness Urter og urtemedicin. Andrew Stanway Urteboken : legeplanter i folkemedisinen. Bo Nylén Nordiska medicinalväxter….. Lill Granrud Urter. Raimo Heino Våre folkemedisinske lægeurter.. Nils Hewe Växterna i de gamlas föreställningar. Arnold Nordal Vilda växter (medicinalväxter) som. Anne McIntyre Nordens flora . B. Dagny Tande Lid. Reichborn-Kjennerud Örter som medicin och skönhetsmedel. . Mannfried Pahlow Naturmedisin for kvinner…. Georg Borchorst Urter til mat og medisin. Wahlin. Helga Laux 160 . Johannes Henriksson Våra läkande växter.. I... Per Holck Stora naturläkarboken : hälsa och. Stefan Källman Välsignade växter : skrock och fakta….. Johannes Lid.. Blixt Norsk Flora. Reidar Elven Norsk folkemedisin : kloke koner…. Ansgar J. Smith Mitt eget planteapotek.. Henrik Lundström Vilda växter som mat & medicin.

Finn Sandberg. Gunnar Göthberg Örtmedicin och växtmagi. Lisbeeth Ahlmark 161 . Ingegärd Lindeberg Örtteer. hälsodrycker och huskurer .Appendix II: Sources Örtmedicin och växtmagi.

uio.nhm.org/ http://www. 162 .se/ http://www.learningherbs. I’ve also learnt a lot from friends and acquaintances through my 19 years of herbal study.no/ http://linnaeus.com/ http://www.com/ http://idun.nrm.no/ http://www.co.botanical.uk/ http://www.net/ Plus many.no/ http://www.floranordica.herbnet.mountainroseherbs.com/ http://www.rolv.com/ http://www.org/ http://www.Wonderful Weeds Online resources http://healthyherbs.com/ http://www.liberherbarum.wicca.com/ http://www.wildwisdom. many more books and websites for which I no longer have the name or URL.entheology.gaias-garden.northernshamanism.no/ http://www.com/ http://www.susunweed.com/ http://www.org/ http://www.urteguiden.herbmentor.about.

During the spring and summer months. She’s been working with herbs and runes. artist. heathen. . podcaster. Her spiritual roots are firmly planted in the Norse tradition. That’s the short version at least. does band interviews for Cackle Boom Radio. She’s a CCH (Community created herbalist) with a passion for so-called weeds. she runs two herb classes online. Creative Coach and Artist. The Witch’s Library has ‘tons’ of info on paganism. One of her sites. a witch. radio show host on Margarita Midnight. and practiced openly as a witch since 1994. and crafts. and she’s taken up the Norse shamanic practice called Seid. and many other things. herbs. blogger. Connect to Nature through Herbs and Get to Know Herbs.About the author Linda Ursin is a Multi-Creative Heathen Witch. author.

. You can find her at her website: http://lindaursin. In her coaching she works with spiritual. She lives in a rural area in Norway with her husband. and dog.net and on social media like Facebook. drawings and amulet art can be found in her online gallery and in her webshop.Her paintings. Instagram and Pinterest. female entrepreneurs. daughter. where she has access to clean water and fresh herbs.ttle touch of magic. Twitter. Taking away their creative frustrations and giving them time and energy to do other things. and other women in art & crafts.