Picking wild herbs is a fun experience, but if you are new to the foraging business, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Be careful where you pick your herbs! Many areas are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which you definitely don’t want to put in your body. Public areas like parks and open spaces are often sprayed.
- Avoid picking herbs from the side of a busy road. Plants that grow next to the road are soaking in all the exhaust fumes and toxic area from traffic.
- Wherever you decide to forage, keep in mind that if a plant doesn’t look healthy, you shouldn’t eat it!
Below is a list of the best herbs to pick in spring:
Dandelion is the picture of spring – and what many people consider a pesky weed. Not true! Dandelions can be used from flower to root. The flowers and leaves are high in proteins, vitamins C, K, D, and B, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. The roots can be used to naturally detox your body (liver and kidneys), and improve your immune system. The bitterness helps with digestion.
Mint is great for all types of things, from a cooling agent to reduce fevers, to an antimicrobial for fighting infections and coughs. It is also a good remedy for indigestion, motion sickness, and morning sickness.
Like dandelion, plantain is a diuretic and is great for cleansing the kidneys and liver. Also like dandelion, it grows everywhere – even in cracks in the sidewalk.
Cleavers stick around from spring until the end of summer, so there is plenty of time for collecting. It supports the lymphatic system, and keeps things flowing through your body properly. It is easy to incorporate into meals and tastes delicious, too!
Unlike stinging nettle, hedge nettle doesn’t sting and is used in different ways. It can be helpful for anxiety, nausea, headache, and other related conditions. It can also be used to restore inner peace and break up stagnant chi.