GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Some home gardeners may be surprised to learn not all weeds need to be pulled.
Heidi Heiland, CEO and Certified Professional with the MNLA wants to encourage gardeners to leave certain weeds in their landscapes as they are beneficial to humans and the environment.
What is a "weed?"
The definition of DNR Invasive Plants - species that are not native to Minnesota and cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Minnesota's natural resources are threatened by a number of invasive species such as common buckthorn, garlic mustard, thistle, loosestrife, poison ivy, zebra mussels, Eurasian water milfoil, and emerald ash borer. Invasive species can occur on land or in the water.
However, there are many plants that are beneficial that we dig out of our gardens. One gardeners’ weed is another gardeners’ flower... or beneficial plant. Although there is currently a lack of clinical trials testing the health effects of any of these plants listed, some preliminary research suggests that they may offer certain health benefits.
- Plantain - have a long history of being used as food plants and healing herbs in many diverse cultures around the world. The Native Americans used it to heal wounds, cure fever, and to draw out toxins from stings and bites, including snakebites.
- Jewel Weed - has been used for centuries in North America by Native Americans and Herbalists, as a natural preventative and treatment for poison ivy and poison oak; and is a folk remedy for many other skin disorders.
- Clover - traditionally used to purify and cleanse the blood. A tea made from the blossoms can be used as an eyewash. Tincture the leaves to use as an ointment for gout. It is a legume that nourishes the soil and can be used as a cover crop.
- Dandelion - both dandelion root and dandelion greens are loaded with nutrients and boast a variety of benefits to your health — just like dandelion tea. Dandelion is low in calories but high in fiber as well as vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C. The root and greens have also been shown to have some pretty impressive health benefits and may even help reduce cancer growth, lower cholesterol and help you lose weight.
- Purslane - was one of Gandhi’s favorite foods and was also eaten by Thoreau while he lived at Walden Pond. The benefits of this edible weed did not escape early Americans such as Martha Washington, who had a recipe for pickled “pursland” in the Booke of Cookery and Booke of Sweetmeats.
- Prunella - the benefits of All-Heal and Prunella vulgaris are legendary, and modern nutritional and medicinal studies indicate that the legends may be scientifically supported. In alternative medicine, prunella vulgaris is said to help treat or prevent the following health problems: Allergies, Cold sores, Colic, Crohn's disease, Diabetes, Gastroenteritis, Genital herpes, Headache, Ulcerative colitis, Sore throat