Orange Hawkweed, Daisy Fleabane & The Triplet Look-Alikes: Black Medic, Lesser Trefoil & Hop Clover + Mugwort Enema Recipe
Wild lunch today from my balcony garden: lemony sorrel leaves, borage leaves, mallow leaves, mustard leaves, fresh dill and some rose petals I had gathered from a previous day. The only thing I didn't add to my salad was stinging nettle! I'll save her for a pesto or soup :) I wanted to get some chickweed too, but alas, work intervened. My boss actually tried a bit of each leaf and professed to really enjoy borage. He didn't mind the hairs on the leaves at all, but enjoyed its cool and sweet taste. Well, she is quite the looker, ya know! ;)
Went on a mini foraging trip the other day --- the day I collected rose petals and mugwort! Tons of mugwort about, supposedly an invasive weed---good, all the better! Yes, besides adding her to soup (rolling eyes), of course! I also use her as an enema. Yes, she is in the same family as wormwood, and wormwood is usually prescribed when there are parasites and candida action happening. To do:
Mugwort Enema Recipe
1 oz dried mugwort in a mason jar. Add boiling water to the top and put on lid/screw lid. Let sit 4 hours to overnight. Strain out mugwort using a nut milk bag OR fine mesh sieve. Gently warm the mugwort tea to finger hot and use in an enema bag. If you like, you can add in 1 liter of additional water and make it a 2-liter enema. Lying on your right side, hold for 15 minutes; then void.
I also got a bit of milkweed buds and just a few flowers. They were all still pretty much in baby stage, and I still have a hankering to pass by a certain field where many are wont to grow.
Mini foraging day yesterday at work. Disappointed in a way, because the grass in areas seemed long, but I think it was cut since I came last, because I had wanted to bring home what I thought was a sow thistle and study it more. Wild lettuce, sow thistle...there are a few plants that I'm still confused about.
But good news: I identified one of the mystery plants that I had brought home from work. Not so hard to find, really, as she had orange flowers and there aren't all that many that do! Her name is Orange Hawkweed or Fox-and-Cubs or Devil's Paintbrush. Pretty plant grown as an ornamental but she also has medicinal uses to help with lung issues :)
There was also another plant that I had taken home from work. I didn't recognize her, her leaves didn't tell me anything, but it was when I saw her flowers that I knew: Fleabane! Looks like a daisy, so dainty and pretty, too :) There are many varieties apparently, but I've only seen the common one and the purple one. She's known in Britain as Robin's-Plantain, which might tell ya that her leaves are edible. I'll look out for this one as well, Daisy Fleabane, whose leaves clasp the stem. My, my, so much fun I am having foraging and learning about plants!
The plants I collected yesterday at work were the same as always: violet leaves, dandelion, wood sorrel, plantain, strawberry leaves and clover leaves. There was lots of purple Prunella or Self-heal that had come out and I collected enough to make a quart-size infusion (or 1 oz). Prunella is excellent to move the lymph and help support weight loss, as I mentioned in a previous post :)
There were also many plants of Black Medic or medicago lupulina. It took me quite a long time a few years ago to identify Black Medic, but I now know her name! I took some bunches of leaves and will add them to my soup. You can eat her leaves and even her black seeds. She looks a lot like Lesser Hop Trefoil and Yellow Hop Clover, but there are subtle differences in the flowers (Black Medic's flowers grow up while Hop Clover droops down), plus the obvious tell-tale sign that Black Medic is so called because her seeds are black while Hop Clover's are brown. Read about more about the differences between Hop Clover & Black Medic here and the botanical differences between Hop Clover and Lesser Trefoil here. Will have to double check those other little yellow flowers I saw and see if they are trefoil or hop clover :0
Finished work early---yippeeeeee! Which meant I got to go and have another mini foraging adventure! I collected a whole brown lunch bag, packed, of rose petals. Some were a deep wine pink and some were light pink. Some of the stems of the roses had no flowers and there branches that were drooping, so when I see the neighbor I'll mention that it would be a good idea to give his rose bushes a much needed pruning! He doesn't much care for the rose petals but he loves the rose hips!!
Then I popped off to the field which was recently mowed to see what was growing. Dandelion, sure enough, and a few baby burdock plants, but the majority of new baby plants that were coming up was milkweed! Some had even put forth their "grape bunches," soon to flower (well, perhaps in a week or two). When I mean baby, these guys didn't even come up my knee! Because of that, I didn't take any milkweed, not even one. You might want to read about the debate and all the toxicity warnings about milkweed here. Personally, I've never changed the water; they don't give me stomaches and yep, they pretty much taste like broccoli or spinach. Can't wait to collect some pods and stuff 'em like pasta conchiglie!
I did, however, collect lots of yarrow, a few in flower (white flowers, yes there are other colors out there) and got stopped to ask what I was doing. I showed the lady a few plants and she seemed generally interested in "all things natural," as she put it, because she had grown up in the country. She lived in a condo apartment and had just a tiny balcony, but I told her to check out permaculture online if she was really interested. I also mentioned that there's a restaurant that serves wild food farther up north, but I didn't remember the name or website.
Ah well, I've been stopped a few times while out collecting and have found that while people are curious as to what I am doing, I have yet to come across a person who has a true desire to know more. But, they'll be many more excursions to come, so I'm sure there might be some other opportunities! Although it made me think (briefly passed on the screen of my mine) that perhaps I could teach others about urban foraging and wild edibles...To be seen as my passion at the moment is writing :))
Getting back home, I donned a flower-power dress and met up with my neighbor who showed me a few things growing in her garden. The area where she had her rock garden, now free of forget-me-nots, had filled with other plants that were growing there, including lavender, chrysanthemum and creeping thyme. I gave her some Lady's Mantle as I had no room for a full-sun-loving plant and she gave me some thyme, basil and chives she had growing in pots. Good news for me as I will be adding them to my soup!
Indeed, after wishing my neighbor good night, I proceeded to give my chickweed plants a much needed haircut. I also noticed that mint was growing rather sloppily and had tiny holes in her. Hm, what did I discover upon further inspection but a snail! She was really shy and kept poking her head back into herself, but when she saw that I had no inclination to squish her, she brightened up and moved a bit on my finger. Since mint also needed some trimming, I moved her to a mustard plant. Ha ha! A spicy meal this time around for her ;)
I had collected so much mugwort from the last time that almost all my dehydrator trays were in use. I settled for using just the solid Teflex sheets to spread the yarrow and rose petals to dry on my table, but muggie is going to be have to be dried in the dehydrator because there just ain't enough room!
Won't be any foraging tomorrow, though, as thunderstorms were about while I was organizing my greens: there's gonna be a nettle pesto; borage, chickweed, sorrel and dill salad OR I might use those big borage leaves as mini wrap leaves; mallow leaves are definitely going to be used for wraps; and there'll be a mean green soup happening with mustard leaves, clover, plantain, violet leaves, dandelion, dock leaves, black medic leaves, some carrots and some fresh Italian herbs like sage, basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano. Oh my! Plus I always add some other Chinese herbs---which maybe I'll get to mentioning in a post some day :)
You know, I haven't tired of soup. Not at all. I eat it every day and there's such good "medicine" in there that I love it and appreciate it so much. Plus it's tasty, too!
Eating my salad today of freshly picked greens, just brimming with energy and life force, I felt like a queen sitting on a throne of vitality (or perhaps just a barefoot fairy princess, as my neighbor fondly calls me, sitting on an office chair at work)---just so blessed to have this food right here in front of me! It was so good, so tasty, so sweet, sour, so---perfect!! I kissed my fingers and sent my green blessings of thanks to my green friends growing at home: thank-you so much for sharing your energy with me!
I feel...revitalized :))
Ending on this fine note of vitality, I'm off to dream of ...
Oh no, botany! I have botany reading to do! And articles to write! And...
Meditation now casts its fairy spell, fairy dust now sprinkled over the mind; all is quiet...
Slipping into the now of time, one resources with source.
And all is well.
Curiosity Got The Cat: