Medical herbalists prize rare exotic plants that possess amazing healing properties. Some notable herbal medicine examples include Golden Seal, Echinacea, Coptis, Rhodiola and Reishi.
While these plants warrant the reputation they have, there are also local plants considered pesky weeds that are undiscovered healing gems, often specific for treating local health issues. We love locally grown herbs and foods, so we are hoping to inspire you to also try the weeds/herbs that grow around where you live.
Today I will introduce 2 local weeds considered pests by gardeners.
Herbal Medicine – Bidens Pilosa
The first is “Farmer’s Friends”, also known as “cobbler’s pegs”. Yes, this is the plant that deposits multiple tiny wooden toggles in our socks. Botanically known as Bidens pilosa, this plant is a major herbal antibiotic with an affinity for mucus membrane infections, ie, lung, digestive and urinary tract infections. This plant is most active when used fresh, so pick the leaves and either infuse as a tea or add to a soup or green smoothie.
We do have Bidens available in tincture form at Mullum herbals.
Herbal Medicine -Sida Rhombofolia
The second weed I wish to introduce as a healing herb is Sida rhombofolia. This plant has a woody stalk and a tough tap root, (its hard to pull out) often causing havoc with mowers and brushcutters. Like Bidens, Sida is a broad spectrum antibiotic. It has additional benefits as a blood tonic, building and protecting red blood cells. Sida works well in combination with Bidens and the leaves can also be added to a smoothie or soup or infused as a tea. Sida belongs to the mallow family delivering a subtle flavour with a slightly mucilaginous texture.