Summer Weeds! Nutritional Powerhouse or Pest?

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The summer sun has really brought out the urge to get out into the garden and relax. We spend our time tending the garden to make sure it looks good but how often do we actually get the opportunity to sit out and enjoy the sun, fresh air and atmosphere.

I love to ground myself as often as I can. That means kicking off my socks and shoes (because it’s often too cold to go without them here in the UK) and planting them firmly on the ground. That is just what we need to detox and distress. Think how wonderful you feel when you come back from your holiday where you’ve been walking on the beach! I will write more about grounding in the future but for now you can learn more here 

In this post I really wanted to draw you attention to the weeds in the garden and how you can use them to your benefit. I’ve written about nettles before and how very useful they are. They are also the breeding ground for ladybirds; so that’s another reason to love them.

Weeds are abundant, plentiful and free so why not make the most of them?

Today, I want to talk about cleavers. You may not know them by name but you will definitely know them because they are the sticky weed that we used to throw around as kids and watch them cling to our friends’ backs and clothes.

Cleavers Galium Aperine) are also known as sticky willy clivers, "bort", bedstraw, goosegrass, catchweed, stickyweed, stickybud, robin-run-the-hedge, sticky willow, stickyjack, stickeljack, and grip grass.

Cleavers are annuals with creeping, binding stems which branch and grow along the ground and over other plants. They attach themselves with the small hooked hairs which grow out of the stems and leaves.

Where this plant gets interesting is in its multiple uses. It is an excellent blood tonic, has an affinity for the lymph system and detoxifies the kidneys. This garden weed has even been shown to have beneficial effects on cancer cells, tumors, eczema and sunburn. The list of possible uses for cleavers is extensive. Please read here to find out more

I like to use this herb by making tea (steeping in hot water), making a cold infusion (leaving the cleavers in a jug of cold water it infuse overnight) or by juicing. The plant doesn’t yield a huge amount of juice but it is useful to add to other fruits and veggies, to give them an extra nutritional boost.

As we are not able to rely on our fruits and vegetables for all of our nutritional needs it makes sense that we should be employing these unsung heroes of nature to help fix our ills. Next time you think about getting out the weedkiller, think again! These wonderful plants are unchanged and natural  and are a valuable food source not just for us but for other animals and insects too.

Weeds are abundant, plentiful and free so why not make the most of them? Make sure you pick them from a traffic free area and nowhere where pets can soil.

As with all plants, test for any sensitivities and contra-indications for any medications

Written by: Mimi

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