Edible Herb Garden

herbgarden

Herbs in the Edible Herbs Garden
Chickweed
Dandelion
Kudzu vine
Lamb’s Quarters
Nettle
Purslane
Water Cress
Wild Lettuce
Wild Mustard
Winter Cress
Dandelion Taraxacum officinale

Uses

leaves, roots, flowers. Fresh or dry

Healing

Stimulates bile production from the liver. A good over all tonic that helps to cleanse and strengthen the body. It contains all the nutritive salts that are required for the body to purify the blood (good for anemia) A slight appetite stimulant. A hepatic herb, which works well on the liver by toning it, nourishing it and strengthening it. Also good for the bladder, spleen, pancreas, stomach, and intestines.

Nutrition

A great source for potassium. Leaves contain 7,000 units of vitamin A per ounce. Also an excellent source for vit. B, C and G (B2). The flowers are one of the better sources for lecithin.

Cultivation

Dandelion requires a long growing season. Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in May to early summer and thin seedlings to 8 to 12 inches apart. Will grow in any well- drained garden soil. Harvest before plants form flower stalks to avoid the bitter taste of the leaves. Feed young leaves fresh as the older leaves can be bitter.

Comments

Since it is a diuretic, do not use on a continuous basis.

Dandelions are herbs but they are also cleansing greens whose leaves and flowers can be added to your birds diet, especially the first thing in the spring. You may have tried to dig them out of your yard to get rid of them only to have them come right back in the same place, right? That’s because you didn’t go deep enough to get the whole root and it would be easier to get someone in China to pull it through to their country than it would to try to did it out. That’s good news now that you will be learning how wonderful and beneficial they are to, not only your birds, but to all your other pets and the humans in your home. If you are transplanting them, dig down only about 2 or 3 inches below the crown (main part) of the plant. That will leave a nice root to regrow and still give you enough to get started where you want them to be. The ideal situation is to let them grow right where they are but that isn’t always possible. Be sure if you transplant them from somewhere else, they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or plant killers. If they got fertilized along with the lawn, it’s ok, just don’t use them after transplanting for about a month or so and that will give the fertilizer plenty of time to leave. They will grow in just about any soil or sun conditions you put them in so that makes it a lot easier to have lots of leaves, blossoms and roots to work with.

Seed or plant sources.

http://www.johnnyseed.com
http://www.outdoortuff.com
http://www.gardenmedicinals.com

Chickweed Stellaria media, Stellaria pubera, Cerastium vulgatum

Uses

Parts used – stems, leaves and seed
eaten raw, cooked, dried or steamed.

Healing

Helps to remove plaque out of the blood vessels and eliminates fatty substances in the system. Aids in upset stomach and helps to strengthen the bowels. Contains steroidal saponins that are responsible for its ability to increase the absorptive ability of all membranes, and to eliminate congestion. Nutrients become more readily available to every cell, liver and kidneys and lungs become healthier. Helps to clear blockages and waste from kidneys and gallbladder and congestion from lungs. Drinking a chickweed infusion for several days to a few weeks will help clear up skin problems by cleansing the blood and kidneys. A fresh poultice will bring down swelling from sprains, arthritis, and gout. Works best in small areas like wrists and fingers.

Nutrition

It provides plenty of vitamin C, rutin, biotin, choline, insoitol, PABA, vitamin B6, B12, vitamin D, and beta carotene. It is also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, copper and silicon. Contains gamma linolenic acid an omega-6 fatty acid derivative.

Cultivation

Prefers it cool and moist. It’s best growing times are in the spring and fall and may dry up or go dormant in a hot summer.

Comments

Comments – Chickens and young chicks are said to like this plant and also the seeds. The leaves fold up at night.

Seed or plant sources.

http://www.serve.com/teaherbfarm/cart/

Nettle Urtica species

Other Names

Stinging Nettle
Urtica dioica

Wood Nettle
Laportea canadensis

Slender Nettle
Urtica gracilis

Uses

Parts used: leaves, stems. Tender young plants raw in salds, cooked in soups or dried and used medicinally in tea or tinctures

Uses: Stems and leaves boiled in several changes of water will render the leaves edible as a spinach substitute. The leaves and stems can be steeped raw in a bucket of water for 24 hours. The water is than used as an organic pesticide for mites and aphids. Use freeze-dried for hay fever (a study showed it rated better than just dried). An expectorant used for asthma, mucus conditions of the lungs, and chronic coughs. A tincture is used for flues, colds, bronchitis and pneumonia.
As an infusion, it is a safe diuretic used for the kidneys and bladder as in cystitis and nephritis. A tea compress is good for wounds, cut, stings, and burns. The infusion used internally is said to help the blood clot. Used for bleeding from hemorrhages, bloody coughs, nosebleeds and bloody urine. Is also good for gout, glandular diseases, poor circulation, enlarged spleen, diarrhea, and dysentery, worms, intestinal and colon disorders, hemorrhoids, and urinary inflammation. Has a cooling energy and is drying and astringent.

Healing

Stimulates bile production from the liver. A good over all tonic that helps to cleanse and strengthen the body. It contains all the nutritive salts that are required for the body to purify the blood (good for anemia) A slight appetite stimulant. A hepatic herb, which works well on the liver by toning it, nourishing it and strengthening it. Also good for the bladder, spleen, pancreas, stomach, and intestines.

Nutrition

Nutritional Value: Very high levels of minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, silica, iodine, silicon, sodium, and sulfur. Also a good amount of chlorophyll and tannin and a good source for vitamin A, C, beta carotene, and B-complex vitamins. It also has high levels of absorbable amino acids. They’re 10 percent protein, more than any other vegetable. Eating or drinking the tea is said to make your hair brighter, thicker, and shinier, and makes your skin clearer and healthier-good for eczema and skin conditions.

Cultivation

Cultivation: Start from seed or take cuttings. Plant about 6 inches apart after the danger of frost. Likes light shade and moist soil.

Comments

Comments: It should be used with caution with anyone taking medications for blood-thinning as it will decrease it effectiveness. Use gloves when harvesting. There are a few things that are said to be effective against its sting, they are, Jewelweed and Yellow dock (crush the leaves), mud, and toothpaste.

Seed or plant sources.

seeds: http://www.raingardens.com/seedpage/medicine.htm
look under dwarf stinging nettle.

Purslane Portulaca oleoracea

Uses

Part used: leaves, stems, and seeds. Eaten raw or cooked or pickled. Can be stored dry or frozen.

Healing

Contains significant minerals or compounds that has been reported to have antidepressant qualities. It has been used as a purgative, cardiac tonic, muscle relaxant, and in anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic treatment. Has been used for headaches, burns, trauma, stomach, and intestinal and liver ailments.

The omea-3 content it helps to regulate metabolism and distribution of serum cholesterol and triglycerides in the circulatory system .

Nutrition

A good source for vitamins A, C and E essential amino acids. Rich in glutathion, a powerful antioxidant and immune builder. High in linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid and rich in calcium, magnesium, phenylalanine, potassium and tryptophan. Contains significant minerals or compounds that are reported to have antidepressant activities.

Cultivation

Plant is susceptible to frost damage. Can be started by seed or stem fragments. Prefers a light well-drained soil, in a sheltered, sun to light shade. Sow outdoors from May-July, for a crop through the summer month. Many garden outlets will have them in the spring. Take cuttings from the new plant and place them into the new soil and water them. In no time they will take root and become plants on their own

Comments

A study was conducted to grow purslane for the most optimal linolenic acid concentration. They recommend growing under low light intensity, day lengths were 14 to 16 hours and 60% of the total nitrogen was supplied in the form of ammonium.

Seed or plant sources.

http://www.fedcoseed.com
http://www.seedsofchange.com

Kudzu vine Pueraria lobata

Uses

Parts used-tuber, leaves, flowers
boiled, steamed, fried, flowers in tea

Healing

The root powered or in a tea is used for inflammation, hangovers, indigestion, respiratory disorders, headaches, sinus troubles, muscle stiffness, kidney troubles, skin rashes and reduces blood pressure. Kudzu starch can be extracted from the root and powdered to use a thickening agent in cooking. The vines can be used to make baskets and paper. Has been used as animal fodder.

Nutrition

Nutritional Value-high in vitamins C and A with a good amount of protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.

Cultivation

Llikes moist, humid weather with a long growing season. Propagation use crowns or cuttings. Can be grown in depleted soil. It is in the legume family and is a nitrogen-fixing plant. Can be grown as a cover crop and tilled under to replace nitrogen in the soil.

Comments

Can be seen growing wild all over the southeast. Has been found as far north as WA state. Very invasive and can grow a foot a day. Will cover houses, tractors, trees, and anything else it can grow on. Be careful where you plant it.

Lamb’s Quarters Chenopodium album
(also known as Pigweed)

Uses

Parts used: leaves, seeds

Healing

A poultice can be made for bug bites, sunstroke, rheumatic joints and swollen feet. It is used as a laxative, and to treat various symptoms attributable to nutritional deficiencies. Said to be sedative and has refrigerant properties. It is also said to kill parasites and worms.

Nutrition

Very high in vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus and is a good source of protein, trace minerals, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, iron, and fiber.The seeds are high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and niacin.

Cultivation

Sow seeds in spring space 6 to 12 inches a part. Likes a moderately fertile soil, full sun and moist soil.

Comments

The seeds should be soaked in water overnight and rinsed before use to remove any saponins. It will absorb pesticides from the soil and is prone to accumulate high amounts of nitrates. Contains high amounts of oxalic acid (like spinach) and should be feed in moderation.

Seed or plant sources.

http://www.richters.com/
http://www.organicseed.com/seedindex/ look under salad greens.

Winter Cress Barbarea vulgaris

Uses

Parts used: leaves, leaves, flowers, buds raw or cooked but better for you raw.

Healing

The leaves, when made as a poultice, assist in healing of wounds by protecting against infection and stimulating cell growth. A tea made from the leaves is a appetizer, diuretic and was used to counteract scurvy.

Nutrition

Vitamins A and C plus the minerals iron, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

Cultivation

Plant seeds in two-week intervals as soon as the ground can be worked. Cover seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. When planted late in the season can bolt rather fast. Like moist soil and cool growing conditions.

Comments

Has a cress-like flavor. Harvest flowers before opening and cook like broccoli.

Seed or plant sources.

http://www.richters.com/
http://www.gardenmedicinals.com/

Water cress Nasturtium officinale

Uses

Parts used: Leaves, stems

Healing

Acts as a gentle diuretic, good for the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract and by relieving fluid retention. Pureed and mixed with sea salt can be used externally for qout and arthritis. Helps to relieve indigestion and expel gas. Act as an expectorant with coughs and bronchititis

Nutrition

It is a good source for beta carotene, iron and calcium. It contains vitamins, C, E, B1 ,and B2 and bioflavonoids along with the minerals phosphorus, sodium, iodine, manganese, sulfur, zinc, copper, cobalt and vanadium

Cultivation

Quick and easily grown from seed. Usually 12 to 20 days. Sow 10 to 15 seeds per foot of row every 2 weeks as soon as the ground can be worked. Plants sown after May 31 may bolt fast. Planting can continue after Labor Day and on till Thanksgiving providing frost has not yet come to play. Can be grown in sun to shade. Likes it real moist and if possible by or in a pond.

Comments

It suggested in one book that you shouldn’t eat water cress raw that has been collected by a water source until you have the water tested. You can risk infection by pathogenic microorganisms.

Harvest before flowering to avoid more of a bite.

Seed or plant sources.

http://www.kitchengardenseed.com
http://www.outdoortuff.com

Wild Lettuce Hairy lettuce Lactuca hirsute
Prickly lettuce Lactuca scariola
Wild or tall lettuce Lactuca Canadensis

Parts used:

leaves, cooked or raw

Healing

Cooling and refreshing properties for calming over activity or over stimulation.

For treating coughs often in combination with liquorice. A mild diaphoretic and diuretic. May also be used as a mild pain reliever.

Nutrition

Vitamins A & C, potassium, iron, some folate, fiber, flavonoids and coumarins

Cultivation

It prefers a rich, loose, well-drained soil, but can grow almost anywhere with frequent watering. Can be sown thickly in rows and thinning to 18 inches apart

Comments

Lactuca virosa is called opium lettuce. It is said to have slight narcotic properties in the milky sap. Some sources say it’s true while some dispute the fact.

Seed or plant sources.

Seeds: http://www.ethnobotanicals.com/PureLandCatalogHL.html

Wild Mustard Brassia nigra (Black Mustard);
Brassia rapa (Field or Wild mustard)
Sisymbrium officianle (Hedge Mustard)

Uses

Parts used: leaves, seeds, seed pod and flowers.

Healing

Stimulates appetite and aids in digestion. Stimulates circulation aids in chest congestion, toothache, headache, a poultice made from the seeds helps to relieve sprains and rheumatism (if left on too long can cause irritation). Has heating characteristics.

Nutrition

Contains vitamins A, C, B1, and B2 . Has lots of calcium, potassium and magnesium which helps to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Also has isothiocyanates, beta carotene and fiber, good sources for helping to prevent cancer. The flower buds are a good source of protein.

Cultivation

Prefers full sun and well drained soil. The plants are annual and should be planted in early spring or for mild winters late fall. Seeds can be started between two pieces of wet cloth. Careful with this plant as it can spread quickly and take over an area.

Comments

The leaves are edible when they first appear. On some species the older leaves can be bitter while others are good all season long. Use the seeds to make mustard.

Seed or plant sources.

http://www.gardenmedicinals.com

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