Just returned from a lovely pre-sunset walk in the nearby park where protected wetlands are blooming with abundant cattails. As a kid on family road trips I remember times my mom would randomly pull the car to the shoulder, pop out with scissors in hand and collect cattails, pussywillows, and any other variety of natural plants that she would later convert into artwork. What she didn’t know, and I am only now learning, is how edible her collections were!
This awareness came to me after reading a blog by Nicole Apelian, PhD. She is an herbalist, survival skills instructor, anthropologist and research biologist. She survived in the remote wilderness for 57 days straight with only a hunting knife and the wild foods and medicines Nature generously provided. I ordered her book (image below) and found a plethora of edible and medicinal information about the most common plants and weeds so often seen growing in sidewalk cracks, fields, and roadsides – the very ones that are so often destroyed by herbicides. It’s a handy, informative guide which I highly recommend.
Cattails, as one small example, are edible, nutritious, and medicinal! According to Nicole’s book, they are useful for addressing:
* skin conditions
* insect bites
* bleeding issues
She also provides contraindications in her book about which wild foods would not be advised for people with certain health conditions or who are pregnant.
After my walk I took a quick glance online and found another lovely “wise woman” offering cooking advice with wild foraged plants, Alexis Nikole. She packs a lot of information in one little video, and she’s very entertaining to watch and learn from. Below are a couple of her links for your enjoyment and plant education:
How To Cook With The Plants And Flowers From Your Yard
There are many wonderful food-foraging resources out there to choose from and I have only presented a couple here to get you started on your journey.
My long-time dream has been that someone(s) would find a way to make this information easily accessible to the homeless, and folks struggling to make ends meet who are trying to feed their family nutritious food. Nature is abundant with food and medicine, everything we need is just outside our door or a short distance away, especially here in the states.
Medicine doesn’t just come from a pharmacy. Plants ARE the sources of most modern medicine that have then been rearranged in a lab, genetically altered and patented in order to make money. However, our medicine wo/men and shaman ancestors knew how to synthesize and make available the endless, abundant gifts this planet provides. We have only to become respectfully reaquainted with our plant family once again and reclaim our indigenous (Earthling) heritage.
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Much love and appreciation!