What Are Wild Herbs?
Let’s talk about wild herbs! For starters, let’s clarify wild vs. domestic herbs. A wild herb is a flower, plant, root, or berry that grows naturally in the world. Now you must be thinking “Bioterra, don’t all plants and vegetables grow in the wild?” Yes, originally everything grew in the wild but some plants have been domesticated and farmed for thousands of years. A great example of this is corn. You have to try REALLY hard to find wild corn. We’re talking about the lone wolves, the sole survivors, the ones that got away! There are a lot of herbs that grow in the wild that can be very beneficial to our health, and conveniently enough, these are made available for you to grow at home!
There are many different types of plants out there, some you might recognize and some you won’t. Scientists clump these plants into “families” Which help distinguish between the species. Below I will list a few families and examples:
- Lily Family: Wild onions, Garlic, Leeks, and Lillies.
- Rose Family: Silverweed, Hawthorn, wild roses, and Wild Strawberries.
- Mustard Family: Pennycress, Watercress, and Shepard’s purse.
- Mint Family: Lemon Balm, Spearmint, and Self-heal.
Lemon balm is a very fragrant plant that gives out the scent of lemon when its leaves are crushed. As you can imagine this plant can have various uses. Lemon balm is indigenous to eastern Europe, Iran, and central Asia before it was traded into the Americas and eventually around the world. This wild herb provides a lot of health benefits. For example, Lemon balm protects your heart from heart disease and helps promote a healthy liver. It is also very anti-bacterial therefore lemon balm tea can benefit greatly if you’re under the influence of a cold or the flu.
- Uses: You can use it as a tea ingredient, taste enhancer for food dishes, and in fruit smoothies.
Christmas trees! Leave it to humans to use such a beneficial plant as home decor. In all seriousness, pine tree needles actually smell and taste great. Pine needles have 5 times more vitamin C than a lemon and when pine needles are brewed, they release their signature pine aroma and work as an air freshener! If you drink it as a tea, pine needle tea can relieve chest congestion and can repair a sore throat.
- Uses: Air freshener, brewed into tea, can be used to enhance steak flavor.
Regularly considered the “miracle plant” there is seemingly nothing aloe vera can’t do. For starters when a leaf is cut from the aloe vera it simply just grows back, healing itself. This means you only need 1 plant growing at home because it will keep regenerating itself. It has a lot of amino acids and antibiotics which make it very good if ingested. It is great for skin and is used to fight varicose veins. Aloe vera truly can affect the human body in any way possible. This is why we consider it the “miracle plant.” Just to list a few ways you can use aloe:
- heals sunburn,
- helps with acne
- stretch marks
- helps with acid reflux
- helps dry skin
- works as a natural detox
Uses: You can cut off a leaf and scrape out the gel, this is the money. You can add the gel to drinks, smoothies, apply it to the skin and just eat it raw.
Mulberries are very delicious and grow wild all around the united states. Everyone encounters these in 1 way or another. Me personally, there was a mulberry tree on my way home from school. I would pick a few of these on a hot day and eat then periodically as I walked home. They are typically more bitter than regular raspberries but have the same overall taste. Eating Mulberries can promote good blood sugar levels, and can bulk up your immune system. You can also crush them up and rub them on a rash believe it or not.
- Uses: They’re berries! put them in a smoothie, wild berry smoothie yum! you can also make them into a jam or jelly.