Wild edible plants grow by themselves. You don’t need to domesticate nor cultivate them. Chances are, you may find these plants growing in your lawn or yard. But which wild edible plants can you eat? Which ones are nutritious and beneficial to your body?
9 Common Wild Edible Plants
Here’s a list of the nine most popular wild edible plants that you can add to your raw food diet. These plants are easy to recognize, and you can get them anywhere. A great way to incorporate wild edible plants into your diet is by adding them to your salads and juices.
1. Wild Strawberries
Wild strawberries belong to the Rose family, just like the cultivated strawberries that we know. What differentiates wild strawberries from grown strawberries is their small size. The botanical name for wild berries is Fragaria vesca. These strawberries contain high amounts of fiber and vitamins A, C, and K.
Wild strawberries are a good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, and calcium. They also play a role in preventing cancer, controlling diabetes, and lowering blood pressure.
Dandelions grow in almost all parts of the world. This wild plant has numerous medicinal properties. For many years, dandelions have been used to treat health conditions such as acne, cancer, and liver diseases. The leaves of this plant contain a high vitamin A and C content.
Dandelions also have a good supply of iron and calcium. The leaves are a bit bitter, but you can add them to salads to alleviate the bitterness. As for the flowers, try infusing them into your tea to get the benefits this wild plant has to offer.
Lambsquarters, also known as wild spinach or pigweed, contains a fair amount of minerals and vitamins. You may be surprised to learn that most parts of this wild plant are edible. The flowers, leaves, stems, even the seeds are edible.
Lambsquarters is an excellent source of iron, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. This plant also contains high levels of fiber and proteins. Toss a handful of lambsquarters into your vegetable salad, juice, or smoothies and enjoy.
You can’t talk about popular wild edible plants and fail to mention nettles. Even though it stings, this edible weed is a favorite for many. Nettles are an ingredient in many traditional medicines. This plant helps treat inflammations, hay fever, and burn wounds.
Nettles are rich in vitamins like vitamin A, C, and K and minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. They are also packed with essential amino acids, beta-carotene, and other pigments. Try adding nettles into your green salad, or use them to make juices. The stinging disappears once you make the juice.
You can find clovers pretty much anywhere, even on your lawn. This edible plant contains high amounts of proteins, and it helps treat many diseases, including osteoporosis, cancer, and skin problems. There are plenty of ways to eat clovers. You can consume them raw, add them to your salads or juice them. You can also ground them to flour and add a spoonful to your tea.
6. Garlic Mustards
Although unrelated to garlic, the leaves of garlic mustard give off a garlic taste and smell when crushed. The edible parts of this plant include leaves, flowers, stems, seeds, and roots. It’s best to eat this plant when young. Many people consider garlic mustard an antiseptic herb that helps treat colds, sores, and bruises. A great way to use this edible plant is in salads and pesto.
Another wild plant that grows everywhere is the daisy. This edible weed is famous for its medicinal properties. Many people drink daisy tea to treat coughs, inflammations, and bronchitis. You can also apply this edible plant directly to your skin to promote wound healing.
Wild daisy is also a natural detoxifier. It helps purify the blood and remove toxins from the body. You can consume the leaves and flowers as vegetables. For the leaves, try adding them to your favorite salad or in your tea.
8. Greater Plantains
The leaves of greater plantain are used to make herbal medicine. This plant plays a role in reducing swelling and treating colds and bronchitis. The leaves have a slightly bitter taste, although you can dry them then add them to your tea. It’s best to consume the leaves of this plant when still young and tender.
9. Wild Grasses
One interesting fact is that there are over 400 types of grasses, although the edible one that most of us know is wheatgrass. Many people consider wheatgrass a superfood. This edible plant contains 70% chlorophyll that aids in red blood cells production.
Wheatgrass is a rich source of almost all vitamins and minerals. It is high in iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, among other substances. Use this edible plant to make juice and smoothies.
The Bottom Line
Eating wild edible plants reduces the financial burden of buying organic products while offering the same health benefits found in many foods. Whenever you see any of these nine edible plants, get out and get your hands dirty. You can use them to make juices and salads or add them to your morning tea.