7 Medicinal Weeds Growing in Your Yard

We need to become more self-reliant in our use of natural medicines. That’s why I’ve started an exciting new project to help people learn more about growing or foraging for wild medicines and food: FoodHouseProject.com. To help get you started, here are some of my favorite wild medicines growing in most peoples’ yards or gardens.

Spring salad with chickweed, bedstraw, young yarrow leaves and other wild edible plants, top view


Often used by herbalists for stomach ailments or to improve bowel regularity, chickweed is also rich in vitamin C and found in many peoples’ lawns. It can be eaten fresh in salads or made into a tincture by packing plentiful amounts of the herb into an alcohol like vodka and then steeped in a dark, cool place for 2 weeks.


Used to treat urinary tract infections and promote kidney health, cleavers can often be found in lawns or gardens. The herb can be dried upside down and then made into tea using a teaspoon of the dried plant matter in a cup of boiled water and steeped for at least 10 to 15 minutes, strained and drunk.


You won’t have trouble identifying dandelion but you may not be aware that this much-hated weed is also a great liver regenerator, fat burner, blood sugar balancer, kidney and liver support, and anti-cancer powerhouse. According to research published in the medical journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, cancer cells began to die off after 48 hours of exposure to dandelion extract. The study also found that dandelion was effective on cancer cells that were resistant to chemotherapy. The young leaves can be eaten raw or sautéed like spinach. The flowers can be added to salads, and the roots can be roasted, ground and then steeped in water like coffee.


You won’t find the soft, downy leaves of this plant in every lawn but it is worth grabbing when you do. That’s because it is an amazingly-medicinal plant that can help with a host of breathing issues, including: allergies, asthma, respiratory infections and even tuberculosis. It is easiest to spot in lawns that haven’t been cut for a while since mullein will grow to around 5 feet tall and yields a seed head of yellow flowers. Research in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that mullein is rich in compounds that seem to be particularly effective at the bacteria implicated in the lung disease tuberculosis. Hang the plant upside down. Once dried, break up the leaves and add to a glass jar with a lid. Use one to 2 teaspoons of the herb per cup of boiled water. Let steep for 10 to 15 minutes then strain and drink up to 3 cups daily.


Most known for their ability to alleviate allergies and build strong bones thanks to their rich supply of nutrients like calcium, nettles may also be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. Research in the journal Neuroscience Letters found that nettles reduced high blood sugar levels, reduced the symptom of excessive thirst, improved body weight, regulated insulin levels, reduced the pain of neuropathy, and even improved memory and cognition in those with the disease. Pick while wearing gloves then add the leaves to soups or stews for a delicious and medicinal addition to your meals.

Red Clover

If you ever scoured your lawn as a child in search of 4-leaf clover, you’re probably already familiar with this plant. Although most have three leaves, there are occasional 4-leaved ones to be found. If you suffer from hot flashes or osteoporosis you’ll agree that this plant is lucky. That’s because red clover can sometimes help restore low estrogen levels linked to hot flashes. The herb contains natural estrogenic substances known as isoflavones that can help boost low levels of estrogen in the body. Additionally, research published in the medical journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that formononetin found in red clover was able to help prevent the development of osteoporosis in animals. A typical dose is 2 to 3 cups of red clover tea daily.


The leaves, stems and flowers of this plant make an effective remedy for cleansing the kidneys, thereby helping to regulate high blood pressure which is actually managed largely by the kidneys. Yarrow is also helpful for bringing down high fevers. Many herbalists recommend the herb to restore menstruation when it is absent. Usually one teaspoon of the dried herb or two of the fresh are steeped in a cup of boiled water to make a tea, then strained and drunk up to 3 cups daily.

Always make sure you’ve found the correct herb. Work with a qualified herbalist if you are unsure. Consult your physician prior to using these herbs if you have a health condition. Discontinue use after 3 weeks.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, founder of Scent-sational Wellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking. Follow her work.



lynda leigh
lynda leigh8 days ago

Always make sure you’ve found the correct herb.

Paulo R
Paulo Reeson22 days ago


Leo C
Leo C27 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

Ben O
Ben Oscarsito28 days ago

Springtime in Sweden, and I miss the 2 Acres organic garden I once had...

Pietro M
Pietro Maiorana28 days ago

Se i prodotti della natura crescono in terreni puliti fanno bene il doppio.
Non inquiniamo!!

Marija M
Marija Mohoric29 days ago

Tks very much for sharing.

Leo C
Leo C29 days ago

thank you for sharing!

Renata Kovacs
Renata Kovacs29 days ago

Thanks for sharing,

Fran F
Fran F29 days ago

Good to know, thanks.

danii p
danii p29 days ago