The Healing Weeds in Your Yard

Many of the lawn-and-garden weeds that people kill with toxic herbicides actually contain health-giving properties and vital nutrients often missing from foods grown in depleted soil.

A weedy lawn is often a goldmine of healing and health! Find out what four of the most common weeds growing in your yard may offer you:

Chickweed: Rich in nutrients, chickweed makes a great addition to the salad bowl, nourishing to the lymph and glandular systems, and offering healing for those with cysts, fevers, and inflammations. A good neutralizer for those with over-acid systems, and beneficial for those with yeast overgrowth and fatty deposits.

Dandelion: All parts, from root to flower, are beneficial. Good for the liver, urinary tract, and female reproductive system, dandelion has cancer- and virus-fighting properties, and is a great beautifier. Dandelion is also beneficial for insomnia, arthritis, hypoglycemia and diabetes. Sap from a cut stem may be used to treat blemishes, corns, stings, warts and other skin problems.

Nettle: Yes, they can sting you but if you gather them carefully and tincture or cook them, nettles are a fabulous source of calcium–a must to prevent osteoporosis–and a great ally for regrowing thinning hair. They are a tonic for the kidneys and adrenals (if you’ve been stressed or fatigued, nettle is the ally for you) and for the respiratory system, offering healing for asthmatics and those with other bronchial and lung complaints.

Red Clover: Herbalist Susun Weed says red clover offers menopausal women many of the benefits of soy without any of the drawbacks. It is one ingredient of traditional spring tonics to purify and revitalize the entire system, high in calcium and compounds that are useful in treating bronchitis and other respiratory conditions.

CAUTION: Before you eat your weeds, be sure that you’ve picked them in an area free of animal waste, pollution from motor vehicles, and chemical herbicide or pesticide treatments.

Please consult a health professional before treating health conditions with herbs. We are not recommending that you discontinue conventional medical practices.

By the Care2 Staff, with thanks to Wise Woman Herbalist Susun Weed.


Kath R.
Kath P6 years ago

You can quite easily assemble a very delicious salad simply by wandering around in a park. Make sure to wash thoroughly though before eating ;-)

Alice G.
Alice G.7 years ago

One caution with chickweed is that it has a few poisonous look-alikes, the main one being scarlet pimpernel. The best way to tell the two apart is that true chickweed has white flowers, while scarlet pimpernel has orange-colored flowers with five petals.

You can find a lot more information on edible weeds, wild fruit, and other wild edibles on a Facebook group called Wild Green Smoothies. There are photos and descriptions of different plants (with their health benefits) and even video tutorials. Although the group was originally created for people who wanted to use more wild greens and fruit in their green smoothies, you do not have to drink green smoothies to join. Link:

Genevieve H.
Genevieve H9 years ago

Sorry to add my grain of salt yet again!
I was looking for the translation of chickweed into Japanese (because this is where I live) and found out that in Japan it is picked and roasted, then mixed with salt and ground to be used as a toothpaste. Something to try definitely.

Genevieve H.
Genevieve H9 years ago

PS: If you want tender dandelion leaves all year round, a good and easy way is to cover them with cut grass/weeds (since you don't use herbicides if you're reading this article) and they grow very tender and almost white in color and are great in salads.

Genevieve H.
Genevieve H9 years ago

I think it's actually the seeds of red clover, which look like small beans, which contain the phytoestrogens used in menopausal medicines such as Promensis. I wonder how easy it would be to collect them yourself! They seem pretty small.
Nettle tea is a good blood cleanser.
Thanks for a useful article.

Vito Lonardo
Vito Lonardo9 years ago

To Valerie N.
I live in Las Vegas and with some dendiline that I planted we have one grea salad in the spring. I do not know where you live but you can plant some of the dendiline and have a feast in the spring making the fresh salad
plant some seeds. but the first year do not arvest any letthem have a grest roots sistem
when you harvest then for fresh salad just pick then in the spring when they are fresh and sweet
Vito Las Vegas

Carol Bean
Carol B9 years ago

A perfect addition to this neat and informative article would have been pictures of the weeds involved.. However, thanks to the readers for the book references..

Paula L.
Paula L9 years ago

Glad to see this article. And thanks to Beth H. for the suggestion of the book, "Stalking the Wild Asparagus". My family thought I was crazy when I told them a couple of years back that Dandelions were completely safe to eat including the flower. Which makes a great tea. I put the leaves in my salads. My yard is a haven for weeds. It grows every seed and spore that comes it's way. I would love to know how many more I can surprize my family with.

Mama Hill
Mama Hill9 years ago

Thank You SO much!! for great ideas and book suggestions...

Valerie N.
Valerie N9 years ago

I'm interested in using dandelion and nettle. How do I prepare them for ingestion?