It is the season of “weeds”. Not just dandelions, but violets*, purple dead nettle, and cleavers. What should you do with your weeds? Well you should eat them of course!** Nature shows us the way and the timing. When the weeds arrive, spring is here and so is the time to lighten up, and release from our body what harms us. Time to “detox”.
Funny that detoxing has gotten a bad rap of late and labeled as unnecessary, not real, or woo-woo. However, there is no argument that our environment, including our food and water, is increasingly filled with substances that are poisonous and carcinogenic. As we ingest these substances the body tries to eliminate or mitigate the harm the best it can in a variety of ways. Skin irritations like eczema and rosacea are one way our bodies release allergens and toxins. When we’re unable to properly eliminate toxins via our skin and other elimination channels, they are deposited throughout the body. Sometimes in a desperate attempt to protect us the body will even grow tumors around toxins to seal them off from the rest of the system. Also, fatty deposits are magnetized toward heavy metals and other toxins. Making it harder to lose weight. Many medical professionals now believe the increased prevalence of autoimmune diseases are directly linked to our increasingly toxic environment. Scientific research is starting to back up this theory. A recent study concluded that 70 percent, of autoimmune disorders are due to environmental factors, including toxic chemicals, dietary components, gut dysbiosis (leaky gut), and infections. Only 30 percent is genetics! Heavy metals, pesticides, mold and other mycotoxins seem to be the main culprits.
In two main ways. Supporting our lymphatic system and protecting us from free radicals.
Dandelions, red dead nettle, cleavers, violets and most wild edibles are very high in vitamin c. Vitamin c is a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune booster. It binds viral waste matter in the bloodstream and escorts it out of the body. It cleans up oxidative stress caused by heavy metal toxicity. Its vital to tissue repair and adrenal function. It also helps prevent high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.
In addition, these edibles have powerful lymph stimulating properties. Our lymphatic system filters out toxins, waste, and unwanted materials from our system.
Traditionally violet flowers and leaves were considered blood purifiers and used as such. Renowned herbalist Matthew Wood recommends violet for “lymphatic stagnation and swollen glands”. As for cleavers they are the best well known lymphatic herb. They are best used in salads or juices as heat destroys some of their medicinal properties.
Adding the weeds popping up in your environs to soups, salad, smoothies and sautés will help protect you from the onslaught of toxin exposure. Perhaps it is one of their reason de ‘etre. We have been designed to beautifully integrate with nature. Nature is our helper and healer. Why not accept the abundance nature is offering you this spring and say yes to her medicine and healing properties?
Please send me a picture of you eating the weeds and I’ll add it to the Fiery Maple Facebook page, and you’ll be eligible to win a complimentary Reflexology session.
* Please do not munch on the potted African Violet on your windowsill, this is an entirely different plant and is poisonous. I’m just getting started and can’t afford to be sued.
**I promise I am not trying to insult your intelligence, but these are wild times and I must include a disclaimer: DO NOT EAT ANY WEED OR FLOWER THAT HAS BEEN SPRAYED WITH PESTICIDES. OR FROM A LAWN THAT HAS BEEN SPRAYED WITH PESTICIDES WITHIN THE LAST 2 YEARS.