Sagittaria (Sagittaria platyphylla)

Latin Name: Sagittaria platyphylla

Origin: Native from USA to Panama

Habitat: Shallow water and muddy or sandy shores. Streams, lakes, and tidal areas from sea level to 700 metres.

Source: Australian Plant Image Index  Image by: Fagg, M.

Source: Australian Plant Image Index
Image by: Fagg, M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description: Perennial aquatic to about 1.2 m high with tubers commonly formed. Submerged leaves translucent, strap-like, to 50 cm long. Emergent leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, blade to 28 cm long and to 10 cm wide on a long stalk. Fruit a cluster (head) 0.5–1.5 cm across, consisting of 1-seeded segments, each segment flattened, winged, 1.5–3 mm long…. source: Weeds Australia

Emergent rhizomatous aquatic perennial; root tubers commonly formed, to 4 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. source: Plant NET Flora Online

Sagittaria platyphylla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sagittaria (Sagittaria platyphylla) is an emergent aquatic perennial to 1.2 m tall, rooted in the swamp floor and reproducing by seeds, rhizomes (underground stems) and tubers. The stems are triangular in cross-section. The submerged leaves are translucent and strap-like, to 50 cm long. The emergent leaves (those rising out of the water) are lance-shaped to 28 cm long and 10 cm wide, on a long stalk. … source: Weeds in Australia

Physical Characteristics: Perennial aquatic to about 1.2 m high with tubers commonly formed. Submerged leaves translucent, strap-like, to 50 cm long. Emergent leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, blade to 28 cm long and to 10 cm wide on a long stalk. Fruit a cluster (head) 0.5–1.5 cm across, consisting of 1-seeded segments, each segment flattened, winged, 1.5–3 mm long.
Flowers: Inflorescence on a leafless stalk, always below leaf height, with 2–12 whorls of fls. Flowers with 3 white petals and 3 sepals, male flowers c. 3 cm wide and with reflexed sepals. Flowers mainly spring to autumn, depending on latitude.
The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Notes: Now widespread and common in N Victoria, SW NSW and around Sydney, Newcastle and SE Qld. Becoming increasingly common in irrigation supply channels, drains, shallow creeks and wetlands. Shade tolerant. Forms dense patches, obstructing water flow and producing luxuriant growth in enriched conditions. Competes vigorously with native waterplants.

Edibility Rating out of 5: 1

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 0

Edible Uses: Root – cooked. Contains 4 – 7% protein. Young shoots – cooked.

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Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

Latin Name: Plantago lanceolata

Description: A herb which keeps growing from year to year. It has a well developed taproot. The leaves have stalks. The leaves are 2.5-30 cm long. They are sword shaped and taper to the tip. They can have teeth along the edge. The leaves have 3-7 easy to see veins running along them. The leaves have soft slender hairs. The flower stalks do not have leaves. The flower stalk is usually longer than the leaves. The flower stalk is usually deeply furrowed. The flowers are yellowish.

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Notes: Considered to be an indicator of agriculture in pollen diagrams, P. lanceolata has been found in western Norway from the Early Neolithic onwards. Something that is considered to be an indicator of grazing in that area.

Edible Uses: Young leaves – raw or cooked. They are rather bitter and very tedious to prepare, the fibrous strands are best removed prior to eating. The very young leaves are somewhat better and are less fibrous. Seed – cooked. Used like sagod. The seed can be ground into a powder and added to flours when making bread, cakes or whatever.

Plantago lanceolata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medicinal Uses:  Antibacterial; Antidote; Astringent; Demulcent; Expectorant; Haemostatic; Laxative; Ophthalmic; Poultice.

Medicinal Information: Ribwort plantain is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly staunches blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. The leaves contain mucilage, tannin and silic acid. An extract of them has antibacterial properties. They have a bitter flavour and are astringent, demulcent, mildly expectorant, haemostatic and ophthalmic. Internally, they are used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhoea, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, asthma and hay fever. They are used externally in treating skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings etc. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, swellings etc. The root is a remedy for the bite of rattlesnakes, it is used in equal portions with Marrubium vulgare. The seeds are used in the treatment of parasitic worms. Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells up in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes. Sometimes the seed husks are used without the seeds. A distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion.

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Other Uses:  Dye; Fibre; Starch.

A good fibre is obtained from the leaves, it is said to be suitable for textiles. A mucilage obtained by macerating the seed in hot water used as a fabric stiffener. Gold and brown dyes are obtained from the whole plant.

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Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Latin Name: Trifolium pratense

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Description: A herb. It keeps growing from year to year. It grows up to 40 cm high. The stems are hairy. It has a single taproot. The leaves have 3 leaflets. The leaflets are smooth and oval. They have a pale V shaped mark. The flowers are purplish-mauve of pink. They are rounded. The pods have 1 seed.

Notes: It is the national flower of Denmark and the state flower of Vermont. Clovers occasionally have leaves with four leaflets, instead of the usual three. These four-leaf clovers, like other rarities, are considered lucky. Clovers can also have five, six, or more leaves, but these are rarer. The record for most leaves is 56, set on 10 May 2009. This beat the 21-leaf clover, a record set in June 2008 by the same man, who had also held the prior record Guinness World Record of 18.
A common idiom is “to be (live) in clover”, meaning to live a carefree life of ease, comfort, or prosperity. This originally referred to the fact that clover is fattening to cattle.

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Edibility Rating out of 5: 3

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 3

Edible Uses: Leaves and young flowering heads – raw or cooked. The young leaves are harvested before the plant comes into flower, and are used in salads, soups etc, or their own they can be used as a vegetable, cooked like spinach.The leaves are best cooked but can be dried, powdered and sprinkled on foods such as boiled rice. The leaves contain 81% water, 4% protein, 0.7% fat, 2.6% fibre and 2% ash. The seed can be sprouted and used in salads. A crisp texture and more robust flavour than alfalfa (Medicago sativa). The seeds are reported as containing trypsin inhibitors. These can interfere with certain enzymes that help in the digestion of proteins, but are normally destroyed if the seed is sprouted first. Flowers and seed pods – dried, ground into a powder and used as a flour. The young flowers can also be eaten raw in salads. Root – cooked. A delicate sweet herb tea is made from the fresh or dried flowers. The dried leaves impart a vanilla flavour to cakes etc.

Warnings: Diseased clover, even if no symptoms of disease are visible, can contain toxic alkaloids.

Medicinal Uses: Alterative; Antipsoriatic; Antiscrophulatic; Antispasmodic; Aperient; Cancer; Detergent; Diuretic; Expectorant; Miscellany; Sedative; Skin; Tonic.

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Medicinal Information: Red clover is safe and effective herb with a long history of medicinal usage. It is commonly used to treat skin conditions, normally in combination with other purifying herbs such as Arctium lappa and Rumex crispus. It is a folk remedy for cancer of the breast, a concentrated decoction being applied to the site of the tumour in order to encourage it to grow outwards and clear the body. Flavonoids in the flowers and leaves are oestrogenic and may be of benefit in the treatment of menopausal complaints. The flowering heads are alterative, antiscrofulous, antispasmodic, aperient, detergent, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and tonic. It has also shown anticancer activity, poultices of the herb have been used as local applications to cancerous growths. Internally, the plant is used in the treatment of skin complaints (especially eczema and psoriasis), cancers of the breast, ovaries and lymphatic system, chronic degenerative diseases, gout, whooping cough and dry coughs. The plant is normally harvested for use as it comes into flower and some reports say that only the flowers are used. The toxic indolizidine alkaloid ‘slaframine’ is often found in diseased clover (even if the clover shows no external symptoms of disease). This alkaloid is being studied for its antidiabetic and anti-AIDS activity.

Other Uses: Dye; Green manure; Miscellany; Soil reclamation.

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. The plant makes a good green manure, it is useful for over-wintering, especially in a mixture with Lolium perenne. Deep rooting, it produces a good bulk. It is a host to ‘clover rot’ however, so should not be used too frequently. It can be undersown with cereals though it may be too vigorous. It is also grown with grass mixtures for land reclamation, it has good nitrogen fixing properties.

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Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Latin Name: Portulaca oleracea

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Description: A spreading branched herb. It lies flat on the ground. It grows each year from seed. The plants spread 10 to 50 cm wide. The stems are purplish. The leaves are fleshy, flat and shaped like a wedge at the base. They are 1.5 to 2.5 cm long and 0.3-1 cm wide. The flowers are yellow and occur in a few rounded heads. They are 0.8-1.5 cm across. They bloom about the middle of the day. The capsules are 0.5 cm long and oval. The seeds are black and shiny.

Notes: Widely used in East Mediterranean countries, archaeobotanical finds are common at many prehistoric sites. In historic contexts, seeds have been retrieved from a protogeometric layer in Kastanas, as well as from the Samian Heraion dating to seventh century B.C. In the fourth century B.C., Theophrastus names purslane, andrákhne (ἀνδράχνη), as one of the several summer pot herbs that must be sown in April. As portulaca it figures in the long list of comestibles enjoyed by the Milanese given by Bonvesin de la Riva in his “Marvels of Milan” (1288).
In antiquity, its healing properties were thought so reliable that Pliny advised wearing the plant as an amulet to expel all evil.
A common plant in parts of India, purslane is known as Sanhti, Punarva, or Kulfa.

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Edibility Rating out of 5: 4

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 3

Edible Uses: Leaves and stems – raw or cooked. The young leaves are a very acceptable addition to salads, their mucilaginous quality also making them a good substitute for okra as a thickener in soups. Older leaves are used as a potherb and have a somewhat sour, spicy and salty taste. Purslane is eaten throughout much of Europe, the middle east, Asia, and Mexico. The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Australian Aborigines use the seeds to make seedcakes. Greeks, who call it andrakla (αντράκλα) or glystrida (γλυστρίδα), fry the leaves and the stems with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano, and olive oil, add it in salads, boil it or add to casseroled chicken. In Turkey, besides being used in salads and in baked pastries, it is cooked as a vegetable similar to spinach. In Albania it is called burdullak, and also is used as a vegetable similar to spinach, mostly simmered and served in olive oil dressing, or mixed with other ingredients as a filling for dough layers of byrek. In the south of Portugal (Alentejo), “baldroegas” are used as a soup ingredient. Because of its high water content Purslane cooks down quite a bit. Pick more than you think you will need. Makes a quick cold soup in hot weather by cooking and blending together with other vegetables.The leaves are a source of omega-3 fatty acids and can be dried for later use. The leaves contain per 100g ZMB. 245 – 296 calories, 17.6 – 34.5g protein, 2.4 – 5.3g fat, 35.5 – 63.2g carbohydrate, 8.5 – 14.6g fibre, 15.9 – 24.7g ash, 898 – 2078mg calcium, 320 – 774mg phosphorus, 11.2 – 46.7mg iron, 55mg sodium, 505 – 3120mg potassium, 10560 – 20000ug B-carotene equivalent, 0.23 – 0.48mg thiamine, 1.12 – 1.6mg riboflavin, 5.58 – 6.72mg niacin and 168 – 333mg ascorbic acid. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed can be ground into a powder and mixed with cereals for use in gruels, bread, pancakes etc. The seed is rather small and fiddly to utilize. In arid areas of Australia the plants grow quite large and can produce 10, 000 seeds per plant, a person can harvest several pounds of seed in a day. The seeding plants are uprooted and placed in a pile on sheets or something similar, in a few days the seeds are shed and can be collected from the sheet. The seed contains (per 100g ZMB) 21g protein, 18.9g fat 3.4g ash. Fatty acids of the seeds are 10.9% palmitic, 3.7% stearic, 1.3% behenic, 28.7% oleic, 38.9% linoleic and 9.9% linolenic. The ash of burnt plants is used as a salt substitute.

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Medicinal Uses: Antiscorbutic; Depurative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Skin; Tonic; Vermifuge.

Medicinal Information: The plant is antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. The leaves are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is thought to be important in preventing heart attacks and strengthening the immune system. The fresh juice is used in the treatment of strangury, coughs, sores etc. The leaves are poulticed and applied to burns, both they and the plant juice are particularly effective in the treatment of skin diseases and insect stings. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of stomach aches and headaches. The leaf juice is applied to earaches, it is also said to alleviate caterpillar stings. The leaves can be harvested at any time before the plant flowers, they are used fresh or dried. This remedy is not given to pregnant women or to patients with digestive problems. The seeds are tonic and vermifuge. They are prescribed for dyspepsia and opacities of the cornea.

Other Uses: As a companion plant, Purslane provides ground cover to create a humid microclimate for nearby plants, stabilizing ground moisture. Its deep roots bring up moisture and nutrients that those plants can use, and some, including corn, will “follow” purslane roots down through harder soil that they cannot penetrate on their own (ecological facilitation). It is known as a beneficial weed in places that do not already grow it as a crop in its own right.

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Prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola)

Latin Name: Lactuca serriola

Description: A herb. It grows 1-2 m high. It takes 2 years to complete its life-cyle. It has a well developed taproot. The leaves have deep lobes and are bluish-green with a whitish bloom. They have prickly edges. The lower leaves form a ring near the ground. They are large and the higher leaves are smaller. The leaves are 3-18 cm long. The flowering stem is stiff and 1.5 m high. The flowers are small and yellow. There are prickles on the midrib of the leaves. The spiny stems ooze milky sap when cut.

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Edibility Rating out of 5: 2

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 3

Edible Uses: Young leaves – raw or cooked. A bitter flavour. The young tender leaves are mild and make an excellent salad, but the whole plant becomes bitter as it gets older, especially when coming into flower. As a potherb it needs very little cooking. Large quantities can cause digestive upsets. Young shoots – cooked. Used as an asparagus substitute. An oil of pleasant flavour is obtained from the seed but must be refined before it is edible.

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Warnings: The plant accumulates lactucarium towards flowering which is mildly narcotic.

Medicinal Uses: Anodyne; Antipyretic; Diuretic; Homeopathy; Hypnotic; Narcotic; Sedative.

Medicinal Information: The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. This species does not contain as much lactucarium as L. virosa. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. The fixed oil from the seeds is said to possess antipyretic and hypnotic properties. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of chronic catarrh, coughs, swollen liver, flatulence and ailments of the urinary tract.

Other Uses: The seed contains 35.2% of a semi-drying oil. It is used in soap making, paints, varnishes etc.

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Potato weed (Galinsoga parviflora)

Latin Name: Galinsoga parviflora

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Description: An annual herb. It grows to 75 cm high and has a spread of 50 cm. The stem is erect and much branched. The stem is rather weak. The leaves are oval and opposite. The leaves have leaf stalks are the leaves are toothed around the edge. The flowers are small and daisy like. They occur in small clusters and have white rays and a yellow disk. The flowers are produced in the axils of the upper leaves.

Edibility Rating out of 5: 2

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 1

Edible Uses: The leaves, stem and flowering shoots – raw or cooked and eaten as a potherb, or added to soups and stews. They can be dried and ground into a powder then used as a flavouring in soups etc. A bland but very acceptable food, it makes a fine salad either on its own or mixed with other leaves. The fresh juice can be mixed and drunk with tomato or vegetable juices.

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Warnings: The plant is considered to be poisonous to goats.

Medicinal Uses: Astringent; Stings.

Medicinal Information: When rubbed onto the body, the plant is useful in treating nettle stings. The juice of the plant is applied to treat wounds, It helps to coagulate the blood of fresh cuts and wounds.

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Petty spurge (Euphorbia peplus)

Latin Name: Euphorbia peplus

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Description: An annual herb, up to 30 cm tall. It often has 2 branches from the base. The leaves on the stem are alternate. The leaf blades are 1-2 cm long and up to 1 cm wide.

Edibility Rating out of 5: 0

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 4

Medicinal Information: The plant’s sap is toxic to rapidly-replicating human tissue, and has long been used as a traditional remedy for common skin lesions, including cancer. The active ingredient in the sap is a diterpene ester called ingenol mebutate. A pharmaceutical-grade ingenol mebutate gel has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of actinic keratosis.

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Other Uses: 

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Perennial thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Latin Name: Cirsium vulgare

Description: The young plant develops as a ring of leaves near the ground. The mature plant can be 1.5 m tall. It has a well developed taproot. The stems have wings along them. The stem leaves do not have stalks and are 20-25 cm long. The leaves are lobed and the lobes are divided into 4 or 5 divisions which are often rotated. The edges of the leaves are spiny. The flower head is at the top of the plant and is spiny. Often there are 3 or 4 heads. They are purple.

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Notes: The flowers are a rich nectar source used by numerous pollinating insects, including Honey bees, Wool-carder bees, and many butterflies.

Edibility Rating out of 5: 2

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 1

Cirsium vulgare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edible Uses: Root, harvested before the plant flowers, cooked. A taste somewhat like a Jerusalem artichoke, but not as nice. A rather bland flavour, the root is best used mixed with other vegetables. The root can be dried and stored for later use. The root is rich in inulin, a starch that cannot be digested by humans. This starch thus passes straight through the digestive system and, in some people, ferments to produce flatulence. Young flower stems, harvested before the plant flowers – cooked and used as a vegetable. Young leaves can be soaked overnight in salt water and then cooked and eaten or used in salads. The taste is rather bland but the prickles need to be removed from the leaves before the leaves can be eaten – not only is this a rather fiddly operation but very little edible matter remains. Flower buds – cooked. Used like globe artichokes, but smaller and even more fiddly. The dried flowers are a rennet substitute for curdling plant milks. Seed – occasionally eaten roasted.

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Warnings: Be carefull of the spikes when harvesting

Medicinal Uses: Antihaemorrhoidal; Antirheumatic; Poultice

Medicinal Information: The roots have been used as a poultice and a decoction of the plant used as a poultice on sore jaws. A hot infusion of the whole plant has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. A decoction of the whole plant has been used both internally and externally to treat bleeding piles.

Other Uses: Oil; Paper; Tinder.

Other Information: A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used in making paper. The fibre is about 0.9mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped off. The fibres are cooked with lye for two hours and then put in a ball mill for 3 hours. The resulting paper is a light brown tan. The seed of all species of thistles yields a good oil by expression. No details of potential yields etc are given. The down makes an excellent tinder that is easily lit by a spark from a flint.

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Paddy’s lucerne (Sida rhombifolia)

Latin Name: Sida rhombifolia

Description: A herb or small shrub. It grows 1-1.5 m tall. It is very hairy. It has many branches. The leaf stalk is 3-5 mm long. The leaf blade is sword shaped and 2.2-4.5 cm long by 0.6-2 cm wide. The flowers occur singly in the axils of leaves. They are yellow and about 1 cm across. The fruit is half round and 6-7 mm across.

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Notes: This species is usually confined to waste ground, such as roadsides and rocky areas, stock camps or rabbit warrens, but can be competitive in pasture, due to its unpalatability to livestock.

Edibility Rating out of 5: 1

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 3

Sida rhombifolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edible Uses: The leaves are used to make a tea drink and eaten as a vegetable. Chemical analysis revealed that the leaves contain respectable amounts of nutrients: 74,000 to 347,000 ppm protein, 94,000 to 475,000 ppm carbohydrates, 33,000 to 167,000 ppm fiber, 14,000 to 71,000 ppm fat, and 16,000 to 81,000 ppm ash. However, it was reported that the root contained 450 ppm alkaloids and the presence of ephedrine and saponin. Another source reports an alkaloid content in the root of 0.1 percent and the presence of choline, pseudoephedrine, beta-phenethylamine, vascin, hipaphorine and related indole alkaloids. Perhaps because of these chemicals, arrowleaf sida is unpalatable to cattle.

Medicinal Information: Arrowleaf sida has significant medicinal applications for which it is cultivated throughout India. The pounded leaves are used to relieve swelling,the fruits are used to relieve headache, the mucilage is used as an emollient, and the root is used to treat rheumatism. Australian Aborigines use the herb to treat diarrhea. Leaves are smoked in Mexico and a tea is prepared in India for the stimulation it provides.

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Other Uses: The stems are used as rough cordage, sacking, and for making brooms. The stems have a high quality fiber and were once exported from India and elsewhere as “hemp”.

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Nettle (Urtica urens, U. incisa)

Latin Name: Urtica urens, U. incisa

Description: An erect annual herb, it is branched and grows up to 80 cm high. The stems are soft and 4 angled. The leaves are broadly oval and deeply toothed, 1-4 cm long. They are armed with sharply pointed stinging hairs. The flowers are small and in short clusters arising from the base of the leaves.

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Notes: In Europe, Urtica urens is one of the food plants of the small tortoiseshell butterfly Aglais urticae. In New Zealand it is also a food plant for the New Zealand Red Admiral butterfly (Bassaris gonerilla, syn. Vanessa gonerilla, syn. Papilio gonerilla), and the Australian/New Zealand Yellow Admiral butterfly (Bassaris itea).

Edibility Rating out of 5: 3

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 3

Urtica urens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edible Uses: Young leaves – cooked and used as a potherb. A very nutritious food, high in vitamins and minerals, it makes an excellent spinach substitute and can also be added to soups and stews. Only use the young leaves and wear stout gloves when harvesting them to prevent getting stung. Although the fresh leaves have stinging hairs, thoroughly drying or cooking them destroys these hairs. Nettle beer is brewed from the young shoots.

Warnings: The leaves of the plants have stinging hairs, causing irritation to the skin. This action is neutralized by heat so the cooked leaves are perfectly safe and nutritious. However, only young leaves should be used because older leaves develop gritty particles called cystoliths which act as an irritant to the kidneys.

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Medicinal Uses: Antiasthmatic; Antidandruff; Astringent; Depurative; Diuretic; Galactogogue; Haemostatic; Homeopathy; Hypoglycaemic; Tonic.

Medicinal Information: Nettles have a long history of use in the home as a herbal remedy. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used as a tonic and blood purifier. The whole plant is antiasthmatic, antidandruff, astringent, depurative, diuretic, galactogogue, haemostatic, hypoglycaemic and a stimulating tonic. An infusion of the plant is very valuable in stemming internal bleeding, it is also used to treat anaemia, excessive menstruation, haemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema. Externally, the plant is used to treat arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, haemorrhoids, hair problems etc. For medicinal purposes, the plant is best harvested in May or June as it is coming into flower and dried for later use. This species merits further study for possible uses against kidney and urinary system ailments. The juice of the nettle can be used as an antidote to stings from the leaves and an infusion of the fresh leaves is healing and soothing as a lotion for burns. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh plant, gathered when in flower. A useful first-aid remedy, it is used in the treatment of ailments such as bites and stings, burns, hives and breast feeding problems.

Other Uses: Compost; Dye; Fibre; Hair; Liquid feed; Oil; Repellent.

Other Information: A strong flax-like fibre is obtained from the stems. Used for string and cloth, it also makes a good quality paper. It is harvested as the plant begins to die down in early autumn. An essential ingredient of ‘QR’ herbal compost activator, the leaves are also an excellent addition to the compost heap and they can be soaked for 7 – 21 days in water to make a very nutritious liquid feed for plants. This liquid feed is both insect repellent and a good foliar feed. The growing plant increases the essential oil content of other nearby plants, thus making them more resistant to insect pests. A hair wash is made from the infused leaves and this is used as a tonic and antidandruff treatmen. A green dye is obtained from the leaves and stems. A yellow dye is obtained from the roo. An oil extracted from the seeds is used as an illuminant in lamps.

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