FRESH FORAGED SPRING SALAD
After a long winter, our bodies can become a bit sluggish. Come spring time we are graced with bountiful edible plants that are perfect for cleansing our system and getting our lymph moving. All the herbs in this salad grow abundantly in Minnesota and are packed with nutrients and life force.
Introducing our lovely friend, Violet. Her leaves are heart shaped, her flowers bloom for weeks as she shares with us her many gifts. She is cooling & moistening with demulcent properties. Violet contains vitamin A and C along with other antioxidants. She is rich in minerals and vitamins and helps to restore lost nutrients after the winter months.
Parts Used: leaves & flowers
Violet can be found everywhere if one has it in thier radar. I see it in the woods, in yards, near the river. It is an adorable plant if I may say so, bringing lots of joy by it just being there with its constant flowers and heart shaped leaves. Spring loves us!
“Firstly violet is a wonderful herb for awakening the lymphatic system which functions, in simplistic terms, as a kind of waste disposal and treatment facility for the body tissues. It carries the lymph fluid that originates from blood plasma through a series of ducts and nodes which are also primary sites for immune activity. Lymph nodes become swollen when overloaded which we notice as hard or raised glands. Conditions such as sinusitis, ear problems and breast tenderness are all connected to under functioning lymphatics. The lymph tends to become quite sluggish over the winter months due to the fact that we move less, eat more and the cold contracts our vessels and thickens fluids. Spring is the most wonderful time to give your lymphatic system some love by moving your body, breathing deeply and enjoying spring greens like violets and cleavers. The lymphatic system has no pump of its own so is reliant on the movement of the muscles, the blood circulation and the breath to assist it around the body. It is in this relationship of fluids and movement that I see violet’s qualities coming to the fore.” (Lucinda Warner of Whispering Earth)
Next up is my dear friend, Dandelion. The bitter greens of dandelion are loaded with iron, calcium, potassium, vitamins and a rich assortment of trace minerals. Half the world loves it, uses it for medicine and eats it, the other half wages war on it with pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Dandelion is a diuretic, hepatonic (good for the liver), detoxifying, nutritive tonic and a bitter herb which aids in digestion.
Parts used: leaves (young and tender is best) - root is best decocted
Dandelion reminds me of my father as he uses is on one of his famous Lebanese meals. Freshly made garlic sauce, garlic marinated chicken & onion kabobs, fresh dandelion greens all wrapped up in flatbread. Soooo delicious!
Next on the plate is Cleavers. Be sure to chop it up pretty good as we do not want cleavers to be cleaving to our mouths. Cleavers are abundant and grow near rivers or other water bodies.
Parts Used: ariel parts
“As a medicinal herb it is most commonly used to treat the lymphatic system, a network of vessels which runs alongside the blood circulation carrying waste materials in lymph fluid ready for processing in the lymph nodes and organs such as the tonsils, thymus and spleen. The lymph has no pump of its own so is reliant on the movement of blood and muscles to aid its journey, so exercise is vital for a healthy lymphatic system. It’s functions are primarily to aid cleansing of the tissues and assist the immune system by transporting white blood cells and antibodies…The water element also governs the emotions and Cleavers can help us to gently let go of the past and be ready to embrace the new growth and change that Spring awakens” (Whispering Earth)
Garlic Mustard is probably one of my favorite spring greens. It is a noxious weed that can take over an area so do not feel guilty harvesting this one. I would have never known such deliciousness could be so abundant. The bulk of the salad was this herb. It has a fresh garlic taste and is loaded with immune building nutrients, some iron, sulphur and is mildly diuretic.
Parts Used: leaves
I love knowing that I am ingesting plants with life force that is free, abundant, nutritious and mighty tasty!
~ All information contained within this blog is intended to educate, entertain and inspire only. If you have any specific health concerns, please visit your local herbalist or healthcare provider for the appropriate guidance and support ~