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Edible Weeds.

germin8germin8 Raw Master

I read Boutenko’s book (12 Steps to Raw Foods), and she mentioned getting edible weeds from a local farmer. I think she used them for green soups, salads, and maybe a green drink. I can’t tell the difference from an edible weed and a non-edible one… muchless no the names of any. So, what kinds of weeds are edible? Can I eat a whole bunch of them… or in small quantities?


  • SimonSimon Raw Newbie

    Hi germin8!

    In Ann Wigmore’s “The Wheatgrass Book” she tells a story of Barbara Moore who climbed mountains and hiked long distances eating nothing more than grasses or weeds which got me interested (hmmmm free food!).

    There are of course many different types of edible weeds however you need to be aware that where I am in Sydney is going to be different to where you are. However there are several basic rules which you need to apply when hunting out your next free meal:

    1. Don’t eat it if you can’t identify it. Get a good reference book or take pictures and identify the plant later. 2. Only take weeds growing out of urban areas. You never know if it’s been treated with a poison to kill it. 3. Don’t take plants with animal droppings on or near it (for obvious reasons).

    There are several websites showing pictures of edible weeds which will help. Start by identifying some in an area that you pass by frequently and go from there. Type “pictures edible weeds” into your favourite search engine and have a look at what comes up. I’m sure you’ll identify at least one weed which you see regularly fairly quickly.

    Finally, the term “weeds” isn’t really accurate. They are just “edible plants” which we choose not to grow in our gardens, or have been introduced to the area (eg brought to the country by migrants).

    Good luck in your hunting. Just remember to research first, eat later!


  • there is a great book called Pine Needle tea and crabgrass muffins its not a raw cookbook but its the best weed eaters book I have found also at www.learningherbs.com you can order foraging playing cards with pics and everything! Good luck and have fun!

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    Thanks 2helix & ambikalee. I thought it would be easier than having to look through a book and learn. Oh my! I’ll look into your recommendations. I definitely like the playing cards ideas. Awesome. So, if I eat something… in-edible… maybe I should have charcoal with me or something.

  • Ohh this is a favorite topic of mine, there are plenty of weeds you can eat and some are yummy. For a weed is really just a plant that is not where we want it. Purslane and dandelions are two of the most identifiable ones. I used to hike Mt Diablo when I was a kid in California all the time and would stop and munch on many different plants that I know like minors lettuce and wild strawberries. You can eat acorns too but just make sure you soak them to get the tannin out first. Mushrooms, wild berries, cattail ..the list goes on.

    I cannot stress enough to you though to know your plant before eating it!!!!! Either get a good book with great pictures and really study the plant learning leaf arrangement or numbers etc before picking something and eating it. There are many plants out there that are poisonous and charcoal is not going to do too much in case of a severe poison like something making your throat swell up. Though that stuff is GREAT to have on hand though, I take it backpacking all the time. Charcoal also works great for bug bites or if you get bit by a snake you can put a poltice on it till you can get help.

    The other thing you can do is join a foragers group in your area or find someone who knows the plants in your location.

    Next to raw foods, wild foods are my favorite! there is nothing better than going out and gathering my own foods from the wild or the weeds and munching on them. For some reason it’s extremely satisfying!!!

    Good luck and have fun!!!

  • We eat a lot of lamb’s quarter and plaintain which are plentiful and very nutritious and mild flavored. You can find pictures and nutrient value by searching the internet. We add them to green smoothies.

  • HI I love this topic! I just bought a book on plants when I was in the Southwest. I was suprised to read that the Alder- which is common all over the United States has anti tumor capability in the bark. The stem bark contains betulin and lupeol- compounds found effective for lymphatic disorders and even tuberculosis.

    Another very important specimin is Usnea Lichen. It has been used since 1600 bc. Recent studies have shown it to be more effective than penicillin. It is used to reduce tumors, and can be applied to open wounds to kill bacteria and stop bleeding.

  • writeeternity, did it say anything about reducing fibroid cysts? have to check that one out, thanks!

  • omshantiomshanti Raw Newbie

    i love this topic too, im gonna get that book ambikalee! i have to say that I am tentative to try wild forageing, as if you have ever read into the wild by jon krakour it will stress the importance of proper identification of weeds!! the book is about a highschool classmate of mine oddly enough. he survived in the alaska wilderness for a long time(unsupported) before eating the wrong weed!

  • jenergyjenergy Raw Newbie

    Hi everybody! :o) I just got home from a raw food & vibrant living expo, and Sergei Boutenko was there. In one of his presentations he talked up wild edibles, and he told a story about his parents asking local farmers if they would sell them the weeds growing between and amongst their crops… I think he called it sheep sorrel. (And he said the farmers’ reaction was, “Are you KIDDING?? Just come and TAKE it!) We got a handout, I’ll dig it out a little later and let you all know the examples he gave. It was a great talk, and he prepared us a huge salad full of wild edibles he’d found just blocks from the seminar location on his morning walk. How cool is that? Also, by the way, I just have to mention that Sergei is WAY cute. He just glows, and his presentation style is laid back and funny. One of the highlights. I’m going to write more, but today’s the first day of school and I have to go wake up my son in a few minutes and get him going. Fourth grade! Holy cow. ;o)

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    jenergy: Neat! Yeah, Boutenko’s book talked about that! Can’t wait to ‘hear’ about the examples.

  • jenergyjenergy Raw Newbie

    Well… I

  • I think this topic is funny as all heck. When I started doing the whole raw thing months back my relatives just told me to go outside & graze on thier lawn for a bit. Mmmm tastey idea but the only thing I found out there was honeysuckle. Shucks, only a snack.

  • I used to suck on honeysuckle blossoms too! It grew wild; and it’s still my absolute favorite smell. It tastes wonderful too! =)

  • Hello everyone!! jenergy if you think Sergei is cool as a presenter try meeting him when he’s not talking about raw when doing a presentation, he’s much funnier.. but yes very laid back. His sister Valya is also great.. When I was staying in Ore. learning about raw I got to attend several of the Boutenko’s raw food classes and they always mentioned raw edibles (weeds) as a awesome source of nutrients. Lambs quarters, plantain and sheep’s sorrel are common where they live and they use them quite often in their green smoothies. I highly recommend plantian and purslane if you can find them because they are quite tasty and purslane is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids (Which means it’s the “fish” of raw foods!) here are a few links for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulaca_oleracea


    Good luck on your edible search! K-Mom

  • Hi KMom! Thanks for the links! What I’d like to see is a book with really good wild gourmet. There is something like that I’ve seen but they use flour and eggs etc in the recipes. It would be really cool to have one that really uses what’s out there. I know cattails can be made into flour- how about that cattail bisquits! But I’d like to see a lot more.

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    ambikalee… I was looking at the Pine Needle book and it does not have color pictures. I guess it wouldn’t be a good book for comparing out in the wild. Did you get your book from learningherbs.com?

    “The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide” looks interesting. The cards… I think I’m going to get those!

    Does anyone else have books to recommend? Books are best to take with me hiking/backpacking.

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    Have you ever heard of Euell Gibbons? He was an advocate of wild foods in the 60’s. He wrote several books on foraging. One was “Did You Ever Eat a Pine Tree?” and another was “Stalking the Healthful Herbs”. I met him in the 70’s and had no idea that this concept would be one that I would adopt 30 years later. The wild foods that I’ve eaten lately are prickly pears and mesquite beans, though the mesquite beans won’t be ready to harvest until late fall. I got a few of last year’s crop.

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    I got the cards… the pictures are in color, and the back of them tell you what parts are edible, their uses, and characteristics. Very nice.

  • Cool! I am so jealous that you got the cards, and glad to hear you liked them, now they are on my list also!

  • For those living (or visiting) NY/NJ/CT: www.wildmanstevebrill.com

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    Cool! Is there anyone like that in VA?

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