Do you enjoy going on walks and hikes with your family? Why not start learning about herbs while you’re out!
Your kids will get a kick out of being able to identify wild herbs and will enjoy sharing their knowledge with friends! Bring along a notebook and let your kids draw sketches and take some notes.
Try these common wild herbs out for a start-
Most likely this is one your children already know. Let them know all parts of the plant including the roots are used for things such as- detoxification and liver support, and the greens are often added to salads. Local farmers will often be more than willing to let you come pick dandelions off their property that haven’t been sprayed with any insect or weed products.
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This herb resembles dandelion but has a few distinct differences. The leaves on coltsfoot are heart shaped- which children absolutely love to see! Coltsfoot’s stem is scaly and the leaves develop after the plant has flowered. Herbalists use this plant mainly for respiratory problems, burns, and insect bites.
You’ll find this herb growing just about anywhere it gets the chance! The root is a beautiful, bright yellow and traditionally used by herbalists. This time of year you’ll find Yellow Dock covered in beautiful, tiny green flowers all over the stock which shoots up from the middle, but they may be starting to dry and turn a reddish-brown. High in trace vitamins and minerals, Yellow Dock is used in many situations by herbalists including: skin problems, anemia, and sores.
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Herbalist David Hoffman once said “when in doubt, use nettle.” This is by far one of the most widely used herbs and is found growing abundantly around the country. Nettle should be easy to find in an open lot or out on a hike. Be careful with nettle- DO NOT TOUCH IT– because the leaves are covered in tiny spikes that sting!! The sting is actually used by herbalists for conditions such as arthritis and joint pain. Most commonly nettle is used cooked (which eliminates the sting) or in teas, tinctures or extracts. Among nettles many uses are: allergies, anemia, and digestive issues.
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This herb is hands down one of the hardiest plants out there. You most likely won’t have to walk far to find it- check out empty parking lots, overgrown parks, or even your own back yard! Herbalists use plantain for many uses including: skin issues and injuries, coughs, and to treat poison ivy (and stinging nettle!).
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