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Edible Weeds Infusion

This has got to be the easiest immune boosting health promoting power infusion there is! It utilises probably the most misunderstood nutrition powerhouses of the edible weeds world cleavers and dandelion. By misunderstood I mean they are the ones folks want to exterminate, but before you do, may I suggest you look at them in a different light.

I hit the jackpot yesterday while out foraging on my bike ride and gathered up a basket full of cleavers which is commonly known as biddy bids here in NZ, sticky weed or sticky willy (hilarious as I also gathered nipplewort yesterday lol, recipe link for nipplewort). It is easily identified by the natural tiny hooks on its leaves that cling onto anything it touches. This very common weed is a the best cleansing tonics known that helps purify the blood, the lymphatic system, including spleen, thymus, throat and mammary glands and kidneys. A useful aid in the recovery from many types of infections. It moves toxins from the body because it acts as a diuretic and a diaphoretic helping stimulate perspiration and sweating. It is high in Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), and is rich in minerals especially silica, needed for nails, hair and teeth, so it is an excellent plant to include in your smoothie. It can be used fresh or dried as a refreshing tea with strong purifying and cleansing tonic properties. I often add it to soups and smoothies as the mouth feel is a bit weird and blending or cooking will remove this effect. The botanical name for Cleavers is Galium which is Greek for milk. The curdling property of the leaves has had a long time use in cheese making.

Dandelions are flowering all over my yard at the moment and are one of the most health giving, nutritious and abundant wild edibles and are as well as being one of the most effective toxin removers for the blood, lymph and liver so naturally these wonderful weeds pare perfectly.

The leaves contain high amounts of Vitamins A, B and C, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, and other minerals. Dandelion's bitter leaves stimulate the release of saliva, and improves digestion. They are also a tonic, help lower cholesterol levels, increase blood and lymph circulation and are blood purifiers. A German university study found that dandelion can block spike proteins from binding to the ACE2 cell surface receptors in human lung and kidney cells.

The water-based dandelion extract, taken from the plant’s dried leaves, was effective against spike protein D614 and a host of mutant strains. Dandelion extract is one of many herbs that may assist in a healthy immune response. Better yet, dandelion extract could prove to prevent infections altogether, by blocking the precise channel by which the spike proteins attach and cause viral replication

Self heal is super common plant in wild lawns with lavender like flowers close to the ground which smells of nothing much and is actually from the mint family. It has a square stem and opposite leaves. Self-heal is an empowering herb and is a fantastic general tonic, like many mint family plants, is both cooling and diffusive. It also has significant mucilage, making it nice for relieving inflammation or irritation internally and topically. Self-heal is very high in rosmarinic acid, one of the well-studied antioxidants famously found in rosemary, which helps prevent heart disease and cancer more than any other plant tested. Self-heal contains minerals, including calcium, making this plant especially important for pregnant, nursing, menopausal and post-menopausal women. Self-heal is an antiviral-biofilm disruptor (same as elderberry) which means it disrupts the biofilm around the virus and protects the cell. Can be used for HPV, HIV and can be made into a salve for treating herpes simpex (cold sores). It takes the heat out of the liver and kidneys and helps to metabolise and moves protein which energises the liver and kidneys. It can also increase circulation to the head for ‘hot’ conditions in the throat and tonsils as well as eye problems, conjunctivitis, eye tiredness and strain, headaches and migraines. It supports the lymphatic system which means it calms down allergy symptoms, it’s immune boosting and is used to treat estrogenic cancers and stabilises blood sugar.

The lovely humble lemon provides us a wealth of health promoting qualities along with nutrients and vitamin C and immune boosting properties. It is quite common knowledge that lemon water is extremely good for you, seriously the health benefits are endless, but today I’ve added it to this infused water skin and all as it tastes great and is important that you add the whole lemon as the quercetin and pectin present in the peel and pith are where a bunch of the goodies are.

I find I drink more water if I have a lovely jug full sitting on my bench, and to make this all you need to do is grab a hand full of cleavers and a few dandelion flowers, slice up an organic lemon and pop them in a jug, then top it up with filtered water. It is best to leave this infusion overnight to give it time to steep out all the goodness, enjoy Anna x


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