Now in the spring it's time again: in the fields, lush meadows and in forests grow numerous wild vegetables such as dandelion, yarrow or stinging nettle, which offer a very special taste experience, and can be used in many ways in the kitchen, so graduate oecotrophologist Annie Margret Heyenga from the Society for Nutritional Medicine and Dietetics in Aachen.
Wild vegetables offer many benefits
Compared to cultivated vegetables, wild vegetables grow without additional fertilizer or pesticides. In addition, wild vegetables contain many times the vitamins and minerals and have a more spicy and aromatic taste compared to crops.
The contained aroma and bitter substances and the essential oils have a positive effect on the human metabolism: Wild vegetables have digestive, blood purifying and dehydrating.
Quality of wild vegetables
The quality of wild vegetables depends on the collection location, so that wild-goat lovers should avoid busy roads, dog walks or inner-city parks, among others.
Important prerequisite for the collection of wild vegetables is a perfect recognition of the species, so that it is not confused with poisonous plants. Many plant experts therefore offer organized collectors tours.
Since the untreated plants can still be exposed to environmental pollutants, they must be thoroughly washed before consumption, emphasizes Ann-Margret Heyenga. Wild vegetables can be used raw or cooked in the kitchen. The leaves of wild vegetables are ideal for salads or as a vegetable insert. In addition, the flowers of many wild plants can be used for garnishing salads and soups.
Wild vegetables collection calendar
|plant||effect||Parts used and collection time||use|
|dandelion||For the treatment of indigestion, loss of appetite and to promote bile flow||Leaves: March-April, flowers: April-October||Salads, teas|
|daisy||Good for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tract||Leaves, flowers: all year round||salads|
|wild garlic||Folk medicine in atherosclerosis, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders||Leaves: March-April, onion: May-February||Wild garlic pesto, soups|
|woodruff||Folk medicine for nervous restlessness, diseases of stomach, intestine, liver, bile||Young shoots: March - May||Maibowle|
|watercress||In liver and gall bladder problems, indigestion, loss of appetite||Leaves, young shoots: all year round||Fresh salads, breads, herb vinegar|
|duckweed||In the amino acid composition comparable to soybean; high content of trace elements||Whole plant: all year round||Salads, duckweed purée|
|stinging nettle||For rheumatic complaints, gout, liver and gall disease||Leaves: February-November, seeds: July-September||Spinach nettle vegetables, fresh juice, vegetable soups|
|yarrow||Stimulating metabolism; with gastric, intestinal and biliary disorders||Leaves: March-May, flowers: June-October||Salads, spice|
|dead nettle||Has a positive effect on urinary organs, skin and stomach; against menstrual cramps||Shoots: March-May||Salads, soup vegetables|