Wild vegetables from the untouched nature

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
dandelionFor the treatment of indigestion, loss of appetite and to promote bile flowLeaves: March-April, flowers: April-OctoberSalads, teas
daisyGood for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tractLeaves, flowers: all year roundsalads
wild garlicFolk medicine in atherosclerosis, hypertension, gastrointestinal disordersLeaves: March-April, onion: May-FebruaryWild garlic pesto, soups
woodruffFolk medicine for nervous restlessness, diseases of stomach, intestine, liver, bileYoung shoots: March - MayMaibowle
watercressIn liver and gall bladder problems, indigestion, loss of appetiteLeaves, young shoots: all year roundFresh salads, breads, herb vinegar
duckweedIn the amino acid composition comparable to soybean; high content of trace elementsWhole plant: all year roundSalads, duckweed purée
stinging nettleFor rheumatic complaints, gout, liver and gall diseaseLeaves: February-November, seeds: July-SeptemberSpinach nettle vegetables, fresh juice, vegetable soups
yarrowStimulating metabolism; with gastric, intestinal and biliary disordersLeaves: March-May, flowers: June-OctoberSalads, spice
dead nettleHas a positive effect on urinary organs, skin and stomach; against menstrual crampsShoots: March-MaySalads, soup vegetables
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