Friday, May 28, 2010
Edible plants in my flower garden!
About the plants in my flower garden. Unbeknownst to me most were edible or at least medicinal. A few were not.
Monarda/Bee Balm/Bergamot: Bergamot Tea is good for stomachache.
Day lily - The flowers are edible. They may be diuretic or laxative in large quantities, so don't pig out on them.
Evening Primrose: The whole plant is edible. An oil made from the seeds is supposed to be good for hormonal balance. You can eat the leaves as greens. Put the flowers in your salad. Tea made from the roots is good for obesity. The roots can also be cooked and eaten like potatoes. This was a Native American staple.
Yarrow – the leaves were used to staunch wounds. Tea is a mild sedative.
Monkey Grass - The Chinese use its tuber to clear heat and irritability in the major organs of the body. It is the cardinal herb for yin deficiency. It's calming, and is also good for coughs. To prepare it, dig up the tubers in the summer and cut off any stringy roots off them, then dry the tubers and pulverize. Make tea out of the powder. Ophiopogon japonicus – make sure you don't really have mondo grass, which is different. The stuff you want has a serrated edge.
Irises – you can turn the root into a powder and soak it in alcohol to make a perfume. Not edible. Iris pallida (grows in Croatia) makes orris root powder which was used for diarrhea – but it's pretty toxic so don't.
Wild Ginger - The stems and roots of the Wild Ginger were used by early settlers as a substitute for the tropical ginger. The Indians used the root to staunch wounds and as a decoction to induce sweating and break a fever. The root was also used for respiratory problems.
Sedum – I have this small kind with yellow flowers. Don't know what kind it is. It's probably inedible. There is one variety that can be used as a salad herb, but it doesn't look like mine.
Live Forever (Sedum purpureum) Salad, cooked green, cooked vegetable, pickle. The young leaves can be added to salads or boiled for 5-10 min. The crisp tubers can be boiled for 20 min. and served with butter, or pickled in seasoned vinegar
Bishops Weed - (Aegopodium podagraria) leaves edible as a pot herb or salad herb until it flowers, then it becomes a laxative and tastes funny. I wish I didn't have this in my garden, it took over my irises in one bed and choked out my mint in another and it's impossible to get rid of. Even the smallest part of a root, if you leave it behind, turns into another plant. And it spreads like mad. Oh well. Next spring you can bet I'll be eating a lot of this to keep it under control.