Health and Medicine

Many Needs for Weeds

You might declare war on them in your backyard. They fight back, refusing to surrender the space they decide to take. They put others of their kind in a chokehold, with every intention of winning the battle. What are they? Weeds! These wild plants seem to grow wherever they choose. We realize they can be a nuisance, but they have another identity: medicine. When traveling, it’s important to take care of your health—you never know which weed might come in handy. Here are four impressive ones:

Dandelion Dare

Okay, this isn’t grade school, but we dare you to drink dandelion tea! Contrary to common belief, dandelion is not simply an unwanted flower with no use besides popping up in random places. Rather, dandelions are high in antioxidants A and E and have incredible healing properties. You can use the inside part of the flower to reduce inflammation.

Love for Lavender

Lavender is generally more popular than dandelions, perhaps because many people like its smell. But the reality is that lavender is indeed a weed – a lovely one. People often infuse towels, lotions, and hair products with lavender, but there is more to the plant than its scent. Lavender has a calming effect so powerful that it’s used to treat anxiety. It can also be used to help clear acne.

Milkweed Mania

This weed has small purple flowers and can several healing properties. Like lavender, it can be used on the skin. The difference is that the sap from milkweed can combat warts, moles, and even ringworm. Milkweed can also soothe the stomach and kidneys. Be careful with milkweed, as some varieties are not safe for consumption. If you’re going to use this, learn to identify which ones are safe and which ones aren’t safe.

Goldenrod Goodness

This weed is another popular one. Many mistake goldenrod for ragweed, but in reality goldenrod has healing properties. People use this weed to reduce inflammation and take advantage of its anti-fungal properties. It can also be used to fight depression and stress. Goldenrod is far from rare with plenty to go around, so remember that you can use this natural treasure!

In George Washington Carver’s book, Fruits of Creation, he describes how he discovered many weeds and why they matter to us. As you travel, think about the simple “weeds” in your life and how they might be useful.