Now the sun has returned it’s a great time to get outdoors and find some free herbal treats in the wild. Here are a few of our favourite spring time herbs.
Cleavers (sticky weed, sticky willy, goose grass) Galium aparine
Abundant at this time of year and recognisable by its sticky character cleavers are best enjoyed in their fresh state. Add them to your water bottle to cold infuse or even better wiz them up in a blender for a juice that will help your lymphatic system, aiding your body with the removal of toxins.
Wild garlic (ramsons) Allium ursinum
We like picking the leaves of these and adding them to salads or sandwiches for a nice hearty garlic kick. It’s packed with allicin which is antibacterial and antimicrobial, perfect for beating off those pre-spring colds.
3. BREW or STEW
Stinging nettle Urtica dioica
Sometimes a bit tricky to pick if you haven’t come prepared with gloves but well worth the stings. Bursting with vitamins A & C, iron, potassium, manganese and calcium nettle makes for an excellent brew. Try it as a herbal infusion or add it into soups and stews (which takes away the sting) for an iron rich boost.
Remember to always carefully identify wild plants before consumption using a foraging guide if you are a beginner. Also be mindful of foraging regulations in your area and never dig up a plant from its local habitat without permission. More useful tips here.