5 Edible and Medicinal Weeds
(Last Updated On: March 15, 2022)


Weeds are those unwanted plants that grow where they aren’t supposed to. However, it might surprise you to learn that some weeds offer nutritional and even medical benefits. We cultivated a list of 5 Edible and Medicinal Weeds to help you learn more.

1. Yellow Dock/Burdock

The taproot of young burdock plants can be harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. We may also harvest immature flower stalks in late spring before flowers appear. The flavor of the young stem resembles that of an artichoke. It is a good source of dietary fiber and certain minerals, including calcium and potassium. It is also used as a medicinal herb.

2. Lambsquarter (also known as goosefoot)

The leaves of lambsquarter are excellent added to lettuce salads or cooked and used as a replacement for spinach. Lambsquarter seeds are also edible. They are a good source of protein and vitamin A.

3. Amaranth (also known as pigweed) 

Amaranth species are cultivated and consumed as a leaf vegetable in many parts of the world. The leaves can be cooked, and their seeds can be harvested and cooked the same as quinoa. The root of mature amaranth is a popular vegetable. It is white and usually cooked with tomatoes or tamarind gravy. The plant has a milky taste and is alkaline. It is also high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, K, B6, calcium, iron, and the seeds are a good protein source.

4. Purslane 

It may be eaten as a leaf vegetable but is considered a weed in the United States. While the plant has a slightly sour and salty taste when eaten, the stems, leaves, and flower buds are all edible. Purslane may be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked as spinach is. Because of its sticky quality, it also is suitable for soups and stews. Nutritionally, it is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Purslane also grows in all 50 states.

5. Dollarweed (also known as pennywort)

This aquatic plant thrives in a wet, sandy habitat. It is native to North America and parts of South America. However, it also grows as an introduced species and sometimes a noxious weed on other continents. As an edible weed, it can be used in salads or as a potherb.

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