Foraging in the Garden and in the Wild
While winter landscapes are not as colourful, there are still plenty of restorative and beneficial plants to harvest.
Keep an eye out for these 5 when you are outside getting some air!
ROSE HIPS The fruit of the rose flower, these can be found in the wild or in your garden. Pick and use fresh or dried. Rose hips are high in Vitamin C and are very useful to reduce pain and stiffness. Steep 2-3 rose hips in hot water for a relaxing tea.
PINE NEEDLES If you take a walk around your neighbourhood you’re bound to come across an old pine tree somewhere. Make a “bath tea” by putting a couple of handfuls of fresh pine needles into a muslin sack or some old pantyhose (rinse the dirt from the pine needles first!), plus a cup of epsom salts (optional), then drop the bag into a hot bath for 5-10 mins before getting in. Pine needles are a wonderfully natural way to relieve pain, reduce stress, relieve skin irritations, and purify the mind. Alternatively if you do not have a muslin bag or pantyhose pick a larger stem or two of pine and lay these branches in the bath (can be a little messy to clean up!)
MINT Once you have established mint in your garden you’ll be hard pressed to get rid of it. Luckily, you won’t want to as it has many culinary and medicinal uses. Mint is high in vitamins, calcium and antioxidants, making it great for treating a cold, headaches, relieving stress, and it also aids digestion. Put a few fresh or dried leaves into a cup, top with hot water and enjoy it as a tea, especially after a meal.
THYME Thyme can be grown well throughout the winter. It grows wild too but is harder to find in this area. Thyme has strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it awesome against sore throats. Add the fresh leaves to salads, steep fresh or dried leaves in hot water to make a soothing tea.
DANDELION Growing everywhere all year round, the entire plant is edible so you can’t go wrong. Good source of Potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and calcium. Add the younger leaves to a salad or make an attractive tea using fresh leaves and flowers.
– Ronja Skandera