Raw food dieting with edible wild plants as the name suggests here we are going to discuss pure foods that you will eat as it is nature has given that to us. However, you need not be sacred with this wild term as not all wild plants are injurious for your health. Some of them are highly nutritious that can boost your immune health and protect your risk of several diseases.
These nature-driven plants are truly full of health benefits so you can enjoy a diversified level of benefits after incorporating them in your daily diet plans such as improvement in skin health, digestion, bowel movement, and lots more. Being rich in protein and vital medicinal properties reduces your risk of developing two major life-threatening diseases such as cancer and heart disease risk.
These wild plants will also help in keeping your weight off without hampering your inner health with its proper nourishment support. So it is really a good idea to include some of them in your diet routine to achieve your fitness goal faster.
Some of these wild pants you may get in the local market whereas some are limited to certain regions of a country which you can avail on online sites or you can also travel there if you wish to see them directly and can carry a good amount of them with you. So let’s begin with our list of top wild plants that are edible.
Top 16 Edible Wild Plants
Clovers or Trifolium are edible wild plants that you must include in your diet to get its amazing health benefits for you. This wild plant you can easily avail in many parts of the world wherever there is a wide grassy area.
You can easily identify this plant with its special trefoil leaflets. Though you can consume clovers in raw form, it is recommended to have them after boiling it to eliminate its bitterness and for a better taste experience.
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
This is another edible wild plant that comes in medium to large size. These plants have big leaves along with a purple thistle-like flower head. Though it is native to the temperate regions of the Eastern Hemisphere but it then also becomes common to some parts of the Western Hemisphere. This wild plant is very popular in Japan.
Its leaves and peeled stalks are the edible ones that you can eat either raw or after boiling it. As its leaves taste very bitter so it is recommended to double boil it before consuming as double boiling will help in removing its bitterness and make it easier for you to eat. Also, you can eat even the root of this wild plant after peeling, and boiling it.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
For weed lovers, this wild plant is a great savior while outing in a wild area. Dandelion is particularly known for its several medicinal properties that prove beneficial in the natural treatment and relaxation of different health concerns. Every part of this plant is edible like its flowers, leaves, and roots. Pluck its flowers when they are young as this tastes really great otherwise if you make a delay in plucking them then you have to experience the bitter taste that usually remains in mature leaves.
However, its bitter taste can be removed after boiling the mature leaves. Also, before eating the roots of dandelion, boil them first. The best thing about this edible wild plant is that it can be consumed in tea form and for that, you need not put your extra effort. Simply drink the water used for boiling the roots. Also, you can use the flower of dandelion for garnishing purposes.
Amaranth (Amaranthus Retroflexus)
Amaranthus retroflexus and its other species are though native to the Americas but you can get it in many countries around the world. It is an edible weed having the potential to uplift your health. Though all parts are edible, take care of its spines that are found on some of the leaves.
This plant leaves are not poisonous but it usually contains oxalic acid and in some cases in a huge amount of nitrates if it is grown in the nitrate soil. So to avoid the contact of these harmful substances it is advised to boil these leaves to eliminate its oxalic acid and nitrates content. You can consume the amaranth leaves after boiling them however, do not drink the water used for boiling. Overall this wild plant is edible in its raw form and very good for your health.
Asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis)
This is one of those wild plants that are more popular and consumed by most of the people. This wild plant grows in most of the wild areas of Europe and certain parts of North Africa, North America, and West Asia. You can differentiate between the wild asparagus with the grocery variety asparagus with the fact that the wild one has quite thinner stalk.
You can consume this wild plant without any fear of side effects. With its high nutrient essences such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium, and thiamine it nourishes your overall health and gives protection against free radicals damages which is harmful to both your inner health as well as the outer layer of the body i.e. your skin appearance. As per your taste preference you can eat asparagus raw or after boiling them. They are healthy for you in all forms containing the full essence of their nutrient essence.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
This particular edible wild plant primarily grows in Australia, North America, and Europe. It is a bushy plant with little white, blue, and lavender color flowers. All parts of the chicory are edible. For best taste experience you can consume young leaves either raw or after boiling them.
The root of chicory tastes good if you eat it after boiling. You get a handy plus delicious snack in the form of its flowers that you can pop in your mouth quickly.
Cattail or Typha wild plant is commonly found around the edges of the freshwater wetlands. It is also popular in the name of punks in North America and reedmace and bullrush in England. This is a staple food for many of the Native American tribes.
Most of the cattails are edible that you can eat after boiling or can even eat raw the rhizomes or rootstock of this plant. Its rootstock generally existed underground so to make it edible you should wash them thoroughly to clear the mud.
The most effective part of the cattail stem is close to the bottom area where it usually remains white. You can consume its stem either raw or after boiling it depending upon your choice. Treat its leaves the way you treat spinach. Eat its leaves only after boiling them.
You can eat flower spikes after breaking it like corn during the early summer days which is the initial growth time of this plant. The flower part of this plant tastes very much similar to corn. That means you can enjoy its great taste along with getting its essential nutrient essence that is beneficial for your health.
Curled Dock (Rumex crispus)
Curled dock wild plant is native to North America, South America, Australia, and Europe. One can identify these edible wild plants with its long and bright red stack that can easily attain the height of three feet.
Its stalk is edible either raw or boiled form depending upon your choice after peeling off its external layer. The curled dock pant naturally tastes bitter so to eliminate its bitterness it must be boiled by changing water several times.
Field Pennycress (Thlaspi vulgaris)
Field Pennycress is weeds plants that are found in most regions of the world. It grows in early spring to the late winter season. Its leaves and seeds are edible that you can consume either raw or after boiling it. However, if any field pennycress is growing into contaminated soil then avoid consuming it as it can harm your health. It is recommended to avoid eating field pennycress if it is grown near a superfund site or roadside.
This wild plant contains the property of absorbing minerals in a high amount. Resulting in it easily sucks up all the minerals around it. That is why it is vital to rightly identify the well grown, healthy field pennycress before including them in your diet.
Wood Sorrel (Oxalis)
The wood sorrel wild plant grows in almost all parts of the world. However, its species diversity is mostly found in South America. This wild plant is mostly used as food as well as medicine for millennia. It is used by Kiowa Indians to relieve their thirst as they chew it.
Whereas Cherokee consumes this plant for curing their mouth soreness. The roots of wood sorrel are starchy and taste like potatoes. You can eat its root after boiling them. It is a great source of Vitamin C so help in uplifting your health.
Green Seaweed (Ulva lactuca)
This weed plant is widely grown in oceans around the world. So for some reason, if you get stuck in a deserted island then you can look for the green seaweed around you as chances remain high that you can find this edible plant.
After taking out seaweed from the water you should rinse it thoroughly with clean water if available and then let it dry. You can eat this edible wild plant raw or can use it in a soup that tastes great. Also, green seaweed can be used for preparing delicious sans rice and sushi rolls.
Plantain wild plants must not be confused with banana-like plantain. This wild plant is grown in almost all parts of the world. It is mostly used as food as well as a natural remedy for different types of maladies. Mostly it grows in wet locations like bogs and marshes and they can also grow in spine areas. You can identify this with its oval, short-stemmed, and ribbed leaves that look like touching the ground.
This wild plant may grow up to 6″ height and up to 4″ width. Prefer eating its leaves when they are young as with maturity they start tasting bitter. This plant is a great source of Vitamin A and little amount of Vitamin C as well as a good amount of calcium mineral.
Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
Fireweed is a little plant that primarily grows in the Northern Hemisphere. One can easily identify this edible wild plant with a very specific structure of its leaves veins that are circular in the structure instead of terminating on the leaves edges. It has a beautiful purple color flower. It is a widely used diet by many Native American tribes.
For better taste experience it is advised to eat its tender leaves because when its leaves turn mature it gets hard to touch and tastes very bitter. The stalk of this plant is also edible. However, its seeds and flowers taste peppery. This edible wild plant is a rich source of Vitamin A and C which means you get an ample amount of health benefits associated with these vital nutrients essence.
Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)
Prickly Pear Cactus is widely grown in the deserts of North America. This wild plant not only tastes great but also is a rich source of nutrients which makes your stay in the desert more comfortable. Fruits of this wild edible cactus look similar to a red or purple pear and that is one of the reasons behind its name.
Before eating this plant carefully remove the spine existing in the outer layer of the plant otherwise it will feel like you are swallowing a porcupine. Pluck off the young stem of this plant as it tastes good. For better taste experience boil the stem first before eating it.
Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
This wild plant is native to Asia and Europe but later on, it also naturalized in North America. It is a commonly grown weed in grasslands, woodlands, and fields. It grows in soils with high acidic value. The sheep sorrel has a tall and reddish stem and it can reach up to the height of 18 inches.
As this weed plant contains oxalates so it is recommended to avoid eating it in large quantities. Its leaves are edible one that you can eat raw as it contains a very soothing tart flavor that seems similar to lemony flavor.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
Though it is considered an unpleasant weed in the United States, Purslane is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. So it aids in surviving in a wild location where you have stuck without any preplanning. It is a small size plant with fat smooth leaves that tastes refreshingly sour when you eat them.
You can eat this edible wild plant that is a rich source of vital nutrients either raw or after boiling depending upon your choice. However, if you dislike its sour taste or want to avoid it then boil the leaves first to remove its sourness and then eat.
Wild Plants to Avoid
It is true that wild plants are rich in many potent health benefits however, to grab their benefits it is essential that you have sufficient knowledge or ability to identify the right one that is edible. However, to make your way bit easier while you get confused in selecting whether a wild plant is poisonous or not you can consider the below-mentioned points into account –
- It has a soapy or bitter taste
- It has milky or discolored sap
- You found seeds, beans or bulbs inside the pods
- It has thorns, spines or fine hairs
- The growth pattern of a plant in three-leaved
- You get the almond smell in the leaves and woody parts of a wild plant
- The grain heads with black, pink and purplish spurs
If you found the above-mentioned features in any plant simply avoid their intake. However, keep in mind that some of these characteristics you may get in wild plants are enlisted here still they are edible. The above-mentioned characteristics are guidelines for you in a situation when you are not sure about the edibility of a wildly grown plant.
Now you have a list of some most popular wild plants that you can eat without any fear of getting sick or developing any side effect. So, it’s your turn to start raw food dieting with edible wild plants and be ready to grab those amazing health benefits that your body can avail with those specific nutrients substances that you can hardly get from any widely available food especially when you consume it after processing.
[expand title=”View Article Sources“]