Milkweed has many powerful health benefits and it’s a great tasting wild edible. Plus milkweed contains good fatty acids, it’s a great diuretic, helps with colds and coughs. And the fluffy white down is now being used as a natural down in coats instead of duck down… and much more.
Where it Grows – Milkweed or the species known as Asclepias syriaca grows all over the world. Common milkweed is very common in North American from the west coast to the east coast. There are many different varieties and only the sweet ones should be considered edible. Take a nice young leaf and chew on it, and if it’s bitter spit it out, and don’t use that variety because it’s not a true common milkweed or the right variety. Common milkweed is not bitter, but it does contain a small amount of cardiac glycosides which breaks down when cooked.
But as with all wild edibles try common milkweed and see how you react, not all wild foods and herbs are good for everyone. And buy a wild edible field guide to make sure that what you picking is really the common milkweed species Asclepias syriaca.
Cooking – Also milkweed does contain some very mild toxins that disappear when cooked just like in tomatoes, cabbage, and other veggies. So it’s important to cook milkweed for at least 20 minutes and then discard the water. Also eat young tender stalks of milkweed because older leaves contain more toxins.
Warts – Milkweed sap is latex like, and when applied to warts they fall off within a week or two… but make sure to reapply the latex daily. And the same latex has been used for treating cancer tumors, and the sap also works well for insect bites, bee stings, and ringworm.
Taste – Tender new flowers, leaves, and stems should be boiled, and then a little bit of lemon juice and olive oil can be added, and they taste like broccoli and asparagus, with a nutty flavor.
Seeds – The seeds have been used to treat asthma, and for treating kidney and bladder stones. The seeds have the ability to open up the lungs, and dilate bronchi thus making it easier to breathe. The cooked seeds also contain fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic acids, which are important for preventing cardiovascular disease. And the seeds also contain nine different types of natural steroids that help with inflammation. Young seed pods can be cooked and used as food, and they are very tasty… older seed pods are to tough and contain toxins, so go with the young ones.
Medicinal Roots – Native Americans and early settlers in the US, and the Europeans all came to know about the amazing qualities of milkweed root… or what some call pleurisy root. And pleurisy root has long been used as a powerful diuretic, a good laxative, as a anti-spasmodic, a good expectorant and cough medicine, a soothing and healing compound for gastric upsets, it lowers fevers, it’s very calming for stress, and it’s anti-inflammatory agent making it great for arthritis and joint pain in general.
Vitamin C and Betacarotene – Milkweed contains Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that prevent colds and flues. Milkweed also contains betacarotene which also helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer.
Milkweed Silk – Milkweed silk is also edible and sweet, and the silk can be added to rice when it’s cooking, and it gives the rice a cheesy flavor and makes everything stick together like cheese… without the cholesterol or fat. The silk can also be be gathered used as a substitute for cheese in other dishes… let your imagination run wild with this edible fluff.
Flower Buds – The flower buds are very good eating and can be used in stir-fries, soups, stews, casseroles, and even rice, and all kinds of other great dishes.
Attracting Pollinators – Milkweed flowers are important for attracting butterflies and bees to do the task of pollinating fruits, veggies, and all the great food on the planet. And with the decline of bees we need to attract as many pollinator insects as possible into our organic gardens and farms.
Other Uses of Milkweed – Some other uses of milkweed include making natural rope and string which is biodegradable… in fact the Native Americans have used milkweed to make rope and string from the long stems of the plants for centuries. And now milkweed floss is being harvested and used to fill coats and vests as a natural down instead of duck down and chicken feathers. Plus this natural down floats and has been used in the past to fill life preservers.
Try some common milkweed and have some free food and feel great.
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist
Feel Free to Share – This information is meant to get you started… so you can do more research on your own… dig a little deeper and find what works for you. This article is for educational purposes only, I strongly recommend that you seek advice from your own GP, private doctor, or medical specialist for any ailment, illness, or medical condition.. this article not meant to be a scientific analysis in any way, shape, or form.
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist and Spiritual Teacher for over 25 years, helping people to recover and feel healthy. You can also find Dr. Haider on FB under Dr. Paul Haider, Healing Herbs, and at www.paulhaider.com – feel free to connect with him any time.
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Dr. Paul Haider, Master Herbalist, HH, USA, Health and Wellness, Common Milkweed Plant, Edible, Healing, Warts, Ringworm, Cooking, Seeds, Fluff, Cheese Substitute, Medicinal Roots, pleurisy root, Vitamin C and Betacarotene, diuretic, laxative, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, cough medicine, gastric upsets, lowers fevers, calming for stress, anti-inflammatory, Seeds, Bladders Stones, Kidney Stones, Asthma, oleic and linoleic acids, Fatty Acids, Natural Steroids,
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