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How to Forage Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants

Learn how to forage wild edible and medicinal plants right in your own backyard! My favorite foraging books, how to ID plants, and examples of easy to forage plants!

How to Forage Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants

Always use at least three sources to ID a plant before you decide to use it for food or medicine. I look the plant up in at least three books, matching the picture and description of the stems, leaves, flowers and seeds depending on the season.

Start with an image search of a photo you take of the plant first if you aren’t sure where to start.

There are many content creators on social media that teach you how to identify, harvest, and use wild plants. Check out your local foraging groups and search for related hashtags.

If you are not 100% sure do not eat the plant! Take a sample and continue to look it up online and in books until you are confident.

Books I Recommend

Here are a few of the books I am using to learn about plants right now in the Midwest, zone 6b!

  • Midwest Foraging, 115 wild and flavorful edible from burdock to wild peach, by Lisa M. Rose
  • The Wild and Weedy Apothecary, An A to Z book of herbal concoctions, recipes and remedies, practical know-how & food for the soul, by Doreen Shababy
  • Midwest Medicinal Plants, Identify, harvest and use 109 wild herbs for health and wellness, by Lisa M. Rose
  • Stalking the Wild Asparagus, by Euell Gibbons
  • The Artisan Herbalist, Making Teas, Tinctures, and Oils at Home, by Bevin Cohen
  • Edible Wild Plants, a folding pocket guide to familiar North American Species, by Kavanagh/Leung

Look for books and authors from your local region!

Common Spring Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants

Check out this video to see what plants I found in my yard on May 7, 2023 in Zone 6b!

On this plant walk I found what I thought was dock, (and later learned is smartweed), dandelion, lambs quarters, ground ivy, bee balm, lemon balm, burdock, lilac, cleavers, purple dead nettle, wild violets, and plantain!

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel @jess_from_earth for more content like this!

Using Your Harvest of Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants

There are many ways to use the wild edible and medicinal plants you have found! Look in your reference books and search online to find the best uses for your plants. Here are some ideas:

  • Fresh Tea
  • Dried Tea
  • Tinctures
  • Oils
  • Balms
  • Culinary Spice Blends
  • Smoothies
  • Baking
  • Salad Dressings
  • Stir-Fry
  • and tons more!

Happy Foraging!

Let me know what wild edible and medicinal plants you find and how you decided to use them in the comments below!

Ideas for future blog posts? Questions? Contact jess from earth 🙂

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