For the Health of it: Eat Your Weeds

Seasonal health secrets of Chinese medicine, shared by Devorah Fallows R.Ac., Wolfville
“They’re quite tasty—honest.”
My patient’s left eyebrow raised slowly of its own accord as she looked at me quizzically.
“Eat your weeds! It’s that simple,” I explained.
A conspiratorial grin crept across her face as she stood watching me in my crisp white doctor’s coat, giving my prescription: “Fresh young dandelion and nettle leaves: add them to everything. Use them just like you would use spinach.”
Up and down the Valley there is an explosion of colour: rows of flowering fruit trees and grapevines, alternating with rows of brilliant yellow dandelions. Living in the Annapolis Valley, we are blessed with quick access to healthy organic food. From Stewart’s in the east to Bruce Family Farms to the west, with TapRoot in between, our Valley bursts with producers of healthy organic food. Those bright yellow flowers indicate that the land hasn`t been tainted with herbicide that eventually makes its way into our food and bodies. With many of our ancient Chinese medicinal formulas, there is little difference between a delicious soup and a prescribed medicine tea.
Dandelions are easy to spot. Gather the young leaves and mix generously into salads, or put them on pizza and sandwiches. A neat trick is to choose a single dandelion clump and cut it down regularly, so you have a constant supply of healthy young greens. If you know what nettles look like, gather them, store them in the fridge, and use them as you would spinach in your meals. Or simply pop down to Noggins Farm market, where you can buy tidy bags of fresh, crisp nettles from TapRoot farms.
Chinese medicine is all about helping your body find balance to be and stay healthy. Dandelions and nettles make a healthy balanced combination. Dandelion soothes yang and fire within us with its cool, bitter nature. It stimulates digestion and soothes liver yang (anger and frustration). Nettles, on the other hand, nourish yin and blood, especially of the liver. They are highly nutrient rich, tonifying, and nourishing. In Chinese medicine, food is medicine. Don`t diet, eat! How cool is that?

Devorah Fallows says “Be Well”.