Edible plants are part of the plant kingdom and are closely linked to the mineral kingdom.
For centuries, our ancestors used plants for medicine and food, and we still use them today, although you would think to a lesser extent.
Most of the edible plants are common species that can be found very easily and they all have a very large nutritional and medicinal content that we should continue to take advantage of to maintain the health and nutrition of our body.
Unfortunately, the ancestral knowledge of the power of plants in general and of edible plants has been disappearing.
We live in a world less connected to nature, with less contact with the countryside, with the peasants who cultivate.
We buy more and more without caring where the food comes from, how it was produced, what its components are and more.
For this reason, we want to give you more information about edible plants in a series of several articles so that you can learn more about them and incorporate them into your daily life.
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And then, what are edible plants?
Edible plants are used as ingredients for salads, condiments and spices in our kitchen.
A large number of edible plants are used as an ingredient in the preparation of culinary recipes.
They are a great option to flavor meats, pastas, rice dishes, sauces, soups and more. They are also known as culinary plants, such as cereals, fruits, legumes and vegetables, aromatic and some more.
Plants consist of 4 large parts, mainly: root, stem, leaf and flower, of which, for the most part, the stem, leaf and flower or seeds are the parts of edible plants.
Types of edible plants
Edible plants can be found in the form of trees, shrubs, herbs and bushes, the most used being herbs and bushes for consumption.
Wild edible plants
Wild edible plants are found naturally in grasslands and forests. The leaves are used in salads and the flowers to give exotic and pleasant flavors to stews, make infusions and syrups.
Within this group you can find purslane for its bitter taste and similar to pepper, crow’s foot whose shoots are eaten sautéed or raw, and the citric and sweet tagete, mallow, amaranth, dandelion and the borage.
Medicinal edible plants
These types of plants offer therapeutic functions, help cure or improve some diseases, which are edible plants.
Within this group are lemon balm, basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, plantain, chamomile and mint. They are generally consumed in the form of infusions or extracts.
Edible plants for salads
In this group are herbaceous plants such as:
- yarrow whose leaves are used in salads and gives a rich aroma
- the violet that, in addition to using its flowers decoratively, its leaves are soluble fiber to treat digestive diseases
As you may have noticed, we have answered the question of which plants are edible for humans, with some brief examples.
However, there is a huge number of food plants that are used for medicinal purposes or as food for you to explore, investigate and become interested in the properties of these plants and take advantage of all their benefits.
Benefits of Food Plants
The benefits of plants are too many and we are wasting them due to ignorance, lack of interest in the field or lack of time.
You can take advantage of the benefits of edible plants:
- as remedies for nerves
- for bad breath
- have digestive properties
- blood and skin cleansers
- like delicious aromatics
- as disinfectants and healing and many other properties.
As you well know, the way of growing and managing crops today has changed a lot compared to how it was done many years ago.
Today it is done in a more industrialized way, with genetic modifications, seeking economies of scale, using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, accelerating growth processes and many other things.
Everything mentioned above means that what we eat is contaminated with pesticides that harm our body or do not fulfill the same function that they had when the plants were original.
We recommend that you take charge of the process of growing your own garden (we will explain this in another article) so that you can be sure that what you eat is free of chemicals that are harmful to your health.
In addition, you will be able to enjoy the delicious flavor not only of the edible plant but of knowing that you yourself took care of your food and you did it through organic agriculture.
Little tips and tricks for you to use your food plants
You can use it to add a sweet touch to sauces, in addition to giving your body a high dose of vitamin K.
It provides the necessary energy to start the day with an amount of vitamin C, since spinach is rich in water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and a wide variety of phytonutrients.
You can incorporate them into your diet in the form of soups or creams, steamed, in tortillas, in smoothies and salads.
The leaves of this herbaceous plant are rich in beta-carotene, which we then transform into vitamin A.
It will also help fight the bacteria that are in your kidneys, allowing the elimination of waste, salt and excess water.
A great detoxifier, which increases urine production if you consume, for example, a delicious dandelion tea.
In a future article we will be presenting 20 medicinal plants, their uses and properties so that you can learn more about these valuable treasures.
We hope that you will be encouraged to investigate more on the subject and set up your own garden or at least start with a few pots in your kitchen.
You can really adapt a small space that, in addition to being decorative, can offer you all the benefits of these edible plants, improve the flavor of your meals and maintain a healthier life!