Super Wild Edibles: Purslane And Peperomia Plants, And Sedge Grass
Frankly, it does nothing for super edible wild weeds to present themselves all the year round in ordinary places as familiarity breeds contempt. Perhaps if they make themselves scarce and could only be found in far-fetched places, man might beat a path to taste and see their intrinsic value. Such is the contradiction in humans though you can never keep a good plant down for all time.
A chef’s foraging for wild purslane to treat the itchy rash on a friend’s skin got me all excited with the herb. Sprouting from sidewalk cracks, it can trick you into dismissing it as one of the free stuffs when actually, it is a weed worth eating.
When news of the speed of recovery of chef’s friend got to me, I knew it was a herbal remedy on hand. I set off to look for some purslane, hoping to snap a good photo as well.
To my surprise, the purslanes I stumbled across have bigger leaves than the ones the chef got hold of. Further, I have found patches of purslane with the tiniest leaves, right in front of the house. This made me realize that not all purslane herbs are equal; in fact, there are several varieties out there, waiting for you to pick and choose for your use.
Above all, I learn that mother nature’s bounty of edible wild plants, is for all. However, it is beyond expectations when research shows that purslane has more heart-healthy omega-3 fats than any other edible plant, What an easy way to load up on omega-3! This is music to my ears.
Another feather in the cap is, it has more cancer-inhibiting antioxidant than any other fruit or vegetable tested. Not to be outdone by other herbs, it is a rich source of vitamins A and C. So watch your step and do not walk all over the humble purslane!
Then, there was a tiny weed with shiny deep green leaves that unfailingly popped up in the flower-pots – the peperomia plant. Intent on ridding the soil of nutrient robbers, I did not probe, from the start, its medicinal potential. Had I the slightest inking that it could make a delicious salad green, I would have harvested enough for the day.
Albeit, I did have misgivings in uprooting such pretty little plants. More importantly, it is amazing that the leaves have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and can treat all sorts of pain – headache, stomach ache, and rheumatism.
While the purslane likes to spread all over the place, the thin stems of the peperomia plant allow it to flex and bend towards the sun but the third plant in this article, the white water sedge grass stands upright with a small white ball at its head.
On a whim, I may yank off the ground masses of lalang, but never the sedge grass; I will withhold my hands out of reverence for the simple elegance of this little grass plant.
This herbal weed contains a lot of antioxidants with many healing properties. Nutrition-wise, the whole plant can be boiled to make a refreshing drink that can alleviate the pain in your feet. However, it is felt that the full potential of the white water sedge has yet to be exploited.