20 August 2010

Cobbler's peg: a weedy precious gift from Mother Nature...

Have you noticed how much time we spend weeding the garden from all these "pest" plants that stubbornly keep on popping up regardless of how many sprays and powders and liquids we use in trying to get rid of them?

And, on the other hand, we stubbornly try to grow the plants that WE want and put in the soil fertilizers, growth-helping potions, cow manure and still our little plants still look struggling and not very happy?

Maybe we should stop and ponder... "Are we doing something wrong? Is this patch of land trying to tell me something?"...

The Cobbler's Peg is a perfect example... Probably everyone of us had the experience, some time or another, to get stuck in the black spiky seeds of the Bidens Pilosa (its botanical name) and trying to get rid of them from your jumper or your socks is not exactly my idea of a nice pastime!!

However, the Bidens Pilosa is actually an incredibly potent herb and its therapeutic uses have been widely known by many different cultures in South America and Africa where the Cobbler's Peg is native.

Its leaves, which have a slightly nutty flavour, can be used raw in salads, or dried and used as a tea. The sap of the plant can be used to treat burns, and crushed leaves on a wound are known to speed up blood clotting and healing. The tea is used to treat headache, stomach ulcers and diarrhea.

In recent studies (1990 and 1995) a hot water extract of Bidens Pilosa has shown to inhibit the growth of some tumors and to have some significant anti-leukemic action.

Other important properties of the Cobbler's Peg are antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory...

So, next time you set out to do some gardening, have a good look around and try to find out what weeds are pestering your beautiful garden... it might be a weedy precious gift from Mother Nature!!

If you are just starting to get to know some herbs and their uses, this book is a must! It lists some of the more common plants and it gives very useful suggestions on how to use them, in your cooking or for therapeutic purposes. It is also full of very nice illustrations which makes it really easy for the non-experts to identify quickly a plant...
A little warning: once you start knowing different plants and their properties you will find it really difficult to look at them as "weeds" again!! Happy reading and Happy Herbing!!

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