What a fine day to spend time outdoors! The reason is that today we’re celebrating Weed Appreciation Day, a day specially dedicated to observing and learning more about weeds. Did you know that weeds actually have a tremendous impact on the entire ecosystem? The reason that we call them weeds and think they are of no good is that we didn’t plant them. However, it’s safe to say that humans are not entitled to decide the “rights and wrongs” of Mother Nature, right? Just because we don’t know hardly anything about weeds, doesn’t make them bad.
The truth is that weeds have been used for centuries for their medicinal benefits, as well as for food. For instance, burdock, a very common weed is one of the most powerful natural detox herbs, one of the best for cleansing the liver from toxic buildup. The simple dandelion is an amazing healthy coffee replacer, which fights off allergies and is a great remedy for high cholesterol! Needless to say how amazing the common nettle is for our health. But don’t let that sting put you off!
And of course, there are wonderful weeds breaking out from city concrete or growing on suburban lawns that are actually edible. I am talking about weeds like dollarweed, purslane, goosefoot, or amaranth. Did you know that the highly valuable amaranth grain you buy at Whole Foods is actually a common weed?
The human mind tends to categorize things into good and bad. This thinking is flawed, though. We label as “bad” all the things we don’t know or don’t know how to use. This is the case with weeds. Modern agriculture/monoculture is one of the causes we dislike weeds. We think they don’t serve our crops, but it’s the opposite. All plants take something from the soil and give something else back. They naturally grow and thrive together in a perfectly woven ecosystem that supports life. Look at the bigger picture of things, and appreciate the true importance of weeds, that is supporting and nourishing life on Earth.