Chickweed: Chickweed sprouts were a common source of greens on early navy ships and helped prevent scurvy before the discovery of vitamin C. Their small amount of saponins help give dishes containing chickweed a creamy texture, especially when diced finely and simmered in pasta sauces. It's also tastes wonderful in pesto, salsas, and raw food/vegan "green drinks" as well as greatly increasing the nutritional value of these foods.
The hairy "Mouse-Eared Chickweed" must be cooked before eating to soften the hairs on the stems and leaves.
Pimpernel:The scarlet pimpernel has a tradition of medicinal use going back to the ancient Greeks. They considered it to be a "cure-all", capable of treating any sort of injury, illness, or infection of bone, muscle, eye or other organ. The plant was dried and powdered, this powder then consumed in a drink. The raw plant has a rather unpleasant taste, probably due to the small amount of bitter saponin compounds it contains. It was also used as a wash for bad skin. Perhaps more importantly the pimpernel was thought to raise spirits and dispel melancholy, for which tea made from the fresh plant was recommended.
The pimpernel flowers close up when rain approaches, allowing them to be used as a crude method of predicting bad weather. The flowers also close up in the evening and won't reopen until stuck by sunlight.
Growing Wild Tip: I encourage you to discover one new wild food near you this week......wild edibles offer such amazing primitive nutrition. There are numerous books on the subject that are beneficial. But remember, if you are uncertain its best to hire a guide or teacher to get you familiarized with your local wild food. Once you have some ingredients to work with, there are great recipes at sites like Edible Wild Food
Wild Chickweed Smoothie..........Green Apples, Strawberries, Banana, Local Bee Pollen and freshly harvested Chickweed!
The smoothie was great. It provided great energy to nourish me for a busy afternoon.
Now, I am dehydrating the Pimpernel for a wonderful medicinal tea.