Dandelions. Jerusalem artichokes. peppermint. Egyptian onions. Water hyacinth. Kudzu. Pond algae.
What do all these plants have in common?
Many of us would consider them to be invasive and a nuisance to be controlled or eradicated. But could invasive plants be crucial to our survival?
Some of the plants mentioned above are native to America, some are not. But they thrive wherever conditions are right for them. Why don’t we take advantage of that and make use of them? Truthfully, the chemicals used to get rid of them are more harmful to the environment than the plants themselves.
Timothy Lee Scott discusses this and more in his book Invasive Plant Medicine: The Ecological Benefits and Healing Abilities of Invasives.
We’re constantly changing the world we live in. And it’s been going on since the dawn of time. So what’s the big deal?
Consider the ever popular Kentucky bluegrass. It was brought here from Europe. We don’t think of it as an invasive plant, but it illustrates that extreme environmentalists who think America should be returned to wilderness and native plants have no chance of accomplishing their goal.
Why not acknowledge the value of all plants, invasive or otherwise, and make peace withthem, rather than war? What if invasive plants can benefit the ecosystem and improve biodiversity where they survive, as well as provide good medicine for us?
Invasive Plant Medicine looks at the healing properties of 25 of the most common invasive plants. They can detoxify soils as well as help heal humans.
Info about the book says…
“Each plant examined includes a detailed description of its physiological actions and uses in traditional healing practices; tips on harvesting, preparation, and dosage; contraindications; and any possible side effects.”
When survival is on the line, shouldn’t we know as much about useful plants as we can? What does it matter where they came from or how they got there?
Let’s consider a couple examples.
In a previous post I raised the question of whether kudzu is useful for survival. You can view that post here.
Water hyacinth is another plant some see as a pest. But what if you could compost it for your survival garden? Would that change your mind about it? The video below shows other examples of constructive ways to use it.
If you’re intrigued by the possibilities of invasive plants for healing, get a copy of Invasive Plant Medicine by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. That takes you to the page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process.
Isn’t it high time we rethink current attitudes about invasive plants?