This week's wild edible is Self-Heal, also known as Heal All!

-The leaves and flowers on this plant are edible raw but have a mild bitter flavor. The taste can be improve by cooking, but you lose a lot of the nutrients that way.

-This plant can usually be found along river, streams, forest edges, pastures and abandoned fields. They thrive particularly well in moist soils.

-Growing roughly 4-18" tall, this plant can be identified easily by its tubular flower shape with whorled florets. Each of these tiny "flowers" consists of two parts: a "hood" (upper) that is usually light purple, and an "apron" (lower) that is usually white.

-This plant is especially valuable due to its medicinal qualities that help to treat (but not limited to) headaches, sore throat, ulcers, and is also an astringent, a styptic, and a general tonic.

Be sure to avoid any plants growing near roads, around chemicals, other poisonous plants, or polluted/contaminated water.

As always, be sure to use the Universal Edibility Test to ensure the plant is the correct plant and to help identify any unknown allergies you may have.

With 15+ years of outdoors experience, dirt runs through my veins. When I was a child, often I would slip away with nothing more than a pack of matches and a kitchen knife to go on my "outdoor adventures". More than a decade and a half later I'm still here, with new adventures, a little nicer equipment, and a bit more wisdom.

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