Common Urban Herbs and Their Uses - an Infographic! July 18, 2016 14:47

Common Urban Herbs and Their Uses
Here's a handy guide to some of the commonest herbs you'll find while foraging your urban neighborhood. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the full infographic!

COMMON IVY

 You'll see this urban herb contorting itself into strange places: trees, walls, staircases and alleyways are good places to look. Many consider it to be an invasive species.

This plant is a friend to urban wildlife: birds love their berries, deer love their leaves and small mammals love to burrow in their roots. Humans commonly use their extracts as a cough medicine - take caution however, as some folks have severe allergic reactions to Ivy.

Medicinal Uses of English ivy | Hedera helix

SOLOMON'S SEAL

These beautiful, recognizable plants grow all over the lower mainland and have a variety of uses. Boil the shoots as you would asparagus, make tea with the rhizomes, or dry the roots and mash into a flour.

Medicinally, some herbalists claim that the plant helps with cartilage issues such as osteo-arthritis. Others claim that it is a general restorative, promoting good mental fortitude.

Medicinal Uses of Solomon's seal | maianthemum Spp.

PINEAPPLEWEED | MATRICARIA DISCOIDEA

If you open your eyes to them, you'll see these adorable herbs springing from all corners of your urban landscape. They are hardy and will thrive in cracks in the sidewalk and heavily trafficked open parkland.

Pineappleweed extracts are effective insect repellents - and they smell delicious. In fact, this plant's soothing aroma is often utilized as an anxiety reducer in teas or tinctures. Herbalists also use this herb to treat unruly stomachs.

 

Medicinal Uses of pineappleweed | Matricaria discoidea

COMMON PLANTAIN | PLANTAGO MAJOR

This plant is everywhere! From roadsides, to parks, to cracks in the sidewalk, you can count on this herb growing voraciously in tough conditions. 

You can use the young leaves as you would lettuce, with the added benefit of a high nutrient and mineral content. Older leaves can be used to make small cords, fishing line, sutures, or braids.

Medicinally, common plantain is often used as a poultice to treat skin conditions and open sores, such as sunburns, insect bites, and small cuts. 

Medicinal Uses of common plantain | Plantago major

WHITE CLOVER | TRIFOLIUM REPENS

These small, pretty little plants grow prolifically in all sorts of grassy, urban settings. Bees love them. As well, they fix nitrogen and provide good forage for browsing animals. Children enjoy plucking and sucking the nectar from the small flowers.

Clovers are edible and high in protein, leading many to regard them as a 'survival' plant. Dried and ground, the plant makes a decent flour.

Some herbalists utilize clover extract as a blood cleanser and as a protection against colds.

Medicinal Uses of White Clover | Trifolium repens

FULL INFOGRAPHIC