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Fun with garlic mustard

c. 2012, Susun Weed

Green blessings and welcome to the first installment of fun with garlic mustard.

Garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis), a wild member of the cabbage family, is delicious, available year round, and loaded with important phyto-nutrients such as sulforophane. See if you can find some this week. It grows by the road, in your garden, under shrubs, even in the forest.

Both the leaves and the roots of garlic mustard are edible and medicinal. The roots, also known as wild horseradish, taste just like their big sister and make an incredible Garlic Mustard Root Vinegar.

Garlic mustard is very invasive, taking up the habitats of rare woodland plants like trillium, and carpeting the ground in gardens. The seeds produce a poison when they sprout that renders all other seeds in the soil unable to sprout or grow. Many people spend the spring pulling out as much garlic mustard as they can.

Pull away. Not with malice, with gratitude. Use the garlic mustard roots you pull to make Garlic Mustard Root Vinegar. It's fast, easy, and ever so yummy.

Garlic Mustard Root Vinegar

Find some garlic mustard and sit with it. Tell it you are going to harvest it.

Acknowledge that you are giving death to the plants. Dig up as many roots as you wish.

Soak the whole plant in cold water to loosen the dirt, then rinse.

Cut off the larger leaves, but keep the smaller purplish leaves and all petioles; chop.

Fill a glass or plastic jar with your chopped herb and then fill it to the top with apple cider vinegar.

Close with a non-metallic lid and label with the contents and date. Very shortly the red coloration will be visible in the center of the roots.

Within four hours the red coloration and the taste have moved out of the roots into the vinegar.

You can start using your Garlic Mustard Root Vinegar immediately on salads or stirred into water and taken to relieve sinus congestion.

Yes, it does better and stronger if you let it sit longer, but go ahead and use it now. Wow! I'll tell you how I use garlic mustard leaves next week.  

From the Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed's Six herbal medicine books focus on women's health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health. Visit her site for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more! Venture into the Menopause site to learn all about the Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.
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