You probably encountered this common landscaping plant before — goutweed plagues gardens and can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Even though this plant can be a pest, many people don’t know goutweed can be removed by eating it.
Yes, Goutweed is edible and some might say its leaves even taste like anise or licorice. Goutweed has a long history of medicinal uses besides being used in salads. From aiding ailments like rheumatism to arthritis, this plant proposes many benefits for bone and joint health.
Botanical Name and Family of Goutweed
The botanical name for goutweed is Aegopodium podagraria. It’s surprisingly a part of the carrot or Apiaceae family and has been referred to as Bishop’s Weed, Ground Elder, and Wild Masterwort.
What Is Goutweed?
Goutweed is a perennial plant of the carrot family and is native to Eurasia, but it is grown all across the world as an ornamental shrub in shady places. It is also known as Ground Elder because the leaves and flowers resemble those of the Elder plant. This herb is used as a potherb and also as a vegetable.
The genus, Aegopodium Podagraria, is from the Greek words “agios” meaning goat and “podion” meaning little foot, reason being is because the leaves are said to resemble that of a goat’s foot. Podagraria is also Greek for “gout of the foot,” which is what this plant has often been attributed to healing.
Active ingredients found in goutweed:
Leaves of goutweed contain an essential oil made up of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes.
Health Benefits of Goutweed
Traditionally, as the name indicates, goutweed was used in the treatment of gout and arthritis. When the leaves are picked just before the flowering season, they provide laxative action. The leaves may also be eaten to exert a mild sedative and diuretic action. This herb has been used to treat kidney, intestinal and bladder disorders, but more research still needs to be done.
Goutweed not only has anti-inflammatory properties, but it has also been used as a diuretic and a sedative. When used externally as a thick paste, goutweed can help heal gout, painful joints, sciatica, arthritis, hemorrhoids, wounds, burns and insect bites.
Different Ways to Consume Goutweed
Aside from using the leaves of goutweed in food, the leaves and roots can be used externally in a wrap after boiling. Leaves may also be ingested or dried and used as a paste.
Side Effects of Goutweed
Goutweed proposes a variety of health benefits, but more research on the efficiency of this herb still needs to be performed. Because of the lack of research, no side effects have been reported.
Just to be on the safe side, make sure to speak with your doctor to see if adding goutweed to your daily diet will be beneficial for you.
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Orav A, Viitak A, Vaher M. Identification of bioactive compounds in the leaves and stems of Aegopodium podagraria by various analytical techniques. Procedia Chemistry. Jan 2010: 2(1); 152-160