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Common Weeds: Life Enhancing Tonics in Your Backyard

Did you know that many of the common weeds intruding on your lawn are valuable plants that enhance vitality and health?  

People spend thousands of dollars poisoning native and health promoting plants, unaware of their value as highly nutritive foods, tonics to strengthen the liver, digestive and immune systems, wound healers and inflammation busters.

If you know your plants have not been poisoned, wild crafting your own herbs is so much fun. Not there yet? I can help you learn. Find me at Pure On Main.


Chickweed likes early spring and fall with cute tiny white flowers before she seeds. You can eat chickweed, drink infused with water (as a tea), or use topically (spit poultice or infused in oil) on red, dry or itchy skin. Chickweed is a tasty, mildly bitter green eaten in salads, loaded with potassium, iron and tons of vitamins.

Cooling and moistening, chickweed softens skin, cools inflamed internal tissues, and helps break down fats in the body. Whether looking to lose body fat, break down cysts or tumors, or for relief from sunburn, chickweed would be an appropriate choice.

common weeds, violets


Violet is another nutritive salad addition packed with vitamins and minerals.  Her deep green leaves and purple flowers are edible. Infuse the leaves with water for tea or make a poultice to stimulate lymph, reduce fever and inflammation, soothe coughs and sore throats, dissolve breast lumps and reduce tumor growth.  

Cleavers also comes in early spring to help strengthen a sluggish lymphatic system after sedentary winter. Her star-shaped leaves along a long stalk stick “cleave” to your clothes.

Cleavers is delicious when infused with water and enjoyed as tea or made into a long-lasting tincture when the plant is freshly cut.

common weeds, cleavers, make tea


Plantain, the “boo-boo” plant, takes the pain out of bee stings and bites or bug bites when chewed into a spit poultice and stuck on the “ouch,” giving instant relief. Her broad or long skinny leaves have parallel veins and grow right out of the ground. As a kid, I folded the stalk around itself and catapulted the seed head with my thumb.


Jewelweed, my favorite summer staple, is a friend when it comes to poison ivy. After a summer shower, her leaves collect raindrops that sparkle like shiny jewels in the sun. Bruise her leaves and stem by crushing with your hands and rub on itchy skin or soak in water overnight and add alcohol to make a poison ivy spray. Too much work. Come to Pure On Main for this “must have” for your first aid kit.

English Ivy Killing Our Trees

common weeds, English Ivy

I once thought it was pretty growing on the trees, until I learned that Ivy will kill the tree if it reaches the top. Please rescue our neighborhood trees by cutting off the Ivy vines. It will take a few months, but the Ivy will die, and eventually fall off after a few years. Do not rip it off for it will pull the bark off and damage the tree.

By: Julia Fuller