Edible and Medicinal Plants List

07/06/2011 09:36

American Ginseng - Panax quinquefolius
Medicinal Use: Tea made from the root.
Lowers blood sugar after a meal in people with type 2 diabetes. Respiratory tract infections in adults. Stress, anemia, insomnia, gastritis, impotence, fever, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), HIV/AIDS, fibromyalgia, breast cancer, and other conditions

American Hazelnut – Corylus americana
Edible Use: Nuts, flour, candy.
Asparagus – Asparagus officinalis
Edible Use: Asparagus. Boil or steam for 10-15 min.

Bee Balm, Oswego Tea, Bergamot – Monarda
Edible Use: seasoning for wild game, particularly birds. The plant tastes like a mix of spearmint and peppermint with oregano.
Medicinal Use: Plants have strong antiseptic action, and can be used poultices of the plant for skin infections and minor wounds. A tea made from the plant can also be used to treat mouth and throat infections caused by dental caries and gingivitis. Bee balm is the natural source of the antiseptic Thymol, the primary active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas.

Blackberries – Rubus allegheniensis
Edible Use: Fruits can be eaten fresh, or used to make jams or jellies. Leaves can be used to make tea. Medicinal Use: Juice and wine from berries is used to combat diarrhea. Juice boiled down can be added to brandy for a spring tonic. Tea from dried leaves also can be used to control diarrhea.

Black Walnut – Juglans nigra
Edible Use: Nuts, candy, flour, oil, syrup. Nuts can be eaten raw, dipped in sugar, or ground into a meal-like flour. Medicinal Use: A leaf infusion can be used as an astringent and as a remedy against bedbugs. Oil extracted from ripe kernels, by boiling, can be used for colic, or as a palliative for various skin troubles.

Butterfly Weed, Pleurisy Root – Asclepias tuberosa
Medicinal Use: used as an expectorant for wet coughs and other pulmonary ailments.



Cat-Tail – Typhaceae
Edible Use: Spring buds on underground stems can be eaten raw or cooked like asparagus. Cook female flowers like corn on the cob. Ripe pollen used as flour substitute.
Medicinal Use: The mature cobs can be used to spread over burned, scalded and chafed portions of the body. The stems can be cut, sliced and chopped to spread on wounds, burns, and sores.

Chickweed – Stellaria media
Edible Use: Can be eaten raw in salads. Boil, drain, and serve with butter, seasonings, and chopped onion. Medicinal Use: As a poultice, leaves sooth and heal anything it comes in contact with. Internally, used for bronchitis, coughs, cold symptoms, hoarseness, and arthritis.

Chicory – Cichorium intybus
Edible Use: For coffee substitute, scrub roots and roast slowly in oven until brown. Grind and brew like coffee. Leaf crown can be eaten raw, or boiled and served with butter and seasonings. Medicinal Use: Leaves contain high amounts of calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium, vitamins A and C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Roots boiled like coffee can increase the urine flow, act as a mild laxative and as a tonic.

Clover, red – Trifolium pretense
Edible Use: Dried flower heads make a healthy tea.

Crabapple – Pyrus spp.
Edible Use: Jelly & preserves. High in pectin.

Curly Dock – Rumex crispus
Edible Use: Cooked green, salad.
Medicinal Use: Rich in protein and vitamin A.

Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale
Edible Use: Young leaves can be added to salads. Leaves can be boiled for 5-10 minutes. Flower buds can be boiled and served with butter. Flowers can be dipped in batter and fried. Roots can be baked until brown and brittle; grind and perk like coffee.

Daylily – Hemoracallis fulva
Edible Use: Tubers can be eaten raw in salads or boiled in salt water until tender. Buds and flowers can be dipped in egg batter and fried.

Purple Coneflower – Echinacea augustifolia
Medicinal Use: Root or flower can be used to make tincture, tea, powder, poultice, or suppository. Immune stimulant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, cell normalize.

Elderberry – Sambucus
Edible Use: Flower clusters can be used to make fritters. Fruits can be used to make pies, jams, or wine. Medicinal Use: Fruit has a cooling, gentle laxative, and urine increasing properties. The berries help arthritis and gout. The juice can be simmered until thick and used as cough syrup.

Wild Garlic - Allium canadense
Edible Use: Chop raw into green salads.
Boil in salted water, drain, add butter and serve. Can be used in soups or stews.
Medicinal Use: Bulbs can be crushed and used as poultice and applied to chest for pneumonia.

Evening Primrose – Oenothera biennis
Edible Use: Taproots can be peeled and boiled and seasoned, or sliced and fried. Roots can be cooked with meats or stews. Medicinal Use:
Oil can be used for eczema or other skin allergies or irritation. Oil can be used for other conditions involving inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Ginger, wild – Asaram canadense
Edible Use: Roots can be boiled until tender, then simmered in sugar syrup to make candy. Dried, the roots can be substituted for commercial ginger.

Gooseberry – Ribes spp
Edible Use: Fresh or dried fruit, jelly, pie filling, fruit sauce.

Grapes – Vitis
Edible Use: Fruits can be used to make juice, wine or jelly. Young leaves can be used as green vegetable or as wraps. Medicinal Use: Fruit and seeds contain high levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, C, and B, plus other trace minerals. Antioxidants rid the body of toxins.

Henbit, dead nettle – Lamium camplexicaule
Edible Use: Young tender leaves and shoots can be eaten raw in salads.

Jerusalem artichoke – Helianthus tuberosus
Edible Use: Bake or boil tubers like sweet potatoes until tender. Peel and mash. Add butter, salt, and milk. Medicinal Use: A tincture of the blossoms can be used for bronchitis. Leaves help to control malaria. Tubers cooked and mashed can be used for invalids and convalescents as they are easily digested.

Jewel Weed, Touch-Me-Not –
Impatiens capensis
Medicinal Use: After exposure to poison ivy, oak, or stinging nettle, slice the stem, rub its juicy inside on exposed parts. This will ease irritation and usually prevents break-outs.
Kentucky Coffee-tree – Gumnocladus dioica
Edible Use: Seeds can be roasted and ground into a caffeine-free coffee substitute. Fresh seeds and pulp are poisonous.

Lady’s Thumb – Persicaria vulgaris
Edible Use: Young leaves used in salads or cooked like spinach. Small bulbils on lower stalks can be eaten raw. Roots can be roasted or baked like potatoes. Medicinal Use: Juice from plant useful in easing abrasions, cuts, wounds. Tea is useful in increasing urine flow.

Lamb’s-Quarter, Pigweed –
Chenopodium album
Edible Use: The tender leaves and tips are excellent steamed or boiled for 10-15 minutes. The seeds can be boiled to make breakfast gruel, or ground into flour.

May apple, Mandrake –
Podophyllum peltatum
Edible Use: Eat ripe fruits fresh. Fruits can be used to make preserves, jam or pie filling.
Medicinal Use: Roots, steeped in water to make tea is used as a purgative and an emetic, as well as to kill and expel worms from digestive tract. Used as a diuretic.

Milkweed, common – Asclepias syriaca
Edible Use: Boil. Discard water and repeat 2-3 times with boiling water. Do not use cold water in process. Cook treated shoots like asparagus. Use treated pods in soup like okra.
Medicinal Use: The milky white sap can be rubbed on warts or to cure ringworm.


Mullein – Verbascum Thapsus
Medicinal Use: Tea made from leaves for upper respiratory congestion. Flowers used as infused oil for inner ear canal. Root used as tonic.

Peppermint - Menta piperita
Spearmint – Mentha spicata
Edible Use: Leaves can be used as tea, or simmered and strained to use in mint jelly.
Medicinal Use: Tea made from leaves can be used for nausea, indigestion, chills, and sedative.

Morel mushroom – Morchella esculenta
Edible Use: Cooked as vegetable, sautéed in butter.

Mulberry, red – Morus rubra
Edible Use: Fruits can be used in jelly and cold drinks. Tender young shoots can be cooked as a vegetable. Medicinal Use: The berries can be crushed and squeezed to make a drink that is beneficial in bringing down a high fever. The juice is also sedative and mildly narcotic.

Mullein - Verbascum Thapsus
Medicinal Use: Harvest the leaves from first year plants throughout the summer, the root at the end of the first year, and the flowers during July of the second year. Tea made from leaves & taken warm is excellent for an unproductive cough and for relief of chest congestion and conditions such as asthma and occlusive pulmonary disease. Flowers are harvested to make infused oil, which is soothing and disinfecting to the inner ear canal. The young root is used as a tonic for the nervous system, best prepared as an extract.

Wild Mustard – Brassica spp
Edible Use: Salad, cooked green, cooked vegetable. Unopened flower buds can be cooked and substituted for broccoli.

New Jersey Tea – Ceanothus americanus
Edible Use: Leaves can be used to make tea. Dried root bark tea can be used as a sedative.
Medicinal Use: Dried root bark tea can be used as a sedative.

Ostrich Fern – Pteretis pensylvanica
Edible Use: Tight curled fronds (fiddle heads) can be used raw in salad or cooked like asparagus.

Wild Onion – Allium cernuum
Edible Use: Chop raw into green salads. Or boil in salted water, drain, add butter and serve. Can be used in soups or stews.

Passion Flower – Passiflora incarnate
Edible Use: Fresh fruit, cold drink, jelly. Simmer fruit 5 minutes, strain, add lemon and sugar, chill, and drink. Add pectin and make jelly.

Pawpaw – Asimina triloba
Edible Use: Pulp of fruit can be eaten raw. Cook creamy, custard-like pulp, minus seeds and skin, and use in puddings, breads, ice cream. Medicinal Use: Seeds dried and pulverized can be used to bring on vomiting. Dried ground seeds can be used to rid scalp of head lice. Fruit is high in vitamins and minerals.

Persimmon – Diospyruos virginiana
Edible Use: Fresh fruit can be used in jam, pudding, nut bread. Leaves can be dried and used to make tea.

Pigweed, Redroot – Amaranthus retrolflexus
Edible Use: Fresh greens can be boiled and seasoned. Dried leaves can be used in soups. Seeds can be ground into meal and used in muffins, pancakes, breads. Medicinal Use: Rich source of calcium. High in vitamin A and C.

Plantain, broadleaf – Plantago major
Edible Use: The new tender leaves can be used in salads. Can be boiled and seasoned. Leaves can be steeped for a beverage. Seeds can be ground into flour for pancakes. Medicinal Use: Seeds used as a bulk laxative. Leaves used as a poultice for wounds, cuts, scratches and abrasions. Mashed leaves used as treatment for snakebites, poisonous insect bites, and black widow bites.

Pokeweed – Phytolacca Americana
Edible Use: Cook like asparagus, cooked green, or pickled. The young shoots or the young leafy tips can be boiled 20-30 minutes in at least 2 changes of water.  Root, seeds, mature stems and leaves poisonous.



Wild Potato Vine
Ipomoea pandurata
Edible Use: You can use the root as a potato and bake or boil it. They resemble slightly bitter sweet potatoes. You may need to boil them in several changes of water to remove the bitterness. The root is large, vertical and deeply buried. WARNING: The raw root is a purgative.

Prickly Pear – Opuntica humifusa
Edible Use: Pulp of fruits can be eaten fresh, chilled. Pulp can be dried for later use, or boiled down, and strained to make syrup for jelly. Medicinal Use: Poultices made from mashed pulp or from peeled stems were used for abrasions and other wounds.

Evening Primrose - Oenothera biennis
Edible Use: Taproots can be peeled and boiled and seasoned, or sliced and fried. Roots can be cooked with meats or stews. Medicinal Use: Leaves and stems can be soaked and used as a poultice, or simmered in salt water and given to convalescents as a tonic. A salve made from plant is useful for skin inflammations. Can be used to lessen spasms of whooping cough.

Purslane – Portulaca oleracea
Edible Use: Salad, cooked green, pickle, flour. Fresh leaves and stems can be added to salad or boiled for 10 minutes. Seeds can be ground into nutritious flour. Medicinal Use: Contains high amounts of vitamin A and C, and iron. Pursley tea is used for relaxation and sleep.

Raspberry – Rubus occidentalis
Edible Use: Fruits can be eaten frsh, or sued to make jams or jellies. Leaves can be used to make tea. Medicinal Use: Juice and wine from berries is used to combat diarrhea. Juice boiled down can be added to brandy for a spring tonic. Tea from dried leaves also can be used to control diarrhea.

Rose – Rosa
Edible Use: Rose hips of some species, have been used as a source of Vitamin C. Rose hips are commonly used as an herbal tea, often blended with hibiscus and as an oil. They can also be used to make jam, jelly, marmalade and wine.


Sassafras - Sassafras
 Use: The roots of Sassafras can be steeped to make tea and were used in the flavoring of root beer until being banned by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sassafras tea or sassafras oil contains safrole that can cause liver damage or various types of cancer.

Shagbark Hickory - Carya ovate
Edible Use: Nuts, candy, flour, oil, syrup, sugar, water.

Sorrel – Oxalis
Edible Use: Salad, cold drink. Fresh leaves added to salads. Steep leaves for 10 minutes in hot water, add sugar or honey for refreshing drink.

St. John’s Wort - Hypericum perforatum
Medicinal Use: widely known as a herbal treatment for depression.

Stinging nettle – Urtica dioica
Edible Use: Fresh greens can be boiled and seasoned. The cooking water can be used as a beverage with lemon and sugar. The cooking water can also be used as rennet for pudding.
Medicinal Use: High in vitamin C & vitamin A content. Juice from simmered greens used as a spring tonic and to relieve asthma, bronchitis and coughs.

Strawberry, wild – Fragaria spp
Edible Use: Fresh or cooked fruit, jam, tea. Use like cultivated strawberries.

Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum
Edible Use: the major source of sap for making maple syrup.

Sumac – Rhus
Edible Use: Cold drink. Bruise berries, soak for 10-15 minutes in cold water. Strain, sweeten, & chill. Medicinal Use: The milky, gummy juice, which changes to black, can be injected into tooth cavities to ease pain. The hardened juice, is comprised of tannic and gallic acid, when made into an ointment is effective in healing scratches, cuts, wounds and sores. Can be put on moles and warts.


Sun flower - Helianthus annuus
Edible Use: Sunflower whole seed can be eaten raw or roasted. Seeds can be processed into a peanut butter alternative. The oil extracted from the seeds can be used for cooking.

Violets – Viola
Edible Use: A candied violet flower is preserved by a coating of egg white and crystalised sugar used for decorations on baked goods. Medicinal Use: The flowers, leaves and roots of various Viola species are used for medicinal purposes as they are rich in vitamins A and C. They also contain a type of antioxidant called an anthocyanin. Viola flowers are also used to make an herbal tea.

Winter Cress – Barbarea vulgaris
Edible Use: Salad, cooked green, vegetable.

Yarrow, Nose Bleed Plant, Soldier’s Wound Wort - Achillea millefolium
Edible Use: The younger leaves are said to be a pleasant leaf vegetable when cooked as spinach, or in a soup. Yarrow is sweet with a slight bitter taste. The leaves can also be dried and used as an herb in cooking.
Medicinal Use: Yarrow intensifies the medicinal action of other herbs taken with it, and helps eliminate toxins from the body. It is reported to be associated with the treatment of numerous ailments. The salicylic acid derivatives are a component of aspirin, which may account for its use in treating fevers and reducing pain. Yarrow tea is also said to be able to clear up a cold within 24 hours. Yarrow has also been used as a Quinine substitute.

Yucca – Yucca
Edible Use: The large flower petals can be added to salad. Pulp from the ripe fruit can be eaten cooked: halve the fruit, scrape out the seeds and fiber, wrap in foil and bake. Medicinal Use: Agitation of the roots with water result in soapy suds which can be used for general skin care and for abrasions. Leaves contain salicylic acid, and brewed teas have same qualities as aspirin. Use for headache, arthritis, muscle pain, and temperature.