Susun Weed is an amazing woman and herbal healer. I wan'ted to share her words from her e-zine about Foraging. Spring is here and I know a few of you are seeing so many wild plants growing such as the dandelion, clover, plantain and more. Keep Susun's tips in mind before you do:
"Are you concerned about contamination of wild plants with lead, chemicals, and dog doo?
Avoid harvesting herbs from roadsides where lead concentration is high; plants growing by busy roads will accumulate more lead. The nearer the plant is to the road, the higher the level of lead concentration.
If you can't find a particular herb anywhere except by a road, pick at least eight feet from the road edge; lead levels drop sharply in the first few feet. In cities, pick from parks and other out-of-the-way places. Be wary of vacant lots which may be contaminated with lead paint.
Avoid picking under powerlines and along roads where the weeds are controlled by spraying instead of cutting. Suburban lawns that have been doused with weed killers rarely grow medicinal weeds, but if you support chemical warfare (distorted, mutated, sparse weeds are good clues), avoid that area.
Avoid gathering herbs where canines gather. Dogs can pass parasites to humans.
Allow yourself to be guided by your intuition, as well as your senses and your intelligence, and you will know which areas to avoid when picking wild plants. Given the amount of chemical contamination on commercial herbs (and fruits and vegetables, for that matter), I honestly feel safer taking risks in the wild.
Open your eyes and observe the green abundance. Open your heart and feel the green joy. Come with respect for green power. The devas of the plant kingdom welcome you."
by Susun Weed