Earth's two most precious metals come to mind when considering this short, creeping herb with leaves of silver and flowers of gold. This uniquely colored member of the rose family is commonly found in meadows and marshes across North America, Europe and parts of Asia.
What does it do?
Mildly astringent, silverweed is highly regarded for its ability to soothe sore throats and curb diarrhea. Externally, a poultice of silverweed addresses skin problems, lightens freckles, and once helped prevent scarring from smallpox. Considered a famine food -- i.e., any dependable source of nutrients when virtually nothing else is available -- silverweed was eaten by northern Europeans and North American tribes all the way up to the Arctic regions over the course of many centuries. Its long, starchy rootstock is reputed to taste like chestnuts, sweet potatoes or parsnips.
About the herb
This low–lying perennial grows 8 to16 inches tall. The underside of the leaves is covered with silky, soft white hairs, lending the appearance of being silver in color. Between June and August, a single bright yellow flower appears at the end of each footstalk.
Pour a cup of boiled water over two teaspoons of dried silverweed and allow it to stand for 15 minutes. Three cups of this concoction may be consumed daily to diminish menstrual cramps and indigestion. Silverweed tea is also beneficial in cases of mouth ulcers, spongy gums and loose teeth.
The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. NOTE: Visit herbalastrology.com to read Ted PanDeva Zagar's other articles and columns that discuss the benefits of herbs and natural foods.
DISCLAIMER: The author's comments are not intended to serve as medical advice, and he urges his readers to seek qualified wellness professionals to resolve matters of health.