10 Weeds With Surprising Uses

10 Weeds With Surprising Uses

10 weeds with surprising uses

“Like…from the back yard?” my friend’s husband retorted in offense. He had just learned that the dandelion tea he was sipping on wasn’t made using a store bought mix. In fact, it was sourced locally…straight from yard-to-cup. Oh, the audacity! LOL!

While listening to my friend recap the rest of this hilarious husband-wife moment, I started to think. Why is it that using a “weed” from the backyard is such an offensive thought, but anything that comes from a garden brings such joy? After all, did God not create both types of edible resources for us to use? Does the store bought label truly make a difference?

Though I won’t pretend that I have all the answers, one thing is abundantly clear. The biggest shift between Eden and now, is our mindset. Fortunately for us, mindset can be changed. All we need is a little bit of effort and a whole lot of knowledge. Let’s start by examining the possibilities of what we already have invading our backyards….weeds!

The Lineup

Before I dive straight into the deep end, a little disclaimer… I am by NO means a herbal specialist. Like you, I am just starting to learn about different plants and their medicinal properties. I am inviting you into my journey to be a companion and to learn along side me. Before you try any DIY medicinal remedies, I highly recommend consulting your local herbalist, homeopathic, or holistic medical professional. The following information is meant to open your eyes and mind to the possibilities nature has to offer, not replace professional medical care. Whew! Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the fun part…

The following list is comprised of the ten most common weeds with medicinal benefits. Most of these varieties grow in abundance around the globe. These plants are the villains that thrive off no water, no nutrients, no fertilizer, and laugh when you try to kill them. While your prized garden gets ravaged by pests and disease, these little buggers just bask happily in the sun completely unscathed. How amazing would it be if the most infuriating of plants could actually end up being the solution to your most common health problems?

Browse this lineup to see which villainous invaders you recognize. Be sure to read the captions to learn about the potential medicinal properties each one has to offer!


10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Constipation & Diarrhea
  • Asthma, Mucous, & Respiratory Illnesses
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Heart Health Support

Wild Plantain

10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Bleeding, Bruising, & Wounds
  • Bug Bites & Rashes


10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Eye Issues
  • Menstruation Support
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Common Cold & Expectorant
  • Epilepsy

Lamb’s Quarters

10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Skin Health
  • Bug Bites, Sunburn, & Rashes
  • Stomach Aches
  • Digestive Support


10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Blood Sugar & Pressure Regulator
  • Cholesterol Support
  • Skin, Liver, & Bone Health
  • Anti-cancer

Virginia Pepperweed

10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Detoxifying
  • De-wormer
  • Asthma
  • Poison Ivy Relief

Red Clover

10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Diuretic
  • Expectorant
  • Menopause Relief
  • Heart & Bone Health

Common Purslane

10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Counteracts Caffeine Jitters
  • Immune Booster
  • Insulin Booster
  • Heart & Skin Health
  • Headache & Migraines

Redroot Pigweed

10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Liver Health & Jaundice
  • Brain & Digestive Health
  • Dysentery Relief

Prickly Lettuce

10 weeds with surprising uses
  • Antispasmodic
  • Sedative
  • Calms Hyperactivity
  • Urinary Tract Support

Where To Look

ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE! Honestly, most of these weeds are not hard to find. Similar to the quote “build it and they will come”, by leaving the soil alone, they will likely plant themselves.

Most of these weeds I found in an “untamed” area next to my shed. The rest were found in various places around my yard or by our local river. Check your rock beds, planters, and potted plants. I even had some pop up when a little too much time had passed between mows. Wherever there is soil (and sometimes even that’s not a requirement), there will probably be weeds.

Just be careful to avoid areas that might be contaminated! Ditches can be dangerous because of the chemical treatments used on road ways. Avoid boundary lines with neighbors who spray pesticides or weed killers. Also, steer clear of areas contaminated with animal urine or feces as much as possible. The point of these plants is to boost health, not illness.

How To Use

How to use these plants varies by type and by the illness you’re trying to treat. The most common way to use these plants is to dry them and make them into a tea. Other uses include poultices, tinctures, tonics, balms, and oils.

Some of these plants can be eaten fresh solely as a way to boost nutrition. Virginia pepperweed can actually be used as a black peppercorn replacer. Redroot pigweed is a variety of amaranth and the seeds can be processed and used as a grain replacement. Dandelion, lamb’s quarter, and plantain can easily be tossed into your salad mix.

If you are sensitive to foods, or have a history of food allergies, start small. Don’t throw a handful of each weed into a blender and “see what happens.” Limiting quantities and varieties in the beginning will help you know what your body is ok with and what to steer clear of. Again, I highly recommend speaking to a professional about your concerns before attempting.


The world of herbalism is VAST and bursting with amazing potential. Allowing ourselves to be open to it, without the preexisting stigmas that come with it, can truly be a game changer. I can’t wait to learn more and take even more steps down this incredible journey called “back to the basics!”

So, whether you are a die hard doomsday prepper or just curious about a more natural lifestyle, stay tuned! NEW MMB “basics” posts coming every Monday!

Looking for more “back to basics” content? Be sure to check out the Back Acres Homesteading page and follow MMB on social media!


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