Medicinal/Edible Invasive plants of Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx

Edible Invasives - Garlic Mustard

Medicinal/Edible Invasive plants of Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY by Anya Pozdeeva,

Garlic Mustard Alliaria Petiolata
Lady’s Thumb Polygonum persicaria
Asiatic (Oriental) Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
Porcelainberry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

Garlic Mastard (Alliaria Petiolata) Free Harvest on March 3 @ Van Cortlandt Park
The chopped leaves are used for flavoring in salads and sauces such as pesto, and sometimes the flowers and fruit are included as well. These are best when young, and provide a mild flavour of both garlic and mustard. The seeds are sometimes used to season food directly in France.[5]
Garlic mustard was once used medicinally[6] as a disinfectant or diuretic, and was sometimes used to heal wounds.[5]
source: Wickipedia

Invasive Medicinal Herbs- Lady's Thumb

Invasive Medicinal Herbs- Lady's Thumb

Lady’s Thumb Persicaria vulgaris

This plant contains persicarin and tannins. In medicine, Redshank is used against diarrhoea and infections. The leaves and young shoots may be eaten as a palatable and nutritious leaf vegetable. It is often seen as a weed and rarely cultivated. A yellow dye can be produced from this plant with alum used as a mordant.
Source: wickipedia

Medicinal Uses: Cherokee Drug (Analgesic): Decoction mixed with meal and used as poultice for pain. (Dermatological Aid): Crushed leaves rubbed on poison ivy. (Urinary Aid): Infusion taken for “gravel.”
Chippewa Drug (Analgesic): Decoction of leaves and flowers taken for stomach pain. (Gastrointestinal Aid): Simple or compound decoction of flowers and leaves taken for stomach pain.
Iroquois Drug (Antirheumatic (External): Decoction of plant used as a foot and leg soak for rheumatism. (Heart Medicine): Plant used for heart trouble.
The leaves are astringent, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge. An infusion has been used as a treatment for gravel and stomach pains. A decoction of the plant, mixed with flour, has been used as a poultice to help relieve pain. A decoction of the plant has been used as a foot and leg soak in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed leaves have been rubbed on poison ivy rash
Food Uses: Leaves and young shoots – raw or cooked. They contain about 1.9% fat, 5.4% pectin, 3.2% sugars, 27.6% cellulose, 1% tannin.
Seed – raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.
Other Notes: A yellow dye is obtained from the plant when alum is used as a mordant

Astrigent, diuretic, rubefacient. In European folk medicine, knotweed (lady’s thumb) is used for arthritis, lung problems, diarrhea, jaundice and chrinic eczema.
Infusion: steep 1 tsp herb in 1 cup water. Take 1-2 cups/day
Source:The herb Book by John Lust

Asiatic (Oriental) Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

Medicine and other products: Oriental bittersweet is an Asian folk medicine used for treating rheumatoid arthritis and bacterial infections. Medical and pharmacological studies show that Oriental bittersweet derivatives have antitumor, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and insecticidal properties [66,67,108]. One Oriental bittersweet derivative shows ability to reverse multidrug resistance of cancer cells to cancer-treatment drugs [75,76].
Oriental bittersweet bark is used as a fine fiber in China [175]. Enzymes in Oriental bittersweet leaves clot milk. These leaf extracts may provide an alternative to calf rennet enzymes used in making cheese [117].
Ornamental and rehabilitation: In the United States, Oriental bittersweet is commercially available and widely planted and harvested as an ornamental [105]. Wreaths and other ornaments are made from fruiting stems; Oriental bittersweet seeds may disperse if these ornaments are discarded on favorable germination sites. Oriental bittersweet was once widely planted in highway and “conservation” plantings, but it is not currently recommended for wildland plantings [51,54,102].
Alternative native lianas recommended for ornamental and restoration plantings include American bittersweet, trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), trumpet-creeper (Campsis radicans), yellow passionflower (Passiflora lutea), pipevine (Aristolochia macrophylla), and American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) [152]. For wildlife plantings, American bittersweet arils can provide food for frugivorous animals [102]. Oriental bittersweet is sometimes mistaken for, mislabeled, and/or planted as American bittersweet in wildlife cover and erosion projects. Correct identification of American bittersweet is needed to meet restoration goals [7].

Porcelainberry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)
A spirits-extracted fraction of berries of Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Maxim.) Trautv. (Vitaceae) is used in Japanese folk medicine to treat liver disease. Since such an extract has been shown to inhibit formation of collagen fibers by rat hepatic M cells, it was felt that the extract acts as an inhibitor of hepatic fibrosis.
An abstract from: Effects of Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Vitaceae) extract on hepatic M cell culture: function in collagen biosynthesis
Noritsugu Yabe , Hisao Matsui Department of Hygiene, Dokkyo University School of Medicine, Mibu, Tochigi 321 – 02, Japan. Source:
Palatability and/or nutritional value: No information is available on this topic at the time of this publication (2009).
Cover value: No information is available on this topic at the time of this publication (2009).
In Asia, porcelainberry has been used in traditional folk medicine as an anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-hepatotoxic agent [74], and to treat liver disease [75]. Porcelainberry extracts are being investigated for their antioxidant activity [74] and their potential to be used to treat liver disease [75].

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Medicinal uses for purple loosestrife date back to the 1st century (Stevens 1961 as cited in Thompson 1987). The generic name, Lythrum, is derived from the Greek root for blood, and herbal references mention the astringent or styptic properties. Tonics made from flowering branches, leaves, and roots treated ailments that included dysentery, internal and external bleeding, and healing of wounds and ulcers (Thompson et al. 1987).
It has been used as an astringent medicinal herb to treat diarrhoea and dysentery; it is considered safe to use for all ages, including babies.[7] It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens. The flowers are showy and bright, and a number of cultivars have been selected for variation in flower colour, including ‘Atropurpureum’ with dark purple flowers, ‘Brightness’ with deep pink flowers, ‘Happy’ with red flowers on a short (60 cm) stem, ‘Purple Spires’ with purple flowers on a tall stem, and ‘Roseum Superbum’ with large pink flowers.[8] It has also been introduced in many areas of North America by bee keepers, due to its abundunce of flowers which provide a large source of nectar.


About Anya Pozdeeva, vifarms

Vertically Integrated Urbarn Aquaponics, Permaponics, Permaculture and Sustainable Living, New York Style!
This entry was posted in Beyond Organic, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, Permaponics, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s