There isn’t much to wildcraft in the mountains just yet. It’s the beginning of June but everything at elevation just takes longer. The dandelions are finally blooming and this year we have more than ever. My evil plan of blowing the seeds everywhere seems to have worked!
The flowers are edible, well, the whole plant is edible, but the flowers aren’t bitter like the leaves. An easy way to use the flowers is to make a simple syrup or put them on your salads. But I digress.
I was talking to a fellow herbalist the other day. She mentioned, that to her delight, she’d come across some Pineapple Weed and was able to identify it. She’d been on an herb walk that I gave many years ago and remembered the plant but not the possible uses.
It’s such a fun little plant, that you may stumble across as well.
Pineapple Weed also known as Wild Chamomile.
Maybe you know it?
It can grow just about anywhere but it especially likes the most uninviting places, kind of like Dandelion but Pineapple Weed will grow even where Dandelion won’t.
Last year there was a huge patch of Pineapple Weed growing in our ‘yard’ (I use the term yard loosely because what we have isn’t a typical lush green grass yard) and I made sure to mow around it.
It also grows in the packed down earth of our driveway and I love mowing it there so I can get a nice whiff of pineapple/chamomile.
It actually does smell like Pineapple but it can taste a little bitter.
If you come across it, pick some and crush the little cone head and give it a good smell. It will put a smile on your face because you will think, wow, it does smell like pineapple, even if just faintly.
It’s so much fun finding these plant treasures!
Definitely taste it too. The lower green bits of the cone-shaped flower are the bitter parts but if you bite the top part off and leave most of the green you will taste the Pineapple flavor with a hint of Chamomile.
It doesn’t have any petals, just a yellow/green cone.
The medicinal properties of Pineapple Weed are similar to Chamomile. Think calming and relaxing. Try it for stress, nervousness, agitation, and mild anxiety.
Try it if you are feeling whiny, fussy, and cranky. You know that’s not just a kid thing, right?
It can help with digestive upsets especially if the trouble is caused by nervousness. And, it’s useful with bloating, gas, and stomach aches.
If you decide to forage and use this tiny little gem remember to find a place where it hasn’t been sprayed, run over, or peed on by animals. It tends to grow in places, basically right in the middle of the trail, where people walk or ride bikes and walk their dogs. You can also find it on the side of the trail where there is less chance of contamination.
Throw a handful of the flower cones into a mug and make tea. Don’t steep too long maybe 10 minutes or it will be too bitter. You can also tincture it.
Last year I made an elixir using brandy, coconut, lime, ginger, strawberries, a couple of black peppercorns, and some honey.
Imagine what ingenious creation you can make with your Pineapple Weed.