Welcome to TheOhioOutdoors
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Login or sign up today!
Login / Join

Wild Edibles


Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
Wood Co.
Since we are talking about dandelions and morels I'll introduce you to Lambs Quarters or wild spinach. This stuff grows abundantly in my yard. It actually has the taste and texture of spinach but is more nutritious. They are coming up well and are very tender eaten raw.
Second pic is the adult plant.


Warren County
Saw this and thought I'd tack on a bit about Sassafras as an edible (and a makeshift toothbrush, painkiller, antiseptic, original root-beer flavoring).

I have a few growing in my backyard and the other day decided to pull off some shoots and make up some tea. I'm not a big tea drinker, but when it comes to things like this or with ginseng I'll occasionally make some.

Anyway, it was actually pretty good. It has a bit of a lemon flavor - almost like the taste of fruit-loop cereal.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia on how the Native American's used it for medicine:

Numerous Native American tribes used the leaves of sassafras to treat wounds by rubbing the leaves directly into a wound, and used different parts of the plant for many medicinal purposes such as treating acne, urinary disorders, and sicknesses that increased body temperature, such as high fevers. East Asian types of sassafras such as Sassafras tzumu (chu mu) and Sassafras randaiense (chu shu) are used in Chinese medicine to treat rheumatism and trauma. Some modern researchers conclude that the oil, roots and bark of sassafras have analgesic and antiseptic properties. Different parts of the sassafras plant (including the leaves and stems, the bark, and the roots) have been used to treat

"scurvy, skin sores, kidney problems, toothaches, rheumatism, swelling, menstrual disorders and sexually transmitted diseases, bronchitis, hypertension, and dysentery. It is also used as a fungicide, dentifrice, rubefacient, diaphoretic, perfume, carminative and sudorific."

Before the twentieth century, Sassafras enjoyed a great reputation in the medical literature, but became valued for its power to improve the flavor of other medicines.

Sassafras wood and oil were both used in dentistry. Early toothbrushes were crafted from sassafras twigs or wood because of its aromatic properties. Sassafras was also used as an early dental anesthetic and disinfectant.
It is used in a Cajun dish, too. The leaves are dried and ground up into a powder that is called Filé (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filé_powder) and is used in certain types of gumbo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filé_powder).

Looks like it might be fun to try to make some homemade root beer with it if you can find all the other stuff that the recipes call for.