|Wild lettuce in late spring|
Wild lettuce (Lactuca species) may look and taste bitter like dandelion leaves but it packs a much greater nervine wallup. The milky juice of fresh leaves picked in late spring or early summer before the yellow flowers bloom can be tinctured in high proof alcohol to make a strong sedative and analgesic, particularly for those with insomnia due to back or chest pain or to feeling cold at night.
|Chicory flower in late summer|
The soft blue flowers of chicory (Cichorium intybus) blossoming along summer roadsides belie the digestive power of wild Belgian endive, also known as radicchio. It's ability to promote food digestion, absorption, metabolism, and elimination (bowel function) is enhanced by slow roasting of the chopped roots.
ROASTED CHICORY COFFEE
1) Use a vegetable brush to scrub about a dozen fresh chicory roots;
2) Chop the roots into coffee bean sized pieces and place them on a roasting pan;
3) Roast in a 350 degree oven until a nutty aroma is released and they are dark brown but not burnt, about 30-45 minutes;
4) Allow them to cool and store them in a jar with a sealed lid;
5) Grind and brew like coffee or combine with equal parts coffee for the stimulant effect or roasted dandelion root for the diuretic effect.