Are you interested in the recognition and collection of Spontaneous Herbs? If you love walking in the bush, and you are interested in learning the art of recognition and gathering wild herbs, you’ve come to the right place. Actually in this article I will tell you about the most salient moments of a walk I recently took with our friend Dr. Arianna Manera, Agronomist-Herbalist expert in Phytotherapy: a deep knower of these edible and healing herbs.
Spring is the moment of awakening of spontaneous plants. Versilia is rich in many different kinds of environments that allow identifying numerous edible and healing species. We pass from coastal environments to lake and mountain environments, with many different varieties of wild herbs and vegetative moments distributed from March until May / June that make the Versilia interesting for the collection of wild herbs for a long lasting season.
The recognition and collection of edible and healing wild herbs
Our walk with Arianna usually takes place on the hill of Casoli, in Camaiore, on the slopes of Mount Prana. It is a very harsh, rocky and steep environment, with excellent sun exposure and a wealth of water due to the numerous sources. Arianna immediately warns us that the wild herbs are not to be taken without competences, because the properties of these can be beneficial if taken correctly, otherwise the abuse can induce the body into a state of intestinal malaise caused by the compounds present.
Spontaneous edible plants
Both cooked and raw, in salads, stir-fried, used as a filling for savory pies. Herbs, “Erbi” as they call them here in Tuscany, are a resource at zero cost and zero kilometers. There are sweet herbs and bitter herbs; each flavor corresponds to different nutrients. One of the spontaneous edible and healing plants that struck us most is “Sanguisorba minor” or as it is called in Versilia, Pimpinella.
Sanguisorba minor is an edible and curative plant.
This plant, once harvested, has a very intense melon scent, which is not found in the taste, which instead recalls the taste of fresh walnuts and hazelnuts. It can be harvested for a longer period than other herbs, as it begins flowering in March, but not for all individuals of the species. However the presence of flowers does not change the taste and the compounds present, but only the consistency. The tender leaves are collected and can be added to salads, cold pasta and croutons. It belongs to the Rosaceae family and therefore should not be confused with Pimpinella anisum, anise, which belongs to the Umbrelliferae family.
The Sanguisorba minor is admitted by the Italian Ministry of Health as a medicinal plant for which therapeutic activity has been officially recognized. The compounds present in the leaves carry out the digestive and draining activity of the organism. They are also active at the level of the digestive tract, restoring the natural intestinal well-being. This plant was already known in Roman times and used as a sedative for intestinal disorders. – Extract by Dr. A. Manera.
Arianna Manera, Agronomist Doctor specialized in medicinal plants and Expert in Phytotherapy
Arianna Manera works as a freelancer both in the agronomic field for the production of medicinal plants, and in the transformation of the same, from the drying processes to the preparations. He surveys herbal medicine courses and galenical preparations such as: mother tinctures, oleolites, creams, ointments, syrups. She promotes the culture of respect and knowledge of nature through her Ecoaccademia onlus association, founded in 2015 together with her husband. The mission of Ecoaccademia onlus is to bring people closer to rural contexts; it pursues this goal through training days in schools, summer camps, organizing social gardens, collaborating with other associations present in the territory.
Between spring and summer Dr. Manera organizes two-day walks, dedicated to the recognition and collection of wild herbs. With the herbs collected then are made preparations of easy recipes and healing herbal teas. For more information write us here.