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Jun 3, 2012 11:47 PM by Anastasyia Bolton

Weeds you can eat

BOULDER - A Boulder woman is traveling the world to educate people about herbal medicinal plants.

It's probably safe to say that for most of us, weeds are something we try to get rid of.

But for Brigitte Mars, 'weeds' is just a word that really means something different.

"Emerson said 'a weed is [an] herb whose virtue has not yet been recognized,'" said Mars, an herbalist and a nutritional consultant. "It's really easy to kind of just think that they're all the same and yet, these plants all have a history. They all have a family. They all have served humanity for some reason. And to think that they're just weeds is really just showing our limitations and our lack of knowledge."

Mars had a French Canadian grandmother who practiced folk medicine. Mars has been learning and about edible medicinal plants for over 40 years.

"To me, it's really a mission because I want people to take better care of the Earth and take better care of their health by learning the medicinal plants," said Mars. "It's a way you can do both at once."

Mars teaches people all over the world about edible medicinal plants. She is traveling to Iceland next week.

Saturday, she hit the streets of Boulder for what she calls an 'herb walk.'

"I'm really trying to show people that it's everywhere," she said. "It's right outside your door."

During the walk, Mars explained to some students that the flowers or 'weeds' that are edible are good for you.

"Evening primrose is really famous for its seeds," said Mars, as she pointed to a garden. "The seeds contain oil that's really high in omega three fatty acids that reduce inflammation."

Along the street, she pointed to a plant commonly seen growing along some roads.

"Not weed," Mars said, "This is actually a wild buckwheat. It's actually considered a really good kidney tonic. I simply put it in the blender with some eggs and almond milk and made green eggs, no ham."

One of the many things Mars wants people to know is what plants to avoid.

"You want to avoid anything within 50 feet of a busy road," she said. "Know that a lot of commercial buildings might spray herbicides on their yard, so you don't want to eat from any area that has been herbicided for at least two years. "

Jessica Hartung said she wanted to learn things she's been reading about.

"It actually kind of appeals to me," said Hartung. "It appeals to me to be connected to the earth in that way."

Sharon Akiyama was also eager to learn. She was taking pictures and notes.

"My quest in life, I guess, is how to continue to stay healthy and keep my wellbeing and age gracefully," she said. "I think food is the way to do it. This kind of knowledge is just wonderful."
If you'd like to learn more about Mars' teachings check out www.brigittemars.com.

 

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