Foraging in Spring: Navelwort

We’ve been enjoying seeing the springtime foods coming up in hedgerows & the woods recently. Navelwort grows in damp cracks & gaps on walls or on tree roots like this one. It makes a tasty woodland snack whilst out and about and tastes a bit like cucumber some say! Next time you see some why not give it a go, but remember pick the younger leaves that are higher up away from potential dog toilets, we always forage away from roads too, makes for healthier snacks.

The leaves are a good addition to any salad as they have a fleshy crunchy texture; they can also be added to stir fry’s and stews. When you are using the leaves as a food source it is better to use the younger specimens, because as the plant matures it becomes bitter to taste.

The juice and extract from navelwort has been used in medicines for the treatment of epilepsy over the years. The fleshy leaves can also be made into a poultice and used in the treatment of piles, scalds and burns. Also a decoction of the leaves has been used as a coolant and diuretic. The juice can be expelled and added to drinks this is excellent for treating inflammations especially of the liver.