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Oxeye Daisy: A free food growing wild

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The oxeye daisy grows just about anywhere and everywhere along the winding roadsides, in wildflower gardens and open fields in the entire state of Georgia. The leaves and flowers of this perennial flower, a member of the Asteraceae family, as is the sunflower, can be eaten. It is easy to confuse the oxeye daisy with chamomile and shasta daisies.

The flavor of the leaves is said to taste like a combination of spinach, lemon and pepper, according to Backyard Foraging by Ellen Zachos. While the flowers are edible, their taste is rather bland. They do look lovely as a garnish for cakes and other desserts. The leaves are alternate and lance shaped with coarse teeth or lobes

When harvesting the leaves, just pluck a few from each plant, leaving the plant to continue to grow and produce more. Pick the leaves before the daisy blooms for a fresh, crisp taste to add to salads, sandwiches or to saute.

Use a field guide to be absolutely sure you have the correct plant before harvesting. The leaves are alternate and the flowers are white with yellow centers. Oxeye daisy leaves have been used for centuries as a tea that treats coughs and asthma.

Cattle avoid the daisy, preferring grass, but sheep, horses and goats will graze upon the daisy. Click here for photos of the daisy.

Please watch the video for more herbs that heal and help people live a healthier life. It is amazing how little of these herbs are needed for the body to receive great benefit. Be on the lookout for naturally growing herbs in backyards, open fields, meadows and along the roadways.

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