Alaska's Invasive Plants
Non-native species that are found in natural habitats, these plants are inhibited to take over and destroy natural plants. They spread rapidly and naturally without assistance from man. Often these weeds will disrupt the natural ecosystem of an environment such as the natural progression, agriculture and recreational lands. With all that Alaska has to offer it is wise to be aware of what is wreaking havoc in your environment. A number of Conservation efforts are being made in Alaska to control the spread of invasives in our state. Organizations such as the Wasilla and Palmer Soil and Water Conservation Districts have made progress in trying to control our invasives by hosting "Weed Smackdowns" for the community to get involved, learn to recognize and control these agriculture pests.
I feel that many of these invasive plants are valuable to many who live sustainable lives. Not only are some edible but they provide medicinal benefits to the Alaskan way of life.
The following list is for educational purposes only and should never be used without first seeking counceling from a Doctor. Natural herbs can be fatal if not used properly and thoroughly researched for harvest dates, plant age, side effects and known historical uses. Ingesting any of the following herbs can be dangerous withough proper guidance, should you suffer from ailments that might beneifit from natural herbs please, consult your Doctor before use.
Canada Thistle (cirsium arvense): Sunflower Family
Used by Native Americans for a tonic for intestines, diarrhea and treatment for worms; I imagine this was very handy in the frozen north and possibly greatly used. Tea made from the leaf is used as a tonic and diuretic and is reported as being used for tuberculosis. Known to induce vomiting and as been used for skin eruptions, skin ulcers and poison ivy. Eat the roots of first year plants-raw or cooked. Good for adding to salads as they are rather bland in taste but high in nutrition. Peel/cook the stems like asparagus or rhubarb. Chewing the root can alleviate pain from a toothache and act as an anti-inflammatory. rhubarb.
*Resveratrol has been identified as a potent flavinoid found in high quantities in this plant, it is considered to have a number of beneficial effects: anticancer, ant-aethrogenic, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and estrogenic activity. Also, known to suppress a wide variety of tumor cells, including leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancers, prostate, colon and mealnoma. Cardiovascular, weight loss, cancers, antioxidant, lyme disease, antimicrobial, antiviral are only some of the possibilities of this miracle weed. There have been studies that show this plant interacts with many various pharmaceuticals and your Doctor should be consulted before use.