There is a weed that is regarded by many as so invasive, and it’s called catsear. Despite of this, it’s something that can be consumed as a vegetable. It’s also used by traditional healers in dealing with an assortment of health problems for so many years now. Resistant to drought, you can find it in lawns, roadsides and vacant lots.
By the way, this weed got its name from the fact that its leaves look just like the ears of cats — pointed and hairy. Native to Europe, it’s also found in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Some people know catsear as “false dandelion” because the flowers that catsear bears kind of look like dandelions. The leaves are also very similar to the leaves of dandelion, although only to the untrained eye.
Those who are very familiar with catsear can easily tell them apart from dandelions by means of the leaves. They say that the leaves of catsear are more irregular than the leaves of the real deal. Also, they sport fine hairs on both top and bottom sides, while dandelion leaves do not have any hair at all.
A Versatile Vegetable
Did you know that the leaves of dandelion can be eaten? Just like many herbs on the planet that are fit for consumption by humans, dandelion leaves contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Well, the leaves of catsear can be consumed as a vegetable, too, and it’s something that is available all year round as it’s a perennial herb.
What’s so nice about the leaves of catsear is they are less bitter-tasting than dandelion leaves. So in other words, you are not going to have a hard time incorporating it in your diet.
The leaves of catsear may be eaten raw, usually added to fresh garden salads. However, they may also be steamed or boiled, and used as soup or stew ingredients. The flowers of catsear may be eaten as well, or turned into tea. The roots and stems, too, may be consumed — absolutely nothing goes to waste!
Substitute to Coffee
Other than consuming the roots of catsear as nutritious root crops, they can also be used as coffee substitute. They are peeled, grated and roasted just like coffee beans. What’s so nice about coffee out of catsear roots is every cup rejuvenates you without causing the usual side effects of caffeine like jitteriness and palpitations.
So if there are some catsear growing in your lawn or garden, think twice before you attempt to get rid of them all together. Rather than pulling them out, consume these weeds for optimum health.