There are plants growing around us that have so much culinary and holistic potential, and can be used as teas, decoctions, poultices, compresses, ointments, creams along with syrups and lozenges, according to author Pat Collins. She says, their medicinal uses can help relieve itches, get rid of cold sores, or help with coughs and colds.

According to Pat, weeds also have culinary uses, plus are good companions in the garden for vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, and can tell you about the quality of your soil.

“For example, weeds are good indicators of an acid soil; soil lacking in humus or high in nitrogen, etc,” she explains.

Her book, The Wondrous World of Weeds, features 100 common world-wide weeds, and each plant includes a full description and identification along with a photograph, distribution of where they typically grow, a list of their common names, their uses, and what medicinal value they have.

Pat Collins was brought up on dairy farms where she developed her deep love of the land and the understanding of nature’s laws. Her dearest memories of her youth are her barefoot hikes around the sandstone hills with the farm dogs, and the rich smell of wattle in the air.

Her ‘Weed Workshops’ are extremely popular, where she shares her extensive knowledge of useful weeds. At home, she even collects her weeds to make many of the medicines that she uses at her practice, The Total Health and Education Centre. It opened 18 years ago, and stocks only products that she manufactures herself and sells worldwide.