🌟✨ Elevate Your Christmas Eve at Level Nine! ✨🍽️ By popular demand and in celebration of our recent triumphs at The Definitive(ly) Good Guide Malta & Gozo 2024 Awards, Level Nine by Oliver Glowig opens
Did you know Wild Asparagus Is really good for your skin?
Author of, Weeds For Health On Gozo, Heléna Szöllősy shares everything you need to know about the wild plants that make up Gozo’s unique and diverse flora. Enjoy learning about the healing benefits and many usages of Wild Asparagus which flowers all year round.
Botanical Name: Asparagus aphyllus –L. Synonyms: none Family Name: Asparagaceae, Liliaceae Maltese Name: Spraġġ xewwieki, ċaqċieqa Common Names: Mediterranean asparagus, Spiny asparagus, Prickly Rock asparagus, Thorny asparagus Meaning of the Name: Asparagus, from Greek aspharagos or asparagos, and the Greek term originates from the Persian asparag, meaning sprout or shoot, aphyllus, from Greek a, α-, not, without, less and phyllon, φυλλον, leaf, foliage, leafless.
Wild Asparagus grows as a highly variable shrub with rigid, spiny, branched stems. On Gozo, the flowers appear almost all year round, but mostly between March to May, and August to October.
- Habitats: rocky sheltered places, maquis, garrigue, fallow fields, valleys, along rubble walls and sand dunes
- Range: Native of the Mediterranean region and the Atlantic Islands
- Status for Malta: Indigenous. Originating from Maltese islands. Very common in the wild.
- Parts Used: root, stem
- Herbal Actions: Alterative, Antispasmodic, Aphrodisiac, Demulcent, Digestive, Diuretic, Galactogogue, Infertility, Sedative
- Main Active Constituents: asparagine, asparagine, arginine, essential oils, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin, rutin), folic acid,minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium), resin, saponins, steroidal glycosides, tannin, tyrosine, vitamins (A, B1, B2, C, E, niacin)
- Traditionally Wild Asparagus was used in popular medicine as a diuretic, antispasmodic and sedative.
- Bedouins in the Mediterranean region use the infusion of the tuberous roots of the plant to remove renal stones, cure syphilis and against headaches.
- Decoction of whole plant diaphoretic young tender used to relieve stomachache and promote appetite an effect similar to berries, shoots, and roots, as a diuretic, for jaundice, liver ailments, against bilharzia and rheumatism.
- Scientific evaluation of the plant concluded that it reduces high blood pressure and heartbeat. It contains saponins which may have antibiotic properties, and folic acid which helps prevent birth defects, cervical, rectal and colon cancers as well as heart disease.
- Wild asparagus can be used as a tonic and cleanser for the skin.
- It is supposed to be good to treat acne.
- Seeds are decocted for haemorrhoids.
- Young shoots – raw or cooked, have a slightly bitter flavour when eaten raw.
- The plant contains asparagusic acid, which has nematocidal properties.
- As firewood together with other shrubs and thistles
PRECAUTIONS: Large quantities of the shoots can irritate the kidneys. The berries are mildly poisonous.
Make This! Wild Asparagus Omelette With Ricotta And Peas
- 3-4 Tbsp (50 g) unsalted butter
- 1½ Tbsp olive oil
- 100 g wild green asparagus spears (40-50 spears), rinsed, dried, and cut into thirds
- 6 large eggs
- 1-2 Tbsp cream, full fat
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 100 g fresh ricotta cheese
- A handful of pea shoots
- Add butter and olive oil in a wide, round-sided skillet or frying pan and set over medium-high heat.
- Once the butter melts and starts to foam and sizzle, add the asparagus. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until they soften a bit and add a little salt and pepper.
- In the meantime, in a medium-sized bowl add the eggs, cream, a little salt and pepper and whisk until slightly frothy.
- Pour the eggs over the asparagus and using a wooden spoon, stir the eggs around a bit and then leave to cook over medium-low heat. It will take 6-7 minutes for the eggs to cook, for a slightly runny top. Cook more or less time depending on how you like your eggs.
- Be careful not to burn the bottom of the omelette. One minute before the eggs are cooked, dot the omelette with ricotta.
- Once ready, either slide and fold the omelette onto a platter or, like us, eat it straight from the pan. Sprinkle with some ground black pepper and add the fresh pea shoots on top.
Author : Heléna Szöllősy. Editor: GITH
Helena is an expert on the medicinal properties of plants having trained in Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy, specialising in Phytotherapy including Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Apitherapy and Bach Flower Therapy.
Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs is provided in this book for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace professional medical care. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your healthcare practitioner before self-administering herbs. Please also undertake your own research when foraging. Some wild plants are endangered and are protected by law.