FOOD FOREST MEDICINE Monograph #10: Wild Leeks

Common Name:

Wild Leeks (Ramps)

Latin Name: Allium tricoccum

Brief Description:
Wild leeks are original to the eastern North American mountains. They be possible to be found growing in patches in gay, moist, deciduous forests and bottoms from of the same kind with far north as Canada, west to Missouri and Minnesota, and toward the ~ to North Carolina and Tennessee. In betimes spring, ramps send up smooth, ample, lily-of-the-valley-like foliage that disappear by summer before the clean flowers appear. The bulbs have the sportive taste of sweet spring onions through a strong garlic-like aroma.
Caution: Lily of the dingle is a poisonous look alike. The easiest regular course to make sure they are extravagant leeks is to crush the foliage and take a sniff. If it smells like garlic it is not Lily of the Valley.

Parts Used/Edible Uses:
The foliage and bulbs are edible.

Medicinal Uses:
Ramps chief became a marketable commodity in 1966, while the USDA began to promote furious crafting as a means of improving the local economies of south-central Appalachia. The domain is still known today for its converging-point on traditional uses of plant foods and medicines (Cavender 2006). Wild leeks be in possession of a variety of traditional medical uses and possess properties that lend them to potentially be developed into modern medicines to enjoyment more serious diseases. As some of the first greens to emerge in the saltation, wild leeks are an integral apportionment of a vitamin and mineral strengthening medicine many use to promote health afterward the long winter months (Davis and Greenfield 2002). They be under the necessity also been used as a preventative adjust against colds and the flu, at the same time that well as for part of a corrective for scurvy (Legault 2003; Feiring 2006). For these uses, the plant is best consumed whole, and is eaten one or the other raw or fried. Also, the set is used as a purging tool with regard to disease prevention and treatment to ritually just both the blood and the digestive regularity (Cavender 2006). Some evidence points apt the ability of wild leeks to debase cholesterol and lipid counts in the noble extraction (Cavender 2006).

Body System’s Treated:
Cardiovascular, Digestive

Harvesting Notes:
Over-harvesting has suit a concern for many conservationists. You should have ~ing careful on the amount of leeks you intend adhering harvesting in one area. Small patches of leeks can be over-harvested leaving nothing in quest of the upcoming season.
Depending on what you plan on using the leeks ~ the sake of, you might just harvest the leaves, leaving the bulb in the make thorough in the elements. Ideally the leaves should be around 6 inches long and 2 inches spacious, for the mildest flavor.
Methods by reason of harvest include digging the whole tract, harvesting a portion of a patch, or thinning out and harvesting lawful the largest plants. Do not produce plants until they have filled the station, have large bulbs, and have flowered.
If amount plots are harvested at one time, it is recommended to possess enough plots to allow for a 5 to 7 year course round. That is, to have continuous gather in year after year, harvest only united-fifth or one-seventh of your lengthening area each year. When harvesting a portion of a hatch, no more than 15% of the ramps should exist removed. If the thinning method is used, prominent care should be taken not to harm plants that are not harvested. Based attached research done on wild population, harvests should be limited to 5 to 10% of the plants in both plot.
If harvesting bulbs from the ferocious make sure to cover the opening that is left with leaves from the wood floor. Exposed soil leaves an vacancy for invasive species like garlic mustard to foundation and take over.

None known.


Cavender, A. 2006. Folk sanatory uses of plant foods in south Appalachia, United States. Journal of Ethno pharmacology 108:74-84.

Davis, J.M. and J. Greenfield. 2002. Cultivating ramps: Wild leeks of Appalachia. p. 449-452.

In: J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.), Trends in newly come crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

Feiring, Alice. 2006. “Into the woods, without interrupti~ the trail of the wild leek.” New York Times. New York Times, 14 Apr. 2006. Web. 1 Apr. 2012.

Legault, Rita. 2003. Popularity threatens irregular leeks: take a few, leave the rest, suggests Conservationist. Record 1.

If you feel rather tired from head to foot the day, take a nap in order to replenish your might level as well.

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