Industrialized agriculture helps us to produce food for the fast-growing human population in Planet Earth. Since there is no Planet Earth II as far as we know, we must be careful about the way we use it. On the one hand, two billion more people will live here 30 years from now (from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050). That is not too far away, if you think that 30 years is about a single generation’s work life. What will all these people eat? How much land will we need for this? Science and technology will help, but on the other hand, what will help Earth? Many wild plants will almost disappear, due to the need for land. Land use will be one of the top multidimensional problems in the future.
One of the valuable plants growing in uncultivated fields is duckweed or ‘agriada’ in Greek. It is found all over the world and has been well-known since ancient times for its healing power.
Agriada in Greek means ‘wild’ or ‘angry’. The same word is used when someone is angry: ‘Agropyron to erpon.’ In ancient Greek ‘agropyron’ is a synthetic word with ‘agros’ meaning a “plant of an uncultivated field” and ‘pyra’ meaning fire (maybe because of its durability in high temperatures). ‘Erpon’ refers to the way it grows – ‘erpei’, meaning it grows by crawling in the ground, in a rhizomatous way.
The healing power of agrida is unique and is known from the time of Dioscourides in the first century BC. Agriada has a mucilious substance, consisting of 8% tritisin, 3% inositol, vitamins A and B, iron, and other nutrients important for your health. Tritisin is a substance that has effects similar to insulin for diabetes. It has the ability to cleanse your body of toxins, and it helps with reducing the ‘bad cholesterol’.
Nowadays, its antibiotic and antiseptic power against many viruses and other pathogens make agriada the number one candidate for preparing you for autumn’s diseases. Also, it is a very good anti-inflammatory for urinary tract diseases (both for pathogens and kidney stones), so it is the ideal tea for kidney and bile problems.
Even though this plant has a great profile for use with a variety of problems, its consumption is not so great, given the ‘weird’ taste of its tea. In order to take the most of it you must boil two teaspoons of dried plant cut into small pieces in a cup of water for 10 minutes, and then drink it.
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication.