Post 72: Foraging in the trails of Gush Etzion with Yaron Sherman from Moshav Matta

Today I joined a group from Gush Etzion that have adopted a style of eating raw foods: vegetables, seeds fruits and nuts.

Meet  Yaron Sherman our foraging guide

Yaron picked fennel (In Photo) nettle, and mustard among others. Everytime he touched a plant it was with the utmost of delicacy,
Yaron is squeezing barley grass. Juice poured forth and we all got a sample.
Yaron is squeezing mallow. Juice poured forth and we all got a sample.
Yaron explained the evolution of the wild carrot. This carrot’s leaves taste like carrot and can be chewed alone or added to  a salad.

Mustard: Our first encounter

The seeds are used for spices and for garnishing your hot dog, but many people are unaware that the leaves are also a delicious and zingy addition to a green salad. Moreover, both the leaves and seeds have traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory, to relieve inflammation of the joints and ear infections, and against kidney stones.

Healing plants of Israel: mustard flowers in Jerusalem

Sidewalk salad: Wild mustard in full bloom

Fennel: Our second encounter


Fennel has an extraordinary history. The fennel in the photo is an ancient type, not at all like the bulbous one in the market. This one has a central core like broccoli. My stomach ached in the morning, but after some fennel tea I was fine.

The  tour with Yaron and a  raw food group, lead by Netta, last week,  Sunday,,  March  1st, extended from 9 pm for 4 hours  in Moshav Matta. At 2:30 P.M. when I arrived home  I appreciated my bed awaiting me.  I was exhausted. Came home with many lovely sprigs of wild asparagus.

Wild Asparagus: A taste sensation

The long thin stalks on the right are wild asparagus. Our group was particularly keen on the tasty buds

The tour included introduction to wild edible plants , foraging for food and preparation of salad and tea with plants  that we found.

moshav-mata-2-300x207 The cost of the tour was by donation (recommended donation was 50 nis).

A little bit about Yaron:

He has been researching the field of usable wild plants of Eretz Yisrael for about ten years , I give lessons to groups and individuals in nature ,

we studied the different uses of wild plants , which parts can be used in what season of the year.

there are some areas of uses , such as food , medicine , art etc. His  expertise is wild food. This is a link to his facebook page in hebrew which contains pictures and information about what he does :

We meet near the soccer field in moshav matta  and parked  passed the soccer field.

Yaron Sherman phone for your convenience     0527400587


This, the work-horse of native Israeli herbage, grows freely throughout urban areas and is known for its culinary and medicinal versatility. It promotes healthy digestion and is an effective treatment for blisters and coughs.

Mallow can be served in salads and soups or stuffed like cabbage. It also makes a snack on the run, when you find one growing in a crack in the pavement by the bus stop after skipping breakfast.

Mallow is so widespread and nutritious that it almost single-highhandedly sustained the residents of Jerusalem during the siege of 1948.

Nutritious mallow can be identified by its mauve flowers. In fact, the French name for mallow is the source of the word mauve.

Healing plants of Israel: Mallow growing in Jerusalem

Yaron picking wild scallions

Chickweed (Stellaria)

Freshly picked chickweed has a very pleasant flavor and is a nice addition to any salad. It won’t add much to the size of your salad but my herbal healing teacher, Gadit Dvorkind, said it is potent for internal cleansing and preventing skin diseases, arthritis and other problems thought to be related to excess build-up of toxins in the body.

Chickweed, healing plants of Israel, growing in a Jerusalem sidewalk.

Chickweed spotted thriving in the wild

Wild garlic - 3_wm
Wild garlic, mild and delicious

Capers: We see them everywhere

We have one of these growing in the wall above the door to our building’s bomb shelter, but I thought that this photo of a caper bush growing in the Western Wall was a more interesting sight. These capers, which seem cozily at home in Jerusalem-Stone wall cracks of any kind, are easily pickled in salt water and then enjoyed in many fancy French dishes, salads or on top of bagels & lox.

According to Nissim Krispil, one of the foremost experts on the healing plants of Israel, capers have been used to treat open wounds, hearing loss and toothaches.

Capers  - healing plants of Israel

Caper bushes growing in the Western Wall.
Do our prayerful tears give a head-start on the pickling process?

This is only a tiny fraction of the useful and tasty plants of Israel I found today as I walked a

I haven’t even tried these healing plants of Israel, yet I can feel their powers working alread

Stinging Nettle: They are growing everywhere. (From Web MD), Stinging nettle is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.

Stinging nettle root is used for urination problems related to an enlarged prostate(benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]). These problems include nighttime urination, too frequent urination, painful urination, inability to urinate, and irritable bladder.

Stinging nettle root is also used for joint ailments, as a diuretic, and as an astringent.

Stinging nettle leaf parts are used along with large amounts of fluids in so-called “irrigation therapy” for urinary tract infections (UTI), urinary tract inflammation, and kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). The leaves are also used for allergies, hayfever, and osteoarthritis.

Some people use the leaves of stinging nettle for internal bleeding, including uterine bleeding, nosebleeds, and bowel bleeding. The above ground parts are also used for anemia, poor circulation, an enlarged spleen, diabetes and other endocrine disorders, stomach acid, diarrhea and dysentery, asthma, lung congestion, rash and eczema, cancer, preventing the signs of aging, “blood purification,” wound healing, and as a general tonic.

Stinging nettle leaves are applied to the skin for muscle aches and pains, oily scalp, oily hair, and hair loss (alopecia).

In foods, young stinging nettle leaves are eaten as a cooked vegetable.

In manufacturing, stinging nettle extract is used as an ingredient in hair and skin products.

Stinging nettle leaf has a long history of use. It was used primarily as a diuretic and laxative in ancient Greek times.

Nettle has needles around the periphery. Alan showed us how to trim the leaves. They added tenure taste and color to our salad.

Making Phyllo Dough triangles for MiShloch Monot Standard individual triangle method

Fold to form a triangle at the e…

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