Eating ground elder - taste, preparation and effect

Eating ground elder - taste, preparation and effect

What can you eat from ground elder?

The ancient Romans and people suffering from famine in times of war already appreciated the ground elder. They mainly ate its leaves. But the flowers and fruits with the seeds can also be eaten without hesitation. You should only stay away from the roots. They contain a toxic substance.

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How does groundgot taste?

If you eat the ground elder raw you will find that its taste is vaguely reminiscent of parsley. An aroma like carrot can also be tasted. Giersch tastes like spinach when cooked. Therefore, it is also considered a good substitute for spinach.

The young plants are generally milder and more delicate in taste. You should prefer these! The older plants taste spicier, tart and tough. They are more suitable for drying and cooking, while the young plants can also be a delicacy raw.

Collection time: before and during flowering, but also afterwards

The ground elder has a long growing season. Often it can be found here and there even in a mild winter. The best time to collect is in spring between April and May. Then the flowering time begins. You can harvest the flowers when they bloom. Then the fruits ripen with the seeds. Basically, you can harvest the ground elder all season.

Using groundgrass in the kitchen - preparation ideas

The most common is to use the leaves. Before this, the stems should be removed. Here are a few ideas for preparation:

  • Smoothies
  • juices
  • Wild herb quark
  • Pizza topping
  • Pasta sauces
  • as spinach with potatoes
  • Soup
  • Pesto
  • Crackers
  • salad
  • scrambled eggs

Use the flowers, fruits and seeds

You can use the grass flowers for cold water extracts or bread and deep-fry or bake them like elder flowers. The fruits or seeds have a sharp taste and are perfect for salads, for example in combination with nettle seeds or as a spice for stews. It is ideal to grind them with a mortar before use.

Use ground elder as a medicinal plant

In order to be able to use the ground elder as a medicinal herb all year round, it can be dried. An aromatic tea can be made from the leaves. This helps with gout, rheumatism and arthritis, among other things.

Tea also has an antispasmodic, blood-purifying and digestive effect. When collecting, make sure not to confuse the ground elder with its poisonous conspecifics such as hemlock and dog parsley!


Giersch is not only extremely healthy for humans. Pets like guinea pigs and rabbits also benefit from its nutrient abundance.