EP01: Wild dolmades & other things

In this first episode of the Eatweeds Podcast wild food chef Paul Wedgwood from Edinburgh talks about making Garlic Mustard Dolmades (Alliaria petiolata).

Research herbalist Monica Wilde takes us through the latest scientific findings on whether comfrey is safe to eat, is it?

And finally Alex Laird from Living Medicine talks about the importance of using common plants found around you and in your kitchen for self care health care and to support your own path to wellbeing.

Show Notes


  1. Thank you for great podcast. However, I believe you are not right about comfrey species. I am not botanist but I had botany classess when I studied forestry. I did my thesis in ethnobotany and I am forager teacher in Slovakia, though I come form Poland. Here in eastern Europe I never saw comfrey with creamy flowers and leaves like on your picture. Our comfrey (S. officinale) looks pretty much like the one on the right, with purple flowers and more pointy leaves. Very seldom it has white flowers, but I never saw creamy flowers. According to local botanist, there is no Russian comfrey here. I really like comfrey leaves, fried with yeast or alone, or like indian pakora. I also dry them, make tea or ointments out of them. I love comfrey root as well – did you know that comfrey root syrup (from S. officinalis, the one with purple flowers and more pointy leaves) was sold in Poland in drug stores 30 years ago? I make it myself, as well as tincture. Ask Lukasz Luczaj for more details, his student made research – comparison of PA content in different ways of preparing the comfrey leaves. I don’t think it was publishes yet.

  2. Bartosz – Thanks for your comment. Over in the UK Common comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has creamy flowers and Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) has purple flowers. However we have a number of other species and they can all hybridise, hence the flower colour can be different. Also region/location plays a big part, and colour, shape, form can vary as well.

    Thanks for the heads up re: PAs. I’ve just messaged Lukasz 馃檪

  3. I’ve just fretted away during this great podcast because of the same comfrey issue…! I’ve grown S. officinale in the UK and it had pink, purple and violet flowers. There are some varieties that have white flowers but, in my experience, those are rather rare. To make things more interesting, the flowers change colour as they age (or get visited by pollinators, last time I checked it wasn’t clear what produces the colour change), from pink to blue… But that’s also the case for uplandicum. Oh well…

    Thank you, such great podcasts!

  4. Hi, just to be clear I’ve looked online for S. officinale so I can grow it in my garden and all of them have pink flowers not cream – can I be confident that they are selling the correct variet as I’d like to eat it?
    I already have the bocking 14 variety (as it doesn’t spread all over the garden!) which I use as a fertiliser for plants – do you know if this is suitable for eating?

    Thank you, fabulous podcasts and all the information you have is ace!

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