Lady’s mantle, Alchemilla
The leaves of lady’s mantle collect large dewdrops in wet weather. The droplets are a bitter liquid secreted by the plant; they are not dewdrops, as many people think.
When young, lady’s mantle has a mildly nutty flavour, and is very suitable for a wide variety of foods.
Something to try
Sprinkle the leaves, either whole or chopped, on bread, salads and soups. You can also add fresh or frozen chopped lady’s mantle leaves to pancake batter or bread dough, for example, or to pie filling.
Gathering the plants
Lady’s mantle is best picked early in the summer, but leaves picked a bit later are also good.
Other interesting facts
In the Middle Ages, alchemists believed that the droplets that collected on lady’s mantle contains the so-called fifth element, the “elixir of life,” that could supposedly be used to turn iron into gold, cure diseases, and bring eternal youth. The Latin name of the plant, Alchemilla, is a reminder of these high hopes. Even though the dreams of the alchemists came to nothing, lady’s mantle still has plenty of uses. Because it is good for cleansing the skin and relieving swelling, it is much used in cosmetics such as cleansing milk, in cleansing milk, face lotions and facemasks.