The Wondrous Dandelion!

April 18, 2016

The Wondrous Dandelion!100_0253

What a cheerful site in the spring, to see the first sight of the little, yellow, wondrous flower – the dandelion!  Some consider them an eye sore and a horrible weed.  They get sprayed on, sworn at, dug up they are a hardy, healthy little herb that is unfairly undervalued.

In German, the dandelion is called a “lion’s tooth” because of the jagged edges on the leaf and in the summer, when they go into seed, it’s called the “little blow flower” because when you make a wish and then blow on it, the lovely seeds gently fly away.

Medicinal Purposes

Liver Support and Detox – The dandelion is beneficial in supporting your liver and can be used to help the liver to detoxify.  You can use both the roots as well as the leaves and drink it as a tea.  It has a bitter taste and could maybe be mixed with peppermint tea and some honey.

Cholesterol – My father used to make soup and salad from the leaves to assist his body in lowering his cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure – When I was pregnant with my daughter, my blood pressure became elevated.  I made a tea from the roots to help in lowering it.  I had pre-eclampsia with my daughter and tried to lower my blood pressure naturally.  I have to admit, the dandelion did not lower it, but then neither did medication.

Cancer – This amazing plant is being studied for its benefits to fight cancer.  My husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2014.  He has chosen to go all natural (no surgery; no chemo and no radiation).  Feel free to email me regarding the products that he is taking.  One of them, this spring, will be the dandelion root.  We won’t have much lawn left, by the time we’re done, because all of the green you see on our yard, is primarily dandelion leaves!  Check out this link regarding the dandelion and cancer.

How different cultures used the dandelion in the past:

Native Americans boiled dandelions in water and took it to treat kidney disease, skin problems and upset stomach.  In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion is used to treat stomach concerns as well, inflammation and to help increase milk flow in breasts.  In Europe, dandelion was used for fever, eye problems, diabetes, diarrhea, hormone health and urinary tract infections.

Dandelion salad and syrup and more!

Dandelion Syrup – In the spring, we often go out and pick the flowers of  young dandelions, add them to some water and bring them to a boil.  Turn off the burner and let them soak overnight in the pot.  In the morning, squeeze out the flowers and add some honey to the water.  Stir on a low heat.  Eventually, it will thicken enough to put them in sanitized jars and seal them tight.  Dandelion syrup tastes great on pancakes.

Wine and Coffee – People have made wine from the flowers and coffee substitute from the roots.  I’ve tried the coffee substitute and while I can’t say that it tasted like coffee, it wasn’t bad tasting at all.

Salad – Young dandelion leaves taste great in salads and are very rich in vitamins and minerals (Vitamin A, C, K, B, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron and calcium). You can even add the yellow flowers to brighten up your salad!

Skin – Due to its natural mineral content and the ability for detoxifying the body, the dandelion has been known to clear up the skin and create a healthier more youthful complexion.

Unsprayed – Please make sure that your dandelions have not been sprayed – even inadvertently by your neighbour on a breezy day.  Ensure that your dandelions are as organic as possible before ingesting any part of them.

Enjoy dandelion season!  I hope this blog has allowed you to have a new found appreciation for our little yellow wonder herb!  Happy Spring!

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