The Magic of Dandelion
I know the very mention of the “ dreaded weed “ called dandelion is enough to make most people go running for the shovel to dig it up and discard it or even worse grab the first bottle of toxic pesticide weed killer and spray about half of it on a single flower of this herb.
Herb?? Yes Herb….it is most definitely an herb and a very beneficial one for good health.
Dandelion is linked with the planet Jupiter which is the planet that represents hard work, and this herb works very hard as it detoxifies your body of the excess toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. And yes our liver is the main source of ridding our bodies of toxins but it never hurts to give it a hand and dandelion is an easy way to do just that. It is also associated with the sun, moon and the very air in thrives in. Imagine the sun when you see the bright yellow flowers which bloom and the seed puff as the moon.
Ok enough of the poetic license I take with my favorite herb now on to the facts of this herb.
These profoundly healing plants contain copious amounts of the vitamins A, C, D, & B complex along with minerals such as iron, potassium and zinc. The leaves contain more beta-carotene than carrots with more calcium and iron than spinach.
The root , leaves and flower stalks contain a milky substance which is a natural latex and has been found to be a great and easy topical treatment for warts. The entire plant has a cooling effect on the body when ingested and in particular the roots and leaves stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach which is a necessary component for good digestion. It is also a plant rich in inulin which is natures insulin, and this helps to balance blood glucose levels.
It is also of extreme benefit to the liver and can be used for a sluggish, overworked and over medicated liver, hepatitis and even cirrhosis. Before I began my serious pursuit of all things herbal and holistic I learned personally of the success of dandelion on the liver and went from there.
At one point after several knee surgeries and the subsequent anesthesia effects, along with copious amounts of strong pain relievers including a very popular OTC extra strength pain capsule along with a few prescription pain relievers, I went for lab work and found my liver enzymes to be highly elevated. After some research I discovered dandelion and began a regimen of detoxifying myself of all the drugs and effects of anesthesia and soon found my enzymes returning to well within normal limits.
So how to incorporate this “weed” into your daily routine? It is easy, there are many dandelion teas on the market for one, and starting with a cup or two a day can be done easy enough. You can even prepare and drink as a cold refreshing tea over ice with lemon slices. Soon you will discover how easy and good this is to drink plus the benefit of knowing you are helping your body and if you have been a huge soda pop drinker you will find you no longer want it. Which is another huge benefit for everyone, but that another subject for another time.
Also of note dandelion greens have long been known as a wonderful source of food for toning and nourishing our entire body, especially the kidneys and liver and contain an effective diuretic that puts potassium back into the body rather than depleting it as pharmaceutical diuretics do.
Dandelions are a wonderful herb that I hope you try, there are numerous ways to eat and drink its goodness and here are just a couple.
You can mix a few dandelion leaves into a salad, or sauté a couple of cups fresh dandelions with a little olive oil or even coconut, sesame or any good oil of choice, diced onions, top with your favorite vinegar and enjoy. The pretty blossoms themselves are a delicious addition to sandwiches and salads. They do have a bitter tang to them however when eaten alone but I have found this a minor issue when I can prepare them in so many different ways. One example is to steam several cups of fresh dandelion leaves and then marinate overnight in an Italian dressing or mix and match several different greens and prepare however you choose.
Dandelion is an acquired taste to be honest but one so worth the effort of finding delicious ways to enjoy it. The health benefits in my opinion far outweigh everything. Even the commercial Dandelion tea has an earthy taste but one which I have grown to love and sip with ice and lemon slices every day.
A word of caution however no matter how you decide to integrate fresh and or dried dandelions into your diet, unless you plan on growing your own in an organic environment you may choose to just be safe and purchase them at a grocery store. Even though they grow prolifically just about anywhere you can never trust that the plants you see growing wild have not been exposed to unsafe materials such as car exhaust etc.
Give the magic of dandelion a try....you will not regret it.
Ref: Medicinal Herbs, Rosemary Gladstar, Herbal Practitioner
Ref: The Gift of Healing Herbs, Robin Rose Bennett, Certified Master Herbalist
Ref: Amazing Spirit of Herbs, Amy Jirsa, Master Herbalist
Ref: Prescription for Herbal Healing, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC