Dandelions are one of God's gift to mankind. The leaves make excellent greens; the flowers make delicious wine; and the roots are a super food.
Dandelion the herb
As a herb, the dandelion is so much more than a nuisance weed, providing countless health benefits. Dandelions are rich in calcium for bone health and in antioxidants to help treat liver, urinary, gall bladder disorders and many more. Top of the list is that dandelions help to improve the immune system.
Here are 7 other ways in which dandelions can be used
1. Dandelion seeds can be sown to provide your own supply of dandelions if it is difficult to source a wild supply. Officially known as Taraxacum officinale sativum, the seeds are easy to grow when sown between spring, late summer and early fall in full sun to partial shade. You can buy the seeds online from here
2. Dandelion tea is easily available online or in health stores with its great taste especially when a safe sweetener is added such as raw honey, stevia or xyilot. The tea forms a prime medical ingredient in over half the phytonutrient blends on the market including weight loss, rejuvenation, detoxification, digestive, liver, kidney and skin supplements.
3. Dandelion root is renowned as an anti cancer treatment. The powder made from dandelion root has properties that build up the blood and the immune system, to get back control of cancer cells so that they do an about face. You can find out more about using roots to treat cancer here
. In addition, the roots can be roasted as a very passable coffee substitute. The roots act as an antiviral agent, appetite stimulant, digestive aid and may help promote gastrointestinal health.
4. Dandelion blossoms are used to make wine. One suggested recipe “Midday Dandelion Wine” calls for: 2 quarts dandelion flowers picked at midday when they are full open; 3 lbs granulated sugar; 4 oranges; 1 gallon water; yeast and yeast nutrient. The method can be found here.
5. Dandelion leaves are ideal for spring salads or cooked like spinach. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect and you can prepare a quick and easy dandelion salad using 1/2 pound of dandelion leaves, 1/2 red onion chopped, two tomatoes chopped, 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil or even better, fresh basil leaves, season with salt and pepper and serve.
6. Dandelion juice or smoothies can be made with dandelion leaves - either cooked or raw. Dandelion leaves are very high in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Although dandelion greens are bitter - so you will need to add some fruit and other ingredients to counteract any bitterness when juicing - they used to be welcomed with eagerness in the northern parts of the America and Europe because they were the first fresh green food after a long winter.
8. Dandelion as a detox will promote healthy liver function. With its “choleretic” effects, it can stimulate the liver to increase bile flow. Once bile is released by the liver, its 2 main functions are to carry away waste and to break down fats during digestion. For a detox, drink 1 cup of dandelion tea prepared with 1 to 2 tea bags, 3 times a day for up to 4 to 6 weeks. Dandelion tea works well to purify the blood and cleanse the system, enhancing detoxification by stimulating urination and, in addition, by replacing the potassium lost in that process. Dandelion tea has specific action in reducing inflammation (of the gall bladder and of the bile duct) and for rheumatism and arthritis.
Before home owners became obsessed with a weed-free lawn, gardeners in the past used to weed out the grass to make room for the dandelions as they were considered so useful and beneficial.
How times have changed!