Dandelions (taraxacum officinale) get a bad rep. We’re quick to pluck off their heads and mow down their self appointed stay in our grassy lawns. I might get strange looks when I water these beauties, but I don’t mind- they are a goldmine of health.
The petals, leaves and roots are all beneficial and full of iron, zinc, calcium, high in potassium, and magnesium. Not to mention vitamins A, C, D, and B complex (this is only a fraction of their goodies!). What I love about dandelions is their consistent healing in digestion related issues. It’s an amazing diuretic (the high levels of potassium help restore what is lost during increased urination), and it also works as a mild laxative. These combined create one powerful detoxing boost. And while the benefits of detoxing are amazingly long and full, dandelion provides a unique bonus of improved skin health. If you’re dealing with poor skin, IBS, toxic levels and constipation, I encourage you to look into dipping into your front yard pharmacy, and pick some dandelions.
Dandelion Tea (for digestion health & improved skin)- Dandelion tea is one of my favorites. It is perfect on its own, or can be combined with other herbs/teas to create custom flavors. I generally drink mine with just a slice of lemon to encourage the detoxing process. Dandelion is the one herb I’d suggest drying before brewing- purely for taste. If you’re just looking to get the medicinal properties, don’t worry about it, fresh works amazingly. You can use the leaves and/or roots. I like to use the leaves, and harvest just a little at time so the plant continues to provide. Be sure to wash beforehand, and do not use any dandelions (or anything for that matter!) that has been treated with unnatural fertilizers or pesticides. Be sure to cover and steep your tea for 15-20 minutes, otherwise you are not pulling out the medicinal properties. Enjoy!
Dandelion Tincture (for digestion health & improved skin)- I will be demonstrating step by step instructions in making your own tinctures this week. Tinctures are my top choice in administering earth medicine. It’s quick, efficient, goes straight into the blood stream to start healing right away. I’d say the majority of my clients are unsure and skeptical at first. Just about everyone is comfortable with pill form or teas, but what is the burning liquid your giving me? It only takes a week –if that- to have them singing praises about tinctures. Stay tune this week in learning about tinctures. How they work. What they are. And how to make your own.
Dandelion Wine (useful for anxiety, stress)- Pick up some white wine. It does not matter what kind of white wine you choose. Collect 1-2 cups of dandelion petals (no need to pluck them individually. Just collect their pretty little heads as a whole). Wash petals thoroughly. Pack the petals into the wine bottle with the remaining wine, and seal with the cork. Give your bottle a good shake once or twice a day for about a week (to increase the medicinal properties, let your wine steep for up to two weeks). When your wine is ready, strain the bottles contents to remove the dandelions. Rinse out the bottle and return the wine. When you are facing anxiety and stress, take 2 tablespoons of your Dandelion wine to help your body relax and calm down. I find it helpful to take when I’m restless or before sleeping when your mind is racing with a million thoughts.
Want a quick and easy way to include some dandelions in your diet? Simply harvest some leaves, give them a good wash and use them in salads, soups, stir fry, sandwiches, and more. They have a great mild taste, and blend with so many other flavors. I like them best in a simple salad with spinach and clovers. Yum!
Some Friendly Warnings:
If you have or had issues with your gallbladder, do not use dandelions without supervision from your doctor. Dandelions are a top pick in healing liver/gallbladder issues, but it is a complicated treatment and should be supervised by a professional.
Field hawkweeds & and cat's ears are NOT dandelions. They grow taller (1-3 feet high), and have a easy to identify blossom:
Some people find them harmless, but I disagree. They are not beneficial to consume, and can be harsh on your digestion. I have hawkweeds and dandelions growing together (and in fact, more hawkweeds than dandelions!). Be sure to check your blossoms, and if you're not sure, toss it.