Dandy Dandelions: A nourishing tonic

The next herb in my “Wellness Wednesday” series is Dandelion. I love this nourishing herb and its slightly bitter flavor. We drink it as a tea, but I love the spring when you can pick the young leaves and eat them in salad, or the flowers and add them to salad, or cook them as fritters! I have heard they also make an amazing jam. The roots are great glazed and sautéed or baked like you would with carrots. They have a slightly sweet, slightly bitter taste that is very pleasing to the palate. So please, when you see these amazing herbs popping up all over your yard, smile, harvest them and enjoy the nourishing effects of this wonderful herb.

The Dandelion plant is often thought of as a pesky weed, but when I started learning more about herbalism I was excited to have so many of these wonderful plants all over my benignly neglected, never sprayed or fertilized yard. My neighbors may have been less than pleased. The whole plant is edible, from the fresh spring leaves to the flowers and roots. There are great nutrients in the leaves and flowers as well, but we will focus on the root here.

Taraxacum officinale
If you would like a very in depth description of the plant check out this website

Dandelions are commonly used for bloating, GI discomfort, cleansing the gall bladder and liver, aching joints and skin conditions. It is high in  vitamins A, C, D, and B-complexes, as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon.

In our home I used dandelion root to help cleanse my liver and gall bladder when I was having gall stones and attacks during my last pregnancy. I had major gallbladder attacks at least daily and the only thing that kept me from getting surgery during or right after my pregnancy was dandelion tea and fresh lemon juice. I would drink dandelion tea 2-3 times a day with half a lemon in every drink I had. I managed to put off surgery until 4 months  postpartum once my milk supply was well established.

Dandelion is an ingredient in my husband’s detox regimen that he is on to keep his liver clean and functioning. It is a gentle mild detox so he does not get side effects like he has from more intense cleanses.

This is how you can harvest dandelion from your own yard, and this is how you make it into tea!

Really it is a wonderfully delicious herb that is easy to access, wild craft, and use every day, especially in the spring when they are so abundant! Just remember to get your dandelions from soil that has not been doused in herbicides, pesticides, or animal excrement.

Do you use dandelion in your families “medicine cabinet”? If so what for?

This blog shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday. 


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