By Meg Price
“I was a dandelion ..Some saw the beauty in me and stooped quietly to admire my innocence. Others saw the potential of what I could do for them, so they uprooted me, seeking to shape me around their needs. Yet still others saw me as something that was unworthy and needed to be erased.”
What comes to mind when one thinks of a dandelion, are those annoying yellow flowered weeds that pop up on their green lawns: but I view them very differently.
In the summer months I am the nut scouring my lawn weekly for those yellow flowers, when I see them I grab my scissors and cut the leaves off for additions to my salads. They are also wonderfully delicious to add to a stir fry of either spinach, Kale, turnip greens or beet Greens. ( please read my archived post on Dandelion Greens and their nutritional benefits) The flowers are rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus, while boasting many other complex vitamins, trace minerals, organic sodium, and vitamin D. Did you know that Dandelion contains protein too, more than spinach?
But another fascinating part of this plant is the root to be used in a tea which is high in Beta Carotene that’s converted into Vitamin A by the body.
- Digestive Aid: The dandelion is a mild laxative which promotes healthy digestion while balancing the beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
- Cancer: Dandelions have shown in studies to slow the growth of many cancers and prevent spreading of the cancer cells: rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants assists this process.
- Blood pressure: since Dandelions are a diuretic it increases urinary output which then lowers the blood pressure, in addition to the high Fiber and high Potassium helping this process too.
- Kidney & Liver: The Dandelion, with it’s diuretic help, eliminates waste, toxins, salt and excess water helping kidney function. Also assists the liver by removing toxins and helps control electrolyte balance in the liver.
- Immune System: Many studies have shown that Dandelions can boost your immune system by helping to fight off fungi & microbes. Inflammation: The phytonutrients and fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Antioxidants: The leaves and root of the Dandelion contain antioxidants which prevent free-radiacal damage to all our cells and DNA, helping slow down the aging process of our organs and skin.
- Gallbladder: Dandelion root and leaves increase bile production and reduce inflammation assisting in gallbladder blockages and other bile issues: as well as relieving pain & swelling.
- Diabetes & Cholesterol: Recent studies have shown that Dandelion can help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels: while showing promise to help control cholesterol levels in the blood.
For Dandelion Tea:
- Either purchase dried Dandelion roots or pull the plant out of the ground and dry the root.
- Place the root directly in boiling water ( after washing) and steep for 5 minutes.
- I add honey for taste then enjoy.
- Some people also roast the roots in the oven for a few minutes, add boiling water, almond or rice milk, cinnamon and sugar or Agave nectar as a coffee Substitute.
- You can certainly also add other teas for additional benefits such as rosemary, lemon balm, nettles or mint. (please read archives, on those herb teas, for additional health benefits)