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Dandelions - More than a weed

Updated: Apr 14, 2023


Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)


Dandelions need little introduction as you have probably seen them growing on neighborhood lawns. The plant has been valued since Ancient Greek Times for its internally cleansing and diuretic effects. Nowadays they are merely thought of as a weed, but this humble plant has far more to offer than being a gardeners nuisance.


Dandelion gets its name from the French,

“dent de lion” meaning “Lion’s teeth” because of its ragged shaped leaves. Once you learn to spot the single stock yellow flower with luscious green leaves and downward spikes, you’ll start spotting them everywhere.


Next time you let your lawn get away from you, like we did, harvest some of those dandelions before mowing and experience the plethora of health benefits they have to offer.


 

Learn about the medicinal benefits of dandelions



Plant Parts Used

  • Roots

  • Leaves

  • Flowers


Heath Actions

  • Digestive tonic

  • Diuretic

  • Liver tonic

  • Mild laxative


Good Source of

  • Vitamin A, C, K, E and folate

  • Minerals: iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium

  • Inulin (a prebiotic fiber and carbohydrate called oligosaccharide)

    • Roots of dandelion are rich in inulin, a soluble plant fiber that supports the maintenance of a healthy gut flora

  • Potent source of antioxidants beta-carotene and polyphenols

    • Help neutralize or prevent the effects of free radicals in the body.

      • Too many free radicals contribute to disease development and accelerated aging.

    • Beta-carotene provides protection against cellular damage from oxidative stress


Used to Treat

  • Indigestion, Constipation & Sluggish Digestion

    • Useful after consuming a heavy meal

    • Acts as a bitter tonic and mild laxative, improving digestion

    • Consume as directed in tea, tablet, or tincture form

  • Fluid Retention & Urinary Infections

    • Improve the flow of urine and enhance kidney function

    • Consume as directed in tea, tincture or capsule form

  • Rheumatism

    • Dandelion is a useful detoxifying remedy because of its ability to cleanse the blood and tissues

    • Eat fresh leaves, or consume as directed in capsules or tinctures form


 

Freshly Harvested & Cleaned Dandelion Greens


Culinary Uses

  • If you are looking for a coffee alternative, roasted and ground dandelion roots resemble the sought after taste of coffee, without the anxious jittery effects.

  • The roots are the most medicinally rich part of the plant, harvested typically in the fall when their bitter compounds are at their highest levels.

  • The bitter leaves of dandelions eaten sautéed or having fresh leaves in a salad may help increase the action of the liver to digest fatty foods in a meal.

    • Try pairing sautéed leafy chard and dandelion greens with your next steak.

    • Try wilting dandelion greens and adding them to your next batch of mac n cheese or creamy pasta.

  • Young dandelion leaves make a delightful bitter cleansing tea that increases kidney function, and is best drank in small amounts

Safety

  • Do not use dandelion medically if you are taking diuretic medications or if you have been medically diagnosed with a kidney problem - seek medical advice first.




 


References


Harding, J. (2017). Herbs a color guide to herbs and healing herbs. Jason Hook.

Harding, J. (2008). A guide to herbs. Parragon Books.

Ody, P. (1999). Healing with Herbs. Storey Books.

13 Potential Health Benefits of Dandelion. (2018, July 18). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dandelion-benefits


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