Don’t you love how amazing our God is?! I am always blown way by his creation and how he provides for us. He has given us plants to heal and nourish our bodies. The herb I have been learning about is the dandelion. I’m sure all of you have seen your fair share of these plants that most people consider pests. I remember being that little girl who was go grieved that my daddy was riding our yard of them. Back then I just thought that they were pretty, now I now that the dandelion is an amazing herb with so many uses. Unlike some plants the entire plant can be used! Over the centuries the plant has been used to treat psoriasis, kidney stones, warts, eczema, constipation, dropsy, jaundice, liver stress and aid digestion.
Dandelions can be found everywhere! When wanting to make a salad with the tender leaves, it is best to harvest them in the spring. If you wait until they’ve been on the plant for awhile the leaves become very tough and bitter. If you are wanting to harvest the roots for medicinal purposes it best to harvest them in the mid-summer when their bitter principles highest. If you are wanting to use the flowers, well, simply pick them before they turn into silver dandelions. Be sure to leave some of the flowers so that they can go to seed and repropagate. If you have little kids they love to help with that! Who can resist picking a silver dandelion and blowing the feathery seeds around.
The roots of the dandelion contain therapeutic amounts of insulin. The flowers contain choline, lecithin, Vitamins A and B-2, potassium and helenin. Dandelion can be used as a mild diuretic for high blood pressure and liver disorders. It increases urine production by stimulating the excretion of water and salt from the kidneys. Dandelion is also useful in treating indigestion and constipation. To treat these ailments it is best to make a decoration of the root. A decoration is made by simmering 6oz of the root for 30 minutes. You can drink it 3 to 4 times a day. Dandelion enriches beast milk in nursing mothers. It benefits both the mother and child. If you have a wort try putting some of the milky sap from the stems on it. The roots can be roasted and ground as a coffee substitute. Be warned however that some people have allergic and asthmatic reactions to the flowers. This is heightened for those allergic to ragweed and daisies. Maybe that’s why I have such horrible allergies in the spring, I have a patch of dandelions right outside my front door! If you want a great book for leaning more about dandelions and other great herbs read, Practical Herbalism by Philip Fritchey.
Dandelion also make a great addition to meals. Anyone can benefit form the addition of dandelion to their diet. Here are some yummy recipes that will help you add some dandelion to your diet!