The humble Dandelion

It would be impossible to take a walk in the British countryside and not notice the striking dandelion, growing on grass verges, through cracks in the pavement and blanketing uncut grass in parks and gardens. For years it has been seen as a troublesome weed to be irradicated at all cost! in favour of a perfectly manicured lawn. In desperation they are sprayed with all sorts of toxic chemicals in an effort to destroy them and stop them multiplying.

But! gardeners and enthusiasts will tell you, no matter what you do, the Dandelions keep coming back! Have you ever stopped to think ……… Maybe there is a reason for the abundance of Dandelion, with their sparkly yellow flower heads dancing in the breeze!

Ironically the humble Dandelion loathed by many. Is actually packed full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins K, A, C, E and a mixture of B vitamins. It is particularly high in Iron and has more than double the iron content than broccoli. Also you maybe surprised as I was to learn that Dandelion also has many healing uses too!

Dandelion Healing Uses

  • The leaves are a mild diuretic and can be used to treat water retention. As the leaves also contain potassium, it replenishes this important nutrient rather than depletes it like synthetic diuretics.
  • The dandelion especially the sap of the plant was historically used to treat warts, verrucas and corns.
  • The root can also be used to help purify the blood.
  • Both the leave and root, particularly the root, aids digestion. This is because its rich bitter compounds, trigger receptor sites on the tongue to signal the digestive tract that food is coming.
  • The root also helps the body to break down cholesterol and fat, by triggering the production of bile.

Young Dandelion leaves can be eaten in salads, or cooked like spinach and mixed with a sauce.  Roots can be chopped and eaten in salads. The sap from the stem of the plant can be applied directly to verrucas, warts and corns.  Dandelion leaves can also be infused and drank as a tea, or if you want to cut down on your caffeine the root of the plant can be roasted and made in to a substitute coffee.  If drank frequently (twice a day)  it aids to purify the blood and helps with liver/gallbladder problems.  

Dandelion Medicinal tea to aid digestion and stimulate appetite

Infusions are easy to make and can easily be made in even the most basic kitchen, no fancy tools are required. They are usually made from the more delicate parts of the plant, such as the leaves, flowers, buds, berries and seeds of the plant.

1. Collect 6 fresh Dandelion leaves. Do not pick leaves that have been contaminated with pesticides, such as weed killers etc, it might be safer to pick from your own garden, or somewhere you are sure the plants haven’t been sprayed.

2. Wash and dry your leaves. I use paper towels.

3. Chop your leaves.

4. Boil water in a pan or kettle.

5. Place your chopped leaves in a cup.

6. Pour over boiled water

7. Stand for 20 minutes, strain the leaves and add honey to sweeten.

 

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