Spring and autumn are Dandelion time. Like me you may have a few dandelions growing in your garden and I want to share how I use them for natural health. So put away the toxic weed spray and become friends with a wonderful healer.
More is not always better. A few bites of something wild most days adds a little wild magic and connects you to both your body and the earth.
Never eat anything you cannot 100% identify and in this day and age chemical sprays are a very real hazard.
Early spring leaves
Dandelion leaves are great for those of you with Self-Protective, Responsive, Synergy and Golden iridology (eye) constitutions. Of course all of us can use them!
At this time of year it is the young green leaves (before flowering) that I collect most mornings and add to my green smoothie. I only pick them from my garden where I know no chemical sprays have been used, and only use a few leaves at a time as they are bitter, but great in salads as well.
Why eat Dandelion leaves? Nutrition
Greens are the secret to great nutrition, like having a green blood transfusion and make you feel great!
Dandelion leaves specifically are high protein (19-32%) which helps keep you feeling full not starved.
They are also nature’s store cupboard of B complex including riboflavin (0.29-1.8), thiamine (0.23-1.70), niacin (.80) and choline (essential for liver function).
High in Iron and phosphorus, Vitamins C & A, potassium and calcium and loads more but I’m sure you get the idea.
How dandelion can help you
By eating Dandelion leaves you will activate your stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid, this will help you digest your food better and extract more calcium from food. Chew a dandelion leaf a day before a meal and remind yourself about chewing HERE
Traditionally dandelion leaves were chopped up in white wine and left to infuse for an hour. I would suggest infusing them in Kombucha or apple cider vinegar with mother as an alternative! Or just chew them…
Because the leaves contain phytosterols they can also help lower cholesterol levels and rebuild the liver perfect for those with liver and sugar signs, and/or synergy constitution.
But Dandelion leaves are most used by herbalists in teas for balancing the urinary system as one of the safest diuretics because they are high in potassium and low in sodium.
One of my great friends Alex Martin always uses dandelion with Liquorice to help the potassium-sodium balance for those using liquorice.
Dandelion tea can also help with gout, bloating and water retention. Mark your diary each month, reminding you to drink a cup of dandelion tea at that menstrual time of month.
You could add a fresh or dried dandelion leaf to your favourite tea as it’s steeping. While weeding simply let the picked leaves dry ready to use. The baby leaves are nice in salads. Harvest the roots in autumn.
I tend to use dandelion flowers as emotional support as a flower essence read more HERE
Or I simply scatter a few fresh petals over my salads, and veggies for a bright spring flower power for the senses.
You can also use flowers and leaves in your daily infused water recipes; they would go well with cucumber and a slice of lemon.
Of course you can make all sorts of wines and lemonades with the flowers. I have not included them here because of the sugar content.
Dandelion roots are fantastic as a well-known liver tonic, stimulating the flow of bile and supporting the gallbladder.
Caution – avoid dandelion root with gall-stones
The autumn dug root is high in Inulin which helps support blood sugar levels, hypoglycaemia and is helpful in supporting our internal flora against candida.
Dandelion root is also rich in iron and used traditionally as a hormone support herb.
How can you use the root?
The two easiest ways to use the roots are;
Dandelion Coffee – you can buy this or make your own by first leaving to dry then roasting the chopped roots in a low oven. The best root-coffee include chicory, cinnamon and nutmeg. You would simmer the root coffee on a low heat for best results called a decoction.
Stir-fry – you can add a few roots to your spring and autumn stir-fries. They can be fresh or dried.