What is Dandelion?
If you have a lawn, the dandelion may be a bit of a pesky foe to you. Its roots can very quickly dig deep into your gorgeous green garden carpet and removal is nothing short of a continuous nightmare!
However, don’t neglect this amazing gift of nature. It holds many treasures in natural health and healing from some common ailments.
It is considered a healing herb throughout the world’s medicine traditions and it’s not difficult to see why.
I remember being told as a child not to touch dandelions as I’d wet the bed. This was unlikely. However, the french name for dandelions is ‘pissenlit’ which literally translates as ‘pee in bed’, so maybe this was where this was originated!
My view of dandelions was therefore never a good one.
What’s Great About it?
Dandelion has been used for generations to treat scurvy, jaundice, anemia, urinary problems, circulatory issues and depression. It contains beneficial levels of Vitamin A and C, iron, calcium and potassium.
This amazing weed helps to stimulate bile production which supports the gall bladder function. It’s considered a liver tonic and can help detoxification and oxidative stress. This has been shown to help acne and other oxidative skin conditions.
If you’re detoxing or just cutting down on your caffeine intake, it will support the detox process rather than loading the liver with coffee.
It has long-been known to increase urine production so, together with water, can help recovery and prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs). It cleanses the kidneys and can reduce bloating. It can also support diabetes by reducing blood sugar through this increased urine production.
Dandelion can also have a positive affect on certain digestive issues, notably flatulence, loss of appetite and constipation. In animal studies, it has been shown to reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and support the more favourable HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol.
Reducing unfavourable cholesterol and increasing urination can also lower blood pressure.
Whilst more studies need to be done, dandelion may have anti-cancer properties, particularly in prostate cancer. Early research has been positive. Dandelions are high in luteolin which is know to reduce free-radicals and disable cancer cells from reproduction.
In Korea, tests have been done which may support weight loss and obesity.
How Much Should You Have?
I have found no specific quantities in my limited research, for effective use. However, like any food or supplement, excessive use may present issues. Do your own research if you wish to use dandelion leaves, flowers or root as a medicine to treat health issues.
There are a few instances where you should exercise caution if you’re taking some antibiotics and if you’re taking diuretics already, as they interfere. But otherwise, they’re thought to be a safe and useful addition to your food supply.
How Can You Use It?
Its leaves make a great salad ingredient. You can also make a tea with the leaves. Please don’t use them out of your garden unless you’re sure that it’s free from chemicals. There will be lots in nature you can collect throughout the year.
The root is used as a concentration of it’s beneficial effects. You can buy tools with help to dig up dandelions including the root. I’d recommend that you might be able to make use of these root only if you haven’t used any chemicals on your lawn for 7 + years.
Fortunately you can also buy the root, dried, organic and prepared for use. Of course you can also take supplements of dandelion.
But why not incorporate it into a healthy diet?
As a supporter of dairy alternatives wherever possible, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce a vegan Dandelion Latte to you. Don’t expect the bitter taste of Columbian coffee please. This is an acquired and different taste. But if you are looking for a side-step, vaguely similar substitute for your morning caffeine ritual, this may help you.
For 2 cupfuls…
1/2 cup of dried dandelion root, put in a coffee grinder until powder
Put powder in cafetierre or teapot with
1/4 tsp of cinnamon and
1 pinch of stevia if you usually have sugar in your coffee
500ml of boiling water, leave for 7-10 minutes to brew, meanwhile boil
1 cup of plant milk (I like rice milk because it’s naturally sweet)
Fill cup half full of coffee brew and top up with milk.
Where Can You Buy It?
I’m proud to recommend Whole Foods Online (BWFO) for their products. For many years I had to buy specialist items, like Dandelion Root from various sources all over the world, involving multiple postage costs and delivery times. BWFO’s range of products has expanded so much in recent years that almost everything I need I can get from them. With FREE delivery on orders over £, it’s worth stocking up on all your healthy/organic store cupboard ingredients.
Here’s the link for Dandelion Root options.
They pay me a small commission for recommending them and sharing my research and knowledge of their products.
So if you need Dandelion Root or anything else and want to support and reward me for collating and sharing this information, please use this LINK.
Note – whilst extensive research may have been undertaken on some of the possible benefits of these products, I have not cited it here. My goal is to share the traditional wisdom passed down through our ancestors as a shamanic practitioner, healing and teacher. If you are in any doubt, please do your own research before incorporation into your life and diet.