Healing Herbs along a fence drying

Benefits of Dandelion  

Dandelions are often the bane of immaculate lawn enthusiasts. In fact, they could never imagine the amazing health benefits of dandelion, or any other noxious weed. The determined, tenacious yellow flower is often cursed and doused with poisonous sprays in a desperate attempt to eradicate it. Viewed as a nuisance and unwelcomed in lawns and manicured gardens.

For the rest of us, dandelion is a gift from nature. Like many of our God given plants, dandelion is a natural, healing plant medicine. Real medicine designed to nourish and keep our bodies healthy.

 

You may have picked the flowers as a child or made wishes as you gently blew its airy seed heads, watching them float through the windswept air.

Dandelion: World Traveler

Honey bee sitting on a dandelion

Dandelion is reputedly native to Europe and Asia. Arabian physicians used dandelion for medicinal purposes in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Earlier recordings can be found in Roman times and dandelion use has been noted by Normans of France and Anglo Saxon tribes of Britain.

 

Today this hardy, and effective medicinal plant can be found virtually everywhere. Herbalists continue to use it in herbal medicine and its efficacy has been well documented.

Health Benefits of Dandelion

Dandelion is a nutritional powerhouse. Like many plants found in nature, it is our food and our medicine. Known as a spring tonic, its early young greens boost a salad’s nutrient content and aid digestion.

Dandelion has received scientific acceptance as an antioxidant and according to researchers, a “novel” cancer therapy, notes Natural News.com.

 

Realpharmacy.com cites dandelion root extract to be effective at fighting cancer, and researchers in Windsor, Ont., Canada received a grant to study its ability in killing most cancerous cells.

 

A published article in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine sites the

Very colorful image of dandelion seed heads.

efficacy of dandelion root extract in inducing apoptosis (death) in drug-resistant human melanoma cells.

Some Health Benefits Include:

  • Antioxidants

  • Digestive Aid

  • Diuretic

  • Cancer protection

  • Gallbladder

  • Immune System

  • Kidney & Urinary Tract

  • Liver

Bowl of dandelions and roots for a salad of health.

Dandelion contains a good source of folate, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and are a very good source of fiber, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B6, iron, potassium, calcium, Vitamin C and manganese.

How to Grow and Use Dandelion

Dandelions typically grow everywhere, so there’s seldom a need to sow it. Not a demanding grower, however, it prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Sow seeds in the fall for early spring greens.

If you are wildcrafting dandelion (picking in the wild), harvest in an area that is free of pollution and chemical sprays. Let your grass grow for a couple weeks and you should have an ample supply for picking.

 

Pick young leaves and eat fresh in salads, sandwiches, etc. Larger leaves can be quite bitter.

 

Store washed greens in a paper towel or produce bag in the fridge. They’ll keep for about a week.

Dandelion, mint and other herbs soaking in a clear cup of water.

Dandelion Root Tea

Choose a younger/smaller plant if possible. Best harvested in the fall, however roots can be dug any time the ground is workable. Dig deep down to gather most of the roots. Clean thoroughly. Chop into small pieces using a food processor. Dry roots in a dehydrator or oven at 250 degrees (about 2-3 hours in the oven) until they are totally dry.  

 

Store roots in an airtight container away from heat and light.

 

Brewing Your Tea

 

Place 4-6 T. of dried or 6-8 T. of fresh roots in a saucepan with 1 quart of pure cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Drink ½ -1 cup three times a day for medicinal purposes.

 

Please Don’t Poison the Plants & Bees!

 

Most people have no idea just how dangerous herbicides and insecticides are. The U.S. chemical industry is NOT regulated and their 80,000 chemicals are untested, unsafe, and hazardous to human health. Poisoning us and our environment. (Many are listed as hazardous substances.)

Before you use any chemical product, read the label. Never assume it’s safe just because YOU can buy it. Every time you use chemicals to kill unwanted pests (or clean your home) you are increasing your risk of cancers and putting you and family at risk.

 

Spraying “noxious” chemicals on plants or insects is most often detrimental to the health of honey bees and other pollinators vital to humanity’s survival.

 

There are “safer” methods of eradicating unwanted pests and plants. Using a chemical product may seem more

Bee pollinating a dandelion.

convenient and easier, but in the long run the cost to your health and the environment outweigh any savings.

Safe weed prevention alternative.

In our yard, we use corn gluten as a natural prevention for quack grass. It works wonderfully if used before “weeds” germinate. You can find it at better garden centers or here on Amazon.

 

When you work with nature, and not against her, you contribute to the health and survival of humanity and the planet.

Let some dandelions grow, for the bees and other pollinators love its nectar!

DISCLAIMER: Please remember these treatments options are only meant as guidelines and should not replace the advice or treatment provided by your holistic health practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your functional medicine doctor, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.