The healing benefits of Dandelion
This medicinal herb has sadly been incorrectly classed by media advertising as a weed. Due to this incorrect knowledge, most households see dandelions as pests, dig it up and destroy it.
If you are one of those who have been misled, we trust that after reading this article, you will realise how beneficial dandelions are and it is our wish that readers have a new belief that it is actually the “Weed You Need”. Despite their reputation as pests, dandelions are valuable medicinal plants.
So, read on to discover healing benefits of Dandelion.
Why is it called Dandelion?
The name comes from the French, “Dent De Lion” which translates as “Tooth of the Lion”. You can see the shape in the leaves. It is also known as Pissenlit and Wild Endive.
Dandelions are a family of flowering plants that grow in many parts of the world. They are also known as Taraxacum officinale, which is the most common species.
The dandelion is in fact one of the most amazing herbs for our health. It has been ranked the top ten of the most medicinal herbs in the world. Nature has left us huge clues as the dandelion is very hardy and grows everywhere. The reason the dandelion is so tough and beneficial is because the root system goes down as deep as three feet.
Every part of the dandelion is edible, i.e. the yellow flowers, the stems, the leaves and even the roots. The flowers, stems and leaves can be eaten raw or added to fresh salads. The roots can also be eaten or made into a nutritious tea. The Dandelion contains more vitamins and minerals than most vegetables. It is more nutritious than broccoli and spinach.
Herbalists see dandelions as treasures packed with protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, iron, potassium, thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin, Silica, Zinc, Vitamins A, C, E and K. These minerals and vitamins are crucial for the functioning of a variety of organs and helps prevent Osteoporosis, Constipation and Anaemia. It helps stimulate appetite, protect the kidneys, liver and gallbladder and is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Most dandelion leaves in fields and gardens are less than 3 inches long. However, in our garden, given the right minerals and grown organically, our dandelion flowers and leaves are over 14 inches long.
When you cut the dandelion stems, especially the ones during Spring and Summer months in England, it is full of milky latex sap. This milk in the dandelion is where the medicine is.
Benefits of Dandelion
- Helps create a very healthy urinary system.
- Aids detoxification of the liver.
- Helps strengthen the pancreas, especially those suffering from Diabetes.
- Full of Antioxidants that will help with Oxidative Stress.
- Helps to lower bad LDL Cholesterol.
- Good for the skin and aids skin problems such as acne and eczema.
- Contains a soluble fibre called Inulin, which is the best fibre for the bowel. It helps with the removal of old toxic waste, like limescale which is found in kettles and water pipes over time.
- Reduces High Blood Pressure
- Cleanses the Blood Stream
- Excellent for Pre-menstrual water retentio
- Reduces risk of cancer and multiple sclerosis
- Reduces allergies
Benefits to Gardeners
The dandelion is kept as a companion plant. Its taproot brings up nutrients for shallow-rooting plants. It is also known to attract pollinating insects and release ethylene gas, which helps fruit to ripen.
Remarkably, despite majority of people believing the dandelion is a weed, you can find Dandelion Tea, Dandelion and Burdock beverages, capsules, tablets, tinctures and extracts made from dandelion.
Why spend unnecessary money on processed dandelion instead of consuming it fresh from nature? Furthermore, when something is processed, it is subject to oxidisation and loses part of the nutrients compared to when something is consumed freshly picked.
History of Dandelion
Dandelions are thought to have evolved about 30 million years ago in Eurasia. It has been used by humans as food and as a herb for much of recorded history. It has been introduced to North America, South America, India (where it had not reached naturally), Australia, New Zealand and probably anywhere else where Europeans have migrated.
It has been used over the years to treat
- Breast problems such as inflammation or lack of milk flow
- Eye problems
- Kidney disease
- Skin problems
- Stomach problems
- Upset stomach.
Seeds take 14 to 21 days to germinate. Dandelions can be grown indoors in containers all year round for a continuous harvest. Use a pot of at least 6 inches in diameter for a single dandelion or grow multiple dandelions in larger pots. Keep in a room with natural sunlight.
Dandelions are resistant to most pests and diseases. Although fertiliser and water encourage lush and rapid growth, dandelions are hardy plants that can tolerate poor soil nutrients and periods of drought.
A sure sign of Spring is dandelions in bloom. Dandelion is a good coloniser that is excellent at dispersing its prolific seeds. Each plant can produce up to 20,000 viable seeds.
If harvesting wild dandelions, take care to find clean plants that have not been sprayed with weed killer or other herbicides that are unsafe for consumption.
Recipe for Health
Add 1 cup of boiling water to the following:
2 tablespoons dried dandelion root
2 tablespoons dried dandelion leaf
3 teaspoons fennel seeds
3 teaspoons dried mint
Steep for 10 minutes, strain, add a teaspoon of raw honey and enjoy.
We trust this article has opened your eyes and mind as to the numerous benefits of this free growing medicinal herb and also how easily you can grow these, even if you do not have access to land.
We encourage you to add some dandelion to your meals daily and you will surely reap the health benefits. Remember, the taste may take a little getting used to and may be uncomfortable for a few minutes. However, the benefits to your health will be long lasting and amazing.
We remind you of Hippocrates famous quote
“Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
We wish you and your loved ones an Amazing Life.