Eat that Weed - A love affair with Dandelions
Hurrah, it's dandelion season. With so much good in a plant I heartily encourage you to do some foraging. Here is just a short list of it's goodness gleaned from lots of sources over the years.
The leaves are more nutritious than anything you can buy. They're higher in beta-carotene than carrots. The iron and calcium content is phenomenal, greater than spinach. You also get vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc by using a tasty, free vegetable that grows on virtually every lawn. The root contains the sugar insulin, plus many medicinal substances.
Dandelion root is one of the safest and most popular herbal remedies. The specific name, officinale, means that It's used medicinally. The decoction is a traditional tonic. It ís supposed to strengthen the entire body, especially the liver and gallbladder, where it promotes the flow of bile, reduces inflammation of the bile duct, and helps get rid of gall stones. This is due to its taraxacin. It ís good for chronic hepatitis, it reduces liver swelling and jaundice, and it helps indigestion caused by insufficient bile. Don't use it with irritable stomach or bowel, or if you have an acute inflammation.
The modern French name for this plant is pissenlit (lit means bed) because the root and leaf tea act on the kidneys as a gentle diuretic, improving the way they cleanse the blood and recycle nutrients. Unlike pharmaceuticals diuretics, this doesn't leach potassium, a vital mineral, from the body. Improved general health and clear skin result from improved kidney function. One man I spoke to even claims he avoided surgery for urinary stones by using dandelion root tea alone.
Dandelions are also good for the bladder, spleen, pancreas, stomach and intestines. It ís recommended for stressed-out, internally sluggish, and sedentary people. Anyone who's a victim of excessive fat, white flour, and concentrated sweeteners could benefit from a daily cup of dandelion tea.
Dandelion leaves contain abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A, C and K, and are good sources of calcium (0.19% net weight), potassium (0.4% net weight) and fair amounts of iron and manganese, higher than similar leafy greens such as spinach. They contain 15% protein and 73% carbohydrates, 37% of which is fiber (27% of the leaves are fiber). The leaves also contain smaller amounts of over two dozen other nutrients, and are a significant source of beta carotene(0.03% net weight), lutein and zeaxanthin (combined 0.066% net weight) . A cup of dandelion leaves contains 112% daily recommendation of vitamin A, 32% of vitamin C, and 535% of vitamin K and 218 mg potassium, 103 mg calcium, and 1.7 mg of iron. Dandelions are also an excellent source of vitamin H , which is proven to aid in weight loss when ingested.
Dandelions are a natural diuretic and a spring tonic. Dandelion is used to cleanse the body naturally and is an herbal detoxification saint. It is believed that the herb produces beneficial effects by removing toxic pollutants in the body that have accumulated over time. It has also been known to prevent or cure various forms of Cancer.
Dandelions have many therapeutic benefits they support digestion, prevents anemia reduce swelling and inflammation, helps with hypertension and lowering blood sugar, treat skin problems such as eczema, warts and acne and number of other ailments including gallstones and gout. It is known as one of the most effective and beneficial herbal remedies. The roots, stems, and leaves of the dandelion excrete a white sticky resin, This sticky resin when applied directly to warts daily, several times a day, will slowly help to dissolve them.
A few other ways to use dandelion are : Make a tea using the flowers by boiling them in water for 15 minutes, roast the roots of dandelion to make a coffee substitute and for you wine connoisseur’s try making dandelion wine.
Dandelion’s are considered weeds and are known to be pesky. Plain and simple dandelions have a bad rap! So, next time you think of a dandelion think of all the great qualities it possesses. Forage your lawn for these nutritious leafy greens rather than spray them down with toxic chemicals. For old time’s sake, you can blow a wish to health. Take advantage of their healing and cleansing benefits.
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