I love Dandelions. They have been hated, poisoned and frowned upon, but I can't wait to see them this Spring.
Did you know that they are an important gift as medicine and food. All parts of Dandelion are beneficial.
Until the mid-19th century when "perfect" lawns came about did disdain for Dandelion come about. Today much money is spent to eradicate this beautiful and necessary plant.
Dandelion root pull vitamins and minerals into the plant from the earth. Fresh roots in an area that has not been sprayed for at least 3 years, have a sweet and a little bitter taste and are a nutrient dense food. They are high in nutrients like iron, manganese, carotenes, calcium and potassium and are also high in inulin. Harvest roots in the fall when they are highest in inulin especially after the first frost.
Inulin is a starchy carbohydrate that can help restore healthy gut flora by providing food to the gut and is a probiotic.
Roots also support liver health by bringing it back into healthy function. They are delicious eaten as any root vegetable and are also good roasted and made into tea.
Leaves of the Dandelion are a spring tonic and is a digestion stimulator. The leaves also have inulin and have the same beneficial effect on the gut flora. Clinical trials have shown that dandelion tincture from leaves a diuretic effect on the body. Getting the fresh young leaves in the spring is ideal. Dandelion leaves make a delicious pesto. YUM!
Flowers are edible and nutritious. They are high in lutein and support eye health. Petals can be eaten in salads or baked into cookies or bread. One of my favorite things about the flowers is that they support the honeybee as an important food source.
Roasted Dandelion Root Tea
1 heaping tablespoon of roasted dandelion root chopped.
10 oz of water
Simmer root in water for 20 minutes.
Add milk, honey or other sweetener as desired.
See your liver smiling at you!