The Sunny Summery Happy Weed
For the gardeners reading this post, you may cringe at the mere thought of this prolific and common weed. For the time being, set aside this conception and let’s have a look at this wonderful medicinal. It is an easy to digest wonder herb that can be eaten from root to flower and is known as Dandelion or Lion’s Teeth. It isn’t easy to overlook with its bright yellow flowers and ability to grow widely in many parts of the world. The most common specie is Taraxacum Officianalis and is used in numerous Traditional Chinese and Indian Medicine formulations covering myriad imbalances and disorders. There are records dating back to the 11th century showing the use of Dandelions as medicine in Arabic cultures. Interestingly enough, most of these cultures discovered similar uses for Dandelion. It was commonly used as a tea, extracted, ground into powder, the leaves in salad, in smoothies and in stir fries with vegetables. It is a highly versatile plant that has an exceedingly low allergenic possibility.
Some of Dandelion’s most common uses include:
~Liver cleansing- removes toxins and cleanses the bloodstream and can help
protect the liver from conditions like hepatitis and fatty liver
~Adding a nutritious ingredient to food- vitamin A, C, iron, calcium and
potassium are a few of the vital nutrients provided by this herb
~Recently tauted as an anti-depressant
~ Taraxasterol, a triterpene in Dandelion, has been shown to reduce the
damaging inflammation in the lungs from smoking
~ Is said to strengthen the kidneys and is a mild diuretic
~ Helps with skin disorders like eczema and acne. It is thought to be healthy
for the skin, hair and nails due to it’s high beta carotene content
~ Due to it’s inuin content, is helps to stabilize blood sugar and has been
shown useful in late-onset diabetes.
~ Some traditional herbalists use it for cardiac conditions. This may be due
to it’s potassium content. It has been useful in heart failure and other
heart function related conditions
While it’s most common use relates to the liver and many things affecting the liver, Dandelion has many other benefits. When picking Dandelion, always be sure it’s grown in an area away from any pesticides and chemicals. Using the whole plant makes an inexpensive, nutritious ingredient for salads, smoothies, and vegetable combinations. Drying the roots for tea is a great way to replace coffee with something tasty and healthful.
In today’s day and age when we are exposed to chemicals all around us and live in more pollution than we are often aware of, Dandelion is one of our vital allies in keeping us healthy, purified and well. So next time your gardening friends complain about the Dandelion in their garden that is so hard to get rid of, remind them of the usefulness of this happy little herb. There is seldom a child who doesn’t love to blow Dandelion seeds around, and seeing the yellow color bursting forth makes it hard to be steeped in unhappy thoughts. Dandelions are our common and very useful friends. It is just one more of the herbs that is thought of as a nuisance by some but treasured as a wonderful medicinal by those of us who know it’s value.