Dandelion, the first flower of spring, it’s seeds bearing my dream.
When Brandon and I were discussing Dandelion, we both remember it being the very first plant we learned as children. I bet it was the same for you. I made dandelion flower chains, ate its tender leaves, and wished upon every dandelion puff-ball. Dandelions were magical–full of fairy dust. When I became an Herbalist I rediscovered what I KNEW as a child; they are full of magical (medicinal) power…
Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) can be found all over the world and is a very common weed. It prefers full sun.
Dandelion is in my top 10 favorite herb list. It is a panacea, and one of a few herbs safe for all groups of people. The whole plant can be used, but its parts are used for different medicinal purposes.
The dandelion leaf in the springtime primarily works in the body as a food. Its leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Dandelion greens have been an important part of traditional rural cooking and are a feature green in African American cultural use of Pot Liquor (the water left over from cooking leafy greens. This was used as a building food/medicine). It is full of vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium.
In midsummer, the energy of the leaf matures, and the leaves then act as a medicine for the body with its primary action being and Aquaretic (potassium sparing diuretic). They are slightly bitter and help to tonify the gastrointestinal system. Regular usage can help lower triglycerides.
In Chinese medicine, the flowers are used to nourish the liver and eyes.
The root is the deeper acting medicine (just like the root of the plant). Harvested in autumn, the energy of the plant is consolidated. It is primarily used to stimulate bowl and liver functioning (a formidable detoxifier). It also stimulates the entire digestive system from saliva production, digestive enzymes, bile flow, HCL, and nutrient absorption (See why i LOVE this plant!). In traditional medicine, there is hardly a liver formula, tonic, builder formula that does not have dandelion in it.
Dandelion Delight Tonic Tea
1 part dandelion leaf
1 part dandelion root
sprinkle fresh dandelion flower petals
1 part nettle
1/2 Milky Oat
1/2 Chamomile or Lemon Balm
Steep 5 minuets and enjoy! Local wildflower honey to taste!