Ah, dandelion! So misunderstood and often defaulted to being called a weed… Dandelion (Taraxacam spp) is not only a beautiful burst of sunshine this time of year, but essential for our bodies as we shift into Spring.
How many Round-up commercials and ads have you seen terminating this lovely life-form? I wonder what this says about our cultural consciousness at this point? Why would people want to kill the very thing that is *perfect* for them to ingest this time of year?
Dandelion is completely edible from flower to root and a favorite among wild food foragers. Dandelion is a supreme liver tonic and well known for stimulating bile production, balancing blood sugar, encouraging healthy digestion, and acts as a gentle diuretic to cleanse the body.
Dandelion’s determination to survive reflects her capacity to heal and nourish us on a deep level from the root up ~ boosting our inner vitality. There are, at least, dozens of ways to work her into your diet. Here’s just a hand-full:
dandelion flower fritters
dandelion greens tossed into your smoothie
dandelion root dried and roasted for tea
dandelion flower wine
dandelion (whole plant) infused into apple cider vinegar
dandelion greens mixed into your salad
dandelion (whole plant) in tincture form
and, my favorite this time of year ~ Spring Green Drink (details below)
Loosely fill a blender 1/2 full with green matter (you can add more green matter after your first blend):
70% wild weeds (or you can do 100% wild weeds)
30% parsley, cilantro
toss in some mint, lemon balm, or shiso for extra zing!
Cut a couple one-inch chunks of ginger into the blender
Add the juice of 1 to 1/2 lemon,
a pinch of sea salt
and 1-2 heaping spoon fulls of honey (or you can opt out of honey)
Cover the green material with spring or purified water. Blend well. Add more green material and blend again. Puree until everything is blended well and the solution has turned vibrant green. Strain out the plant material with a mesh strainer, drink and enjoy!
Here’s a great clip of legendary Frank Cook talking about dandelion. Frank imparts some wonderful wisdom in this short clip. I especially appreciate how he points out that many of us think that something that is going to help our bodies heal has to be from a remote or exotic place. This mindset makes us overlook the goldmine in our own yards ~ yes, dandelion. This nutritive and tonic herb is legendary. All we have to do is pay attention.
At Sweet Gum Springs Apothecary, we have dandelion in our Hawthorn Berry Bitters and (soon) in a product we produce for every spring for inner spring cleaning and support ~ the Lymph and Liver Lovin’ Tincture. Please check back in a month to order. In the meantime, sip on a spring green drink!