Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Ah, dandelion! So misunderstood and often defaulted to just being called a “weed”, dandelion is not only a beautiful burst of sunshine from early Spring to late Fall, but essential for our bodies when we shift into Spring.
Dandelion is completely edible from root to flower and a favorite among wild food foragers. In Europe they spend a lot of time and money to develop plants with larger roots and leaves while in America, people buy the harshest chemicals (Roundup) to kill them. Ugh. Talk about self-sabotage.
Dandelion is a SUPREME liver tonic and well known for stimulating bile production, balancing blood sugar, and encouraging healthy digestion. The bitter taste imparted in every part of her gently challenges the body in a healthy way (and much needed considering our salt, sweet, and fat heavy American diet). Also, she is not only a gentle diuretic, providing ample potassium to the body, she is one of the safest diuretics.
Dandelion’s determination to survive reflects her capacity to heal and nourish our own vitality. For those recovering from a sickness or a period of depleting stress, dandelion and burdock would be to great herbs to tap into both as food and medicine.
Enjoy the dried leaves in a tea for some extra zing, infuse apple cider vinegar with all parts of the plant for a mineral-rich vinegar, or tincture the leaves and roots to work deeply on the liver. Play around with recipes using her leaves and flowers… Enjoy and experiment ~ and spread those seeds around in your lawn ~ she’s a keeper!