Go Wild with Dandelion Greens (one of Michael’s favorite herbs)!!
This is one of my favorite herbs! If you have come into The Wellness Shoppe anytime in the last couple months I probably have been drinking the liquid tincture of Dandelion in my water as I help you fill your Patient Care Plan from Doctor Nchekwube!
As an herbalist, I use every part of the dandelion, especially at the turning of the seasons as we leave Winter behind and beckon in Spring. I find that it aids in digestion and detoxification, thus allowing us to tap the energy we had buried within ourselves during the darkness of Winter. It is also a great herbal tonic to rid yourself of any lingering seasonal blues and rejuvenate yourself as it aids in the kidney, liver, lymphatic-cleansing, and bile-flow processes.
You might not want dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) dappled across your lawn, but you definitely want to make them a part your healthy diet. For centuries, the sunny yellow dandelion, its greens and roots, has been embraced across cultures for its culinary and medicinal uses.
Dandelion roots contain several compounds beneficial to health, one of which is bitter taraxacin, which stimulates digestion. The leaves are rich in potassium, antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and several B vitamins.
Dandelion helps filter waste products from the bloodstream. In many cultures it has been used as a liver tonic, diuretic, and digestive aid. Herbalists have used dandelion to treat jaundice, cirrhosis and liver dysfunction. Preliminary research suggests dandelion may even strengthen liver and gallbladder function.
All parts of the dandelion are edible. The bittersweet roots may be eaten raw, steamed or dried, roasted and ground for a coffee substitute. The flowers are commonly used to make wine and jam. Dandelion greens can be eaten steamed, boiled, sauteed, braised or raw in salads.
Try adding dandelion greens to:
- quiche, omelette
- sauce such as garlic & olive oil
- seafood soup
- sauteed vegetables
- to replace some of the kale in a green smoothie
Dandelion packs as much power in its flavor as it does in its nutrition. It can quickly overpower more delicate herbs and flavors-a little goes a long way.
When harvesting dandelion, especially for salad, take greens from young and tender plants, before the first flower emerges. Please do not pick them from the roadside or a well-manicured lawn as they probably have been sprayed with poisonous and toxic insecticides, pesticides, and/or industrial fertilizers. At the grocery store, look for organic dandelion with vibrant green color. I buy my greens in the organic produce section of the grocery store, wild-harvest the plants/roots from deep within the woods and swamps of our beautiful Indiana, and purchase my clinical-grade liquid Dandelion extract by Gaia Herbs from our very own The Wellness Shoppe.