This week I read a quote by author unknown... "If your yard gives you dandelions, make dandelion tea!" So I just had to try it. I have been reading for years that dandelions are edible, the entire plant including roots. There are also a lot of nutritional advantages to eating this herb. Yes, this "weed" is considered an herb. So what are the health benefits?
- Rich in calcium, vitamin C, luteolin, potassium, fiber and antioxidants
- Bone Health
- Diabetic Health
- Liver Health
- Weight Loss
- Facilitates Digestion
- Stimulates appetite
- Natural Laxative
- Relieves Gas
- Prevents Constipation
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
- Digestive Aid
- Stimulates Insulin Production
- Cancer Prevention
- Skin Health
The white milky substance in the roots is said to treat itchy skin, eczema and acne. Some even think it could treat fungal skin irritations like ringworm.
So how have I used this herb this week? Well, let me break it down into the different parts of the herb.
Flowers and buds:
See the yellow flowers and buds in the photo above? Those became a part of my salad at lunch today. Not a bad taste at all. Blended in well with all the other vegetables in the salad.
This week I have enjoyed making tea with the young leaves. Love it! You can add honey or another sweetener of your choice. I prefer no sweetener. Just remove the young tender leaves from the stem, rinse in cool running water, and cut in smaller pieces. Place them in your tea cup and cover with boiling water. Let it stand for about five minutes, then drink. You can remove the leaves, or just leave them settled on the bottom as you enjoy your tea. I chopped some of the leaves in the picture above and added to the salad I enjoyed for lunch and in a cup of hot tea after my meal.
The roots are said to be really good for you. They can be chopped and dried for use in making tea. Earlier this week I chopped some in the food processor and dried them. I later made a hot tea. I will say, it did not have much of a taste. Might be better adding it to another blend of hot tea. Shouldn't affect the taste and you will still be getting all the nutritional benefits. Definitely prefer tea made from the leaves.
Hope this inspires you to use those dandelions in your yard instead of mowing them down. Think herb and not weed.
Disclaimer: The benefits stated above have NOT been verified by myself. Always check with your doctor before taking herbs, as some are harmful if you are pregnant or taking certain medications!
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Artist, Gardener, Writer