The Joy of the Dandelion

dandeIt turns out dandelion leaves (and flowers) are incredibly high in vitamins A, C and K. They can help repair damaged tissue among other things.  They also have more iron and calcium than spinach. 

Studies have also shown anti-inflammatory properties due to the linoleic and linoleic acid in them. Linoleic is an essential fatty acid required by the body to produce prostaglandin-which basically regulates immune responses and suppresses inflammation.

Dandelion has also been used for its nutritional value in addition to other uses including diuresis, regulation of blood glucose, liver and gall bladder disorders, appetite stimulation, and for dyspeptic complaints.

Wild Harvesting Dandelion:

If you are wild harvesting, please collect from areas away from roads and that are free of all chemical treatments. Here’s some ways to use them….

FOR TEA… you will need…

  • 3 teaspoons of fresh chopped dandelion leaves (or flowers), or 1 teaspoon of dried
  • 1 cup of very hot water (but not boiling)

Steep in water for 5 minutes. Strain and drink twice a day. Tea is bitter – you might want to add some honey. 😉

FOR COMPRESS…. you will need…

  • 3 teaspoons of fresh chopped dandelion leaves or flowers, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Just enough water to make a paste with them… thick like toothpaste.

Apply this to the area and relax for 30 minutes/ 1-2x a day.

FOR SALAD… you will need…

  • A handful of fresh leaves (use young leaves) or flowers
  • A dash of extra virgin olive oil (if making a salad)

Simply toss the greens in with another recipe, or eat them plain with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Older leaves can be gently sautéed to soften them up a bit, however, uncooked leaves have more nutrients. Eat daily.

OTHER USES

Dandelions can be a source of rubber, used as a substitute for coffee and is a traditional ingredient in root beer.

References: