Dandelion – It’s More than Just a Weed
The bright yellow face of the dandelion flower is commonly overlooked; it is smashed beneath the feet of soccer players, mowed over by the lawn caretaker, and plucked to pieces in a game of “he loves me, he loves me not.” This plant, typically spoken of as being a weed, pops up in patches on the lawn, in cracks on the sidewalk, and all over fields of wild growth. But is there something more to this common, little plant? Little does the frustrated homeowner know that Dandelion root and Dandelion leaves have many sought after qualities.
Uses for the Dandelion:
- Appetite – the dandelion can support digestion, helping keep the body regular.
- Help calm an upset stomach – dandelion has been known to assist an upset stomach in many people, especially when used in a warming tea.
- Relax aching muscles – dandelion contains essential fatty acids and phytonutrients that help swelling in the body. This feature may help calm aches and pains in the body.
- Urine productions – the dandelion also has the ability to support urine production in the body, which helps regulation throughout the body. Dandelion tea can help with the fluid retention commonly associated with menstrual cycles. Dandelion greens are especially nutritious – besides helping to provide that all-important fiber, dandelion greens are rich in potassium and vitamins A, C, & K. Also, dandelion greens contain even more iron than spinach.
Ways to use the Dandelion:
- The roots
- You can dry the root and use it in teas and soups.
- You can also roast the root and use it as a coffee replacement.
- The leaves
- The leaves, fresh or dried, can be places in teas or soups.
- Or, the leaves can be eaten fresh in things like salads and sandwiches.
History of the Dandelion
Medicinal use of dandelion has been noted in ancient Chinese medicine and can be traced back over thousands of years. While we find the plant to be a cumbersome weed, it is actually cultivated in many countries, including India, China, Germany, and the U.S., and used to aid in nutrition and cleansing the liver.
Rumor has it that the dandelion made it to North America on the Mayflower; it is believed the travelers brought the plant with them for its medicinal properties.
Now you just may think differently about the “weed” next time you see it in your lawn. Ready to try the plant out for yourself? Look for the fresh leaves in your local grocery store or order the dry roots or leaves from Western Botanicals today.