Dandelion. (Taraxacum officinale) is a medicinal powerhouse and the perfect root chakra remedy! It commonly grows in lawns and gardens and can hold its own, producing seeds, with or without pollination. European settlers deliberately introduced it to the New World and the earliest known record of this plant in medicine was by tenth century Arabian physicians.
The leaves are serrated like a jagged saw and resemble the canine teeth of a lion, hence the French name, Dent - de - lion. In old English there are all sorts of fancy names for this flower, including Blowball, Gowans, Dashelflower, Swine's Snout, Wiggers, Priest's Crown and Pissenlit!
The leaves can be picked and used in salads or cooked; they are packed with healing nutrients and a good source of vitamin A, D, C and B complex and can also be used in tea or tincture form as a diuretic and digestive bitter. The flowers are edible and can be sprinkled on salads or made into Dandelion wine or jelly. The roots can be used fresh or dried. Dried roots can be made into a coffee-like brew and drunk as a tonic for the treatment of liver, bladder and kidney ailments. The roots support digestive health and help break down cholesterol and fat. Dandelion is an excellent blood purifier.
It is told that Gypsies are addicted to Dandelion Tea as a spring tonic. (I'll tell you more about the gipsies in a future blog!) The tea is made by infusing one ounce of the flowers and leaves in boiling water for ten minutes. It clears the skin and eyes. The milky latex juice of the plant, applied regularly, is said to remove warts.
It is important to mention that when harvesting any herb, especially one that grows wild like the Dandelion, you must ensure that you harvest from a place where you are certain that no pesticides or herbicides have been sprayed and that there are no toxins present from traffic or railroad fumes nearby. Also be sure that you have identified the plant correctly. If you are not absolutely certain, DO NOT eat it. Be sure that all parts are washed and rinsed thoroughly before use.
I recently came across an intriguing recipe that combined chocolate, nuts and fresh dandelion root to make a yummy treat that appeared to be a cross between a cupcake and a brownie. I tweaked the recipe to make it more moist and introduced a couple of other ingredients, just to be fancy! This recipe is gluten, dairy and sugar free, unless you count the chocolate chips!! ;)
DANDELICIOUS - NESS
Quarter cup chopped fresh dandelion root.
Half cup almond flour
Quarter cup sunflower seeds
Quarter cup organic unsweet chocolate chips
Four tablespoons dark cocoa powder
Three large organic prunes, finely chopped
Three tablespoons coconut oil
Two tablespoons Rosehip tea water *
Quarter cup lavender and rose infused honey * or just honey
One tablespoon dried lavender buds
One tablespoon dried rose petals
One fresh egg
Combine all the ingredients, mix well and scoop a heaped teaspoon into mini cupcake paper wrappers.. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool and scoff!
*infusing honey is easy and so delicious! You can use a double boiler or I find a small yogurt maker more convenient as the temperature stays right at105 degrees. Use one part dried herbs or flowers to one part honey. Heat gently for six hours and then strain. You can also use the old fashioned method which takes longer, of course....place the honey and dried herb in a jar and leave on a sunny windowsill for four weeks, then strain.
*make a cup or pot of Rosehip tea using dried Rosehips. Strain. Or Tulsi makes a lovely Sweet Rose tea that works perfectly as well.
It is easy to include medicinal plants, herbs and flowers into everyday recipes as part of your balanced diet. This is not new age stuff, it's tried and true...ask the gipsies (gypsies), ask the tenth century Arabian physicians, ask the Native American Indians and the Shamans....we all need to know how the plants can heal our bodies.