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How do you feel about this weed?

It’s springtime and I’m sure you’ve seen bright yellow dandelion flowers littering your lawn or the landscape where you live.

Most folks view them as a nuisance and break out the weed killer to eradicate them.

But, hold on a sec!!

Those bothersome “weeds” are catching your attention for a reason. And, it’s not to kill them.

It’s to use them for a much higher purpose – your health and wellbeing.

Dandelions are highly revered medicine.

Before the 20th Century, gardeners used to weed out the grass to make room for more dandelions.[1]

Wow! Imagine that?

Dandelion, aka Taraxacum officinale, has a long history of being used as a blood purifier and spring tonic. It improves metabolism, supports weight loss, and enhances vitality. A

According to internationally renowned herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, dandelion has been used for thousands of years. It is known as a restorative tonic and edible food.  It is also invaluable to women going through menopause.[2]

So, let’s take a closer look at this medicinal plant as every part of the dandelion is used as medicine.

Dandelion Roots

The root, used for its alterative effects, thins the fluids, especially the bile.

In this way, it slowly cleanses and supports the liver and gallbladder and is a classic remedy for gallstones and gastrointestinal challenges.[3]

Dandelion has long been prized in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its ability to clear heat from the liver. This is one of the reasons why it would be great for menopause (excess liver heat contributes to many menopausal symptoms).

The root can be used as a tincture or as a nutritive food and tea. I like to use the root in a Lymphatic Detox Infusion. It helps to clear congestion and debris from the lymph.

Dandelion Leaves

With their jagged tooth-like edges, dandelion (dente de lion) leaves have rightly earned the name, Lion’s tooth.

They are slightly salty and minerally tasting.

Dandelion leaves contain vitamins A, C and K, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.[4]

They promote water removal while increasing potassium levels, supporting the health of the kidneys and spleen, and resolving swellings within the body associated with dampness.

The leaves can be eaten in fresh salads, cooked into stir-fries, or prepared as a tincture. Or you can put them into a blender or food processor, and make an easy and delicious pesto, like this: Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Flowers

The dandelion flowers are really quite beautiful if we take the time to look at them. They look like sunshine captured in a flower!

Medicinally, the flowers are mildly laxative, a natural diuretic, and analgesic (pain-relieving).

They can be prepared as tea, eaten fresh in salads, or made into wine.

I remember my cousin, Jon, told me that he used to make dandelion wine. I hope he reads this and is inspired to make it again. I would gladly travel from NYC to PA for a glass or two, depending on how much medicine I think I need.

As you can clearly see, this weed is growing to support your health and happiness.

Yes, that’s right, I said “happiness.”

Do you remember at any point in your childhood grabbing a dandelion that has gone to seed, closing your eyes, making a wish, and then blowing that little ball to scatter the fluffy seeds?

As you watched the seeds fly away like miniature parachutes, I am sure you were compelled to smile.

They are quite magical in that way.

If you haven’t had that experience as a child, please try it as an adult. I bet it’ll make you happy.

And, remember… think twice about getting rid of the weeds in your lawn. You may be better off getting rid of your lawn and eating the weeds instead.

[1] http://www.mofga.org/Publications/The-Maine-Organic-Farmer-Gardener/Summer-2007/Dandelions

[2] https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/dandelion-root/profile

[3] The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism, Matthew Wood, 2014 North Atlantic Books, pgs 230-233

[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dandelion-benefits#section1