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Such a Dandy Medicine

Spring is ALMOST here people! Can you feel it with the weather changes and hear the excited chirping of the birds? The winter to spring shift is happening, and now that it's after daylight savings, we’ll really be noticing the shift with longer daylight. Yay!


When I think of Spring, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Dandelions. For some of us, the dandies bring an excitement of seeing their bright sunny heads popping up all over our lawns, and for others, come the dread of a “weedy curse” that takes over our property. So, whichever side of the fence you are on, let me shed some light on how wonderfully healing and medicinal dandelions are for your health and why you might want to incorporate them into your life. Maybe some of you dreading types will change your perspective when you realize how amazing these little “weeds” are for your well-being.


First and foremost, I love Dandelion for supporting the liver and digestive systems - which are the prominent organs for Spring. If you’ve ever chewed on a dandelion leaf, then you know how bitter they are. That bitterness is actually highly be​neficial for those organ systems. The bitter greens and the roots stimulates the gallbladder and helps to support the liver and good digestion. Dandelion greens also support the kidneys as a diuretic (a tool to increase urine production) while at the same time containing potassium so that our body is not depleted of this essential mineral. Dandelion root has a host of other benefits such as; helping to remove excess hormones from the body via the liver, it’s beneficial for some skin conditions including acne and eczema, it shows improvement with cholesterol and blood sugar, helps the liver to clear toxins, and they are the first foods for the bees. Let’s not forget that we need to support the bees after a long winter. The​re’s so much more to this wonderful plant, but those are some of the main benefits to give you the gist of how it may be supportive for your health. It really is the perfect spring medicine to help detox your body after a long stagnant winter!


Dandelion contains some impressive list of nutrients too! - The leaves are high in vitamins and minerals including Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, and vitamins A, B and C.  Dandelion is higher in Vitamin A than any other garden plant. Not a bad little “weed”, eh?


Want to include this plant in your life this Spring? First thing to mention, any plant that you harvest in the wild, will need to be properly identified and made sure that it is from an area that is pesticide/ chemical free and harvested away from high traffic areas, the side of the road, ditches, and parks where pets may defecate.


Any Google search will help to give you a myriad of ideas on how to incorporate dandelion into your life. You will find examples such as; including the fresh picked leaves to your salads, drinking the roots and leaves as medicinal teas, making dandelion fritters and cookies with the sunny flower heads, a dandelion vinegar to drizzle over sautéed greens and fresh salads, an infused oil to rub on sore achey muscles and used in conjunction with breast massage to help with tenderness and to support the lymphatic system. The list could go on as there are many ways to use this amazing plant for your health and wellbeing. Do a little digging (yes, pun intended) and decide how you'd like to bring dandelion into your spring wellness plan.


If you are like me, then you will be looking forward to those dandies popping up soon and welcome them into your yard. If you are one of the ones who always dreads them, then I hope I have at least peaked your curiosity and maybe helped to change your perspective from “weedy curse” to Spring medicine.


*Caution should be used in combining dandelion supplements with certain medications that are metabolized by the liver and some diuretics. If you have any health issues, are pregnant, and/or take any medications, please consult your medical care provider when starting any new supplements or protocols for your health.*

 

Article by Mary Ellen Zang 


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