Dandelions: Miracles in your front yard (plus dandelion tincture recipe)
The dandelion is a much maligned meadow plant, a native of Europe. Americans fiercely and defiantly dig out and poison this miracle plant, for no obvious reason other than they think they should. I started thinking for myself, and I have found out quite a bit about this miracle plant.
All parts of the dandelion are useful, for many things. The blossom of the dandelion is beautiful to behold. I can’t think of a plant that reminds me more of the beauty of the sun in early spring. The heads can be collected and made into wine. Dandelion wine is a great thing to make with friends, as debudding the heads is a time consuming activity that is enjoyable in a crowd of good conversation. Dandelion buds and flowers can also be breaded and deep fried for a southern culinary delight (anything tastes good breaded and deep fried!). My daughter would also attest to the usefulness of dandelion heads after they flower in their abilities to manifest wishes. Just remember, don’t tell what you wish and believe it will happen as hard as you can.
Dandelion leaves are one of the most nutritious of all greens. According to a USDA health bulletin: “dandelions are nature’s richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods, after cod-liver oil and beef liver! They also are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of protein.” Grown in nutritious soil, dandelions may also be rich in micronutrients “such as copper, cobalt, zinc, boron, and molybdenum, as well as Vitamin D.” Like all leafy greens, dandelions are also contain a lot of calcium, protein Vitamin C, and fiber.
In early spring, before flowering, dandelion leaves are quite tasty and tender. After flowering and prolonged heat from the sun, the leaves tend to get tough and more bitter. However, dandelion leaves can still be eaten in cooked foods, which helps reduce any anxiety regarding the texture and taste. Personally, I like the wild taste of dandelions, and the bitterness perks up my liver like nothing else. Dandelion roots can be roasted and used for a coffee-like drink.
Dandelions are incredibly healthy for our bodies. Does this health come from the abundance of vitamins and minerals? Or is it just that dandelions are an awesome natural medicine with no known side effects? Dandelions are particularly useful for supporting the liver. The function of the liver is to detoxify our bodies, and as civilized people, we are in desperate need of that. Not only does the liver process and discard actual toxins, it also processes the hormones produced by our bodies in response to our emotions. Dandelions function as a diuretic, aiding our bodies to rid itself of toxins through our urine. Dandelions also contain inulin, and have an effect on blood sugar levels, as well as helping to lower blood pressure.
Of course, I am not a doctor, and I am not promising dandelions will cure what ails you. But if you’re looking to function in and maintain a state of health, dandelions are worth checking into.
Recipe for dandelion tincture:
- Gather big beautiful healthy looking dandelions, in full bloom.
- Wash, then chop into ½- to 1-inch pieces, and pack tightly into jars.
- When the jar is full, pour in alcohol. I used alcohol that was around 75%. You can use something like Everclear, and dilute it with water.
- Snap a lid on, and your part of making the dandelion tincture is finished!
- Each day, take a minute to push the dandelion parts back under the alcohol.
- In six to twelve weeks, strain out the dandelion pieces and put the finished tincture into jars.
- Take daily for good health!