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Celebrating Dandelion’s Health Benefits

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Celebrating Dandelion’s Health Benefits

Dandelions are one of the most hated weeds! Why? Mostly, because some people want lawns like golf courses. However, dandelions have been used as food and for medicine for thousands of years.  They are extremely good for you!

Last week, while creating my vegetable patch and digging dandelions up from my lawn, I decided to harvest them as food rather than as weeds.  I decided to celebrate dandelions! You can learn how to:

  • Pick the flowers for pancakes and syrup and cordial
  • Use the leaves for salad and steaming
  • Kept the roots for dandelion coffee.

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

History:

  • Dandelions came into existence about 30 million years ago in Eurasia. Humans have been eating them as food and using them as medicine for as long as there has been recorded history.
  • Many sources suggest that the dandelion came from Asia, where it used as food and medicine.
  • Before the year 1000, Arabs also used dandelions as a medicine.
  • Dandelions did not exist in North America when the Mayflower arrived in 1620. European immigrants used dandelions as part of their regular diet, and brought them over to began to cultivate them in North America.
  • These days, dandelions grow profusely.

7 Health Benefits:

1.  The leaves can be used to treat upset stomach, muscle aches, intestinal gas, constipation and loss of appetite. Like all dark leafy vegetables, they are strongly alkaline. Here’s a complete list of dandelion leaf benefits.
2.  Spanish people brought it over for medicine and for food, called chicoria.
3.  Germans used it as an early spring infusion of nutrition and vitamins.
4.  The English used it to cure liver problems and other illnesses.
5.  In India, it is also used mainly as a remedy for liver problems.
6.  Dandelion root is grown and exported to Russia for medical remedies.
7.  The roots are used to help the liver, anemia, and much more.

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

54 comments

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2:48PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

i made the syrup once and it was phenomenal but a lot of work. I also cooked the leaves once and ate and prepared them like one would greens. I found them to be very bitter, but I liked them over all. Great info and cool ideas.. thank you!

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Dandelions are a delight, love their vibrant yellow flowers, their jagged leaves and their marvellous taste!

2:18PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

l responded to a co-worker once with "Do not use the words dandelion and undesirable weed in the same sentence." We now have an understanding of each others' belief, actually he came in to work one day smiling and said the side lawn was in full bloom and did I see it? Has become a fun kidding around situation now. Long live the dandelion! ( In my lawn)

10:25AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

I am always thankful for Dandelions......

5:18AM PDT on Jun 20, 2012

I make a tea out of it,for my stomach aches..really helps.

9:15AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

Great article :-)
Be careful with the sap when picking Dandelions, as it stains fabric. Got some on a favourite tee-shirt, it left a brown stain that took years to wash out (there may be something that neutralises it, like lemon juice on red wine spills).

2:17AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

What a wonderfully informative article.

12:33AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

The dandelion season is so short where I live, so each day, I make sure I enjoy steaming the leaves to add to other veggies.
I love the idea of dandelion wine made from the flowers, but haven't attempted that yet

12:32AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

I actually bought some dandelion leaves at the store today. I had them in my salad. Love them. This was a very interesting post, so much good information. Thank you!

12:17AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

great info.

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