Wild Medicinals in NYC: Dandelion

We often look elsewhere for what we already have…

Many of us are lead to believe that healing and medicinal plants are exotic superfoods we have to seek in some distant, remote forest or spend loads of money at the health food store to get our hands on. The truth is, many of the most powerful healers are right here under our feet. Usually considered weeds. My hope is that through learning about the powerful plants that surround us, we’ll begin to have a greater appreciation for where we are.

First, Dandelion. One of our most powerful and nurturing healers that grows over most of the world. Dandelion leaves, flowers, and roots are all edible. Here are some of it’s gifts:

Nutrient Dense:  Dandelion is high in carotenes, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron (leaf & root), B vitamins, protein, phosphorus and manganese, and also has significant levels of calcium and zinc.

Digestive aid and detoxifier: Dandelion promotes digestion, stimulates appetite, balances the natural and beneficial bacteria in the intestines and is a mild laxative. As diuretic, the plant helps the kidneys clear out waste, salt, and excess water. Dandelion has been shown to improve liver function by removing toxins, reestablishing hydration and electrolyte balance. It increases bile production and reduces inflammation to help with gallbladder problems and blockages. Needless to say, a wonderful spring tonic to awaken and cleanse what we may have stored in the winter. Cleansing within shows on the outside which is why Dandelion is known to help relieve skin conditions among other things.

Antioxidants : Every part of the dandelion plant is rich in antioxidants that prevent free-radical damage to cells and DNA, slowing down the aging process in our cells. Dandelion contains essential fatty acids and phytonutrients that reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can help relieve pain and swelling. The roots contain inulin and levulin, substances that may help balance blood sugar.

3rd Chakra Resonance: Dandelion resonates with the 3rd chakra located in the solar plexus. This is the seat of fire in the body where we digest the inner and outer worlds, and either either claim or withhold our personal power. Dandelion can help to activate this energy center and move emotional waste from the body that may be stored there. (I’ll be writing more extensively about the chakras in upcoming blogs)

Good for your lawn!: Dandelion’s deep and wide-spreading roots loosen hard-packed soil, and pull nutrients such as calcium from deep within the earth, making them available to other plants whose roots may not go as deep… and actually fertilizes the grass… (nature does have a plan)

Here is one way you can enjoy the benefit of Dandelion now:

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Infusion: Medicinal strength tea. I like using the dried dandelion roots and leaves together. I usually make a quart jar of infusion that will last a few days.

Place roughly an ounce of each of dried root and leaves (more or less for strength and taste) in a quart jar. Fill the jar to the top with boiling water. Put the lid on the jar and let it sit at room temperature for eight hours to absorb the nutrients of the roots, then strain. I usually do this before I go to bed to have fresh, nourishing infusion in the morning. If you are only infusing the leaves, it can sit for four hours or so for a strong infusion.

 

For more about making infusions click HERE

Posted on January 27, 2014 in Herbal Medicine, Wild Healing

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