Ask Charoula

Herb Blog

The Bitter Principle

Spring is truly here, and for good!

 

Green things are definitely sprouting out of the earth—tiny at first but so quickly spreading and growing and announcing: Spring is here!!

 

A lot of the herbs that show up at this point of time are probably the strongest—they still have to put up with possible nasty weather changes, and they are facing a lot of hungry bugs which have been waiting for the first green little leaves to show up and sample them!

 

As I perused the ground today—not really the herbal garden, but just around the yard, I saw the first green leaves of a favorite of mine, Dandelion!  I think everyone knows what a Dandelion is, how could we not!

Dandelion Field

But do we really know what a great botanical treasure Dandelion is, and how absolutely important it is for our system?

 

Well, let me clue you in!  Dandelion –sort of like the Nettles we discussed a while ago—just push out of the ground all on their own, and early on in Springtime.

Anyone who has a yard and, painfully, must mow day in and day out to keep “weeds” in control certainly has encountered this prolific plant, vibrant green, curly dentated leaves and, eventually, bright yellow flowers.

 

I find Dandelion to be a wonderful plant, and I leave them alone to grow into big piles of leaves and flowers. The whole plant has amazing healing qualities and it is another of those plants I grew up with in Greece, as they show up EVERYWHERE—from the sidewalks of heavily frequented city streets to the open fields and  the wooded areas  around the cities.

 

In the early spring and throughout the summer, if people find themselves in the country side, they will encounter huge fields covered by dandelions’ yellow flowers, spreading around everywhere like a sea of bright sunshine!

 

So what is Dandelion good for, you might ask? Truly, many things!

But first, have you ever picked a leaf and put it in your mouth and chewed it well?

If you have, then you recognize the taste of Dandelion as quite Bitter. Bitter is one of five main tastes of all the foods we eat. All five tastes exist for a reason: the taste depends on the chemicals in the foods, and we need certain combined chemical substances to keep us healthy and going strong. Better to get them from natural foods than pills, tablets, drops, medicines, or whatever!

 

The Bitter taste (and don’t make a face or put it down!) is absolutely necessary in our Digestive System: it promotes cleansing, via many different avenues. Detoxing would be a better description.  It affects all our organs, including the Brain!  It is WHY we spend a lot of time and often money to go through a deep Cleanse.  But we would save a lot of money and effort if we just ate our greens, Dandelion being one of the best!

 

  • First and foremost, Dandelion leaf is a great diuretic, as it acts powerfully on the kidneys. It does that while at the same time providing us with lots of potassium, which, when getting rid of a lot of water from our system, we lose –not very good!
  • Furthermore, it helps reduce Liver Congestion!
  • And not just liver! Eating a good portion of Dandelion daily may just help us avoid a lot of unnecessary Gallbladder attacks and surgeries, jaundice etc.
  • Dandelion stimulates our appetite, helps our digestion, AND helps regulate Blood Sugar, Insulin, and Glucagon.

What a miracle plant!

Generally speaking, do NOT ignore or look down, or destroy the wild wonderful plants we have been gifted with—treat them with respect and use them to heal our problems. They are always very happy to be helpful!!!

………………………………

How to use Dandelion leaves and flowers:

Like all other herbs!  I place the leaves (a good handful of them) in a pot with two-three cups of water, bring to a slow boil and let them boil 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, let them sit with the heat turned off–sometimes I let them alone for even a half hour– then pour through a strainer and drink. Best NOT to use any sweeteners, so you are actually tasting the Bitterness in your mouth!

 

To your Health!!!

 

Charoula

If you have questions on any of the above herbs and their use, please contact me:

Ask Charoula about Herbs

 

All answers are posted on our website E-Wellness.com, on the following Friday.

Thanks for reading!

Charoula Dontopoulos
Certified Herbalist
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner

 

 

 

Charoula Dontopoulos

RECENT POSTS

View more blog posts

St. John’s Wort

Hello, everyone! What a totally beautiful, true spring day today! I have been so preoccupied with things indoors that I almost missed going out to the garden, and running around to see what was up and what was blooming, AND what needed cleaning! I am sure there are...

read more

Rosemary

One might say that I grew up surrounded by beautiful fragrant bushes of Rosemary, thriving near the Mediterranean sea, and around my house in Greece. Rosemary is native there, and grows not just in fertile gardens but on the rocks at the edge of the sea. Rosemary –...

read more

Cocoa

Do you like Cocoa??? Who doesn’t, it is most pleasant, slightly strong and bitter, but delicious! I love it! Especially in the winter, who wouldn’t like to sit by the fireplace, with a delicious cup of Cocoa—it is sweet, it is a stimulant, and yet, amazingly, it does...

read more

SKIN ERUPTIONS: What on Earth Bit me this Time?!!!

Well, yes, it could be something rising out of the Earth, or flying in the Air, or swimming in the Water— we live with bugs on this planet, some of them crawling on the earth, some floating in water, some buzzing in the air.  And some can definitely carry diseases, so...

read more

The Marvels of Turmeric!

Are Spices herbs?  You bet they are. And most of them are extremely powerful, not only because of their nature, but also because they are powderized and represent the herb – whether that is a plant or a flower or a seed etc.-- in its highest concentration....

read more

STOP THE COLDS/BEAT THE FLU!!!

Hello there! Well, we are already in mid-Winter, and if we have done well so far—no colds, no flu, no chest issues, then we are almost out of the worst as far as any of the above conditions are concerned. However, it is always wise to know how to address...

read more

GOTU KOLA (Centella Asiatica)

The third and very important herb in the trilogy of Memory Herbs is Gotu Kola, another traditional medicine that comes to us from India, where it has been venerated for thousands of years by Yogis, and passed down the generations to modern times as not...

read more

BACOPA MONIERI

Bacopa Monieri—its full name—is a plant that comes to us from India. Bacopa is used in the treatment of: Memory loss Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety ADD, ADHD Learning disability Mental illness Restlessness Stress It is also known to help with: depression,...

read more

MEMORY HERBS

The subject of Memory is becoming increasingly important to me as I grow older. Though some people retain a perfect memory as they age, most of us do begin to show some problems, especially with short term memory.  We can remember in detail stuff that...

read more

Adaptogens- Amla

The Holidays in the midst of Winter are great for getting us up and going, despite the cold and other weather phenomena, but in the end, when the joys of giving and receiving and being with family and friends are over, we begin to understand that we are...

read more

Questions about herbs?

If anyone reading this Blog has questions on any of the above herbs and their use, please fill out the form below.  Thanks for reading this blog! All answers are posted on our website E-Wellness.com, on the following Friday.