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


Questions and Answers

 

Q: Are the leaves of the Dandelion plant the only part of this herb that is good to make tea with?

A: Well, let’s put it this way: the leaves make a nice tea (albeit bitter!)  which is very efficient in cleansing our systems.

However, for deep cleansing, eg. Liver/Gallbladder Detoxification, the Dandelion roots will do a better job.

In general, roots go deep into our systems and detox them, whereas leaves and flowers are great for sweeping out our circulatory, urinary, and lymphatic channels.

Q: How else can we use Dandelion greens besides a good cup of tea ?

A: Try them boiled (like spinach!) They make a great dish to accompany meats, boiled eggs  etc., or just use them as a side salad.

Q: If Dandelion leaves are bitter, what will help make them more edible?

A: I usually make a strong olive oil dressing that I pour over my steamed Dandelion greens. To about 2 tbsps of olive oil, add a bit of juiced lemon and that will go a long way to wards reducing the bitterness — though the Bitter quality and benefits will still be there.

………………………………

Please do consult your Holistic Health Practitioner, and most importantly your Herbalist before you use any herb, whether as a tincture, a tea, or a standardized extract.  Herbs are powerful!!!

 

I would love to hear more of your questions on any of our blogs, and specifically on any Issues you are wondering about!  Thanks for sending in your questions!

Ask Charoula about Herbs

Charoula