delicious Spring greens! I found this adorable site the other day, that re-inspired my craving for fresh Spring greens that grow free and abundantly all over this beautiful Planet. Including in great dense patches out by our neighbors fence! My 2 1/2 year old and I picked a bunch of greens and munched them down. I love instilling my kids with a friendship/kinship with the wild herbs, passing down to them ancient wisdom of the abundance of free food that grows everywhere. Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine ♥
Below is from http://www.herbalrootszine.com/ May 2009 issue all about the benefits of Dandelion.
“Dandelion, one of the world’s most nutritious plants, has such a bad rap! 1 cup of dandelion leaves contains 1 1 / 2 times the recommended USDA daily requirements for vitamin A alone! It also contains vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D plus biotin, inositol, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. It’s like taking a multi-vitamin every time you eat a salad full of dandelion greens! It is a shame so many people fight so hard to remove it from their lawns, isn’t it?
Harvest as many leaves as you can right now and dry them. Once they are dry, crumble them and store them in a canning jar. (Don’t forget to label them!) They are a great addition for winter food: soups, meats, mashed potatoes, etc. will all benefit from a natural boost of vitamins. In his dried form, dandelion doesn’t add any flavor to your food but will add all those wonderful vitamins and minerals! He tastes great as a tea too! Dandelion grows all over the world. Herbalists in China, India and Europe have used him for centuries. He is such a great healer; his Latin name reflects reverence by ending with officinalis. Dandelion is great for treating so many things, from eczema, acne, rashes and chicken pox to measles, digestion and constipation. Drinking a tea made from the root will aid in all of these ailments. Roasting the dried root adds a wonderful flavor that is often used with other herbs as a coffee substitute. Adding a little honey will enhance the flavor as well. See the recipe section for a delicious chai recipe using roasted dandelion root. Dandelion roots also cleanse the liver. Drinking a couple cups of the tea each day will help cleanse and purify the liver and blood as well as cool off the liver. Dandelion is known as a diuretic and does so without depleting potassium from the body. Dandelion roots and/or leaves can also be used in tincture form although, because dandelion is so plentiful, tincture is often not necessary since the herb himself can be found so readily for the majority of the seasonal year. However, harvesting and storing some dried root and leaf is worthwhile for use during the winter months when the fresh herb is not available. Dandelion is a great example of eating your medicine! He is so delicious as a tea or sprinkled dry on food that you will find it hard to believe you are taking your medicine! In fact, all my ‘medicinal’ recipes this month are in food form! There are not that many herbs you can say that about! The flowers can be used in many ways as well. They can be dipped in a batter and fried and are delicious dipped in ranch or bleucheese dressing! They can be made into syrup, mead, soda, sprinkled on salads and much more. The buds are great sautéed in butter. In fact, every part of dandelion is edible except the stem! But, that doesn’t mean the stem isn’t useful. The sap can be rubbed on warts and moles to help remove them. This must be done many times a day to be effective. As you can see, dandelion truly is one of nature’s best gifts to us. Go harvest some dandelion and start experiencing some of his many joys! ” ~Kristine Brown of “Herbal Roots”