Herb of the Week: Dandelion
Our herb of the week this week is our bright yellow friend Dandelion! Again I want to thank my 12 year old Sun (shine) Rasheen Keiller, for helping me write these blog posts. He does most of the work, i just clean it up a little and add a few of my own touches. He only used one souce because he said he already knew a lot about dandelion, (as its an herb we have been studying for quite some time now.) Please enjoy our plant profile of Dandelion.
Dandelion is a very well known herb from Europe, but it is now found all over the world. It is one of the most common herbs in the world, yet only recognized as an annoying weed to most people. Unbeknownst to many this powerful little "weed" (which usually gets mowed down every year by you and your neighbors) is packed with almost every vitamin you can think of. This is one of nature's multivitamins. Many herbalists refer to dandelion as an alphabet herb, because she has vitamin A, and Bs, she's packed with vitamin C and is a great source of vitamin D, as well as vitimin K, zinc and trace minerals.
This herb is commonly bright yellow and looks and feels like lion's fur. It is called “Dandelion” because of the french word “Dent de lion” which in english means Lion’s tooth, referring to one of the plants identifying characteristics; it's jagged leaves, resembling the teeth of a lion. The term was first used to describe the flowering plant in the late 14th century because of its jagged, tooth shaped leaves and bright furry bloom. The root of this plant grows very deep into the ground, sometimes 10-15 feet deep. This allows the plant to benefit from all of the minerals and nutrients found deep in the earth.
Dandelion is one of the most healthiest herbs in the world. It can be enjoyed in many ways and has numerous health benefits. It helps prevent cancer, and the signs of aging because it helps to rid thr body of free radicals. It helps prevent bone loss, helps reduce constipation, bloating and water retention, joint pain, eczema, liver dysfunction, muscle aches, and works as a digestive aid and much more. The leaves can be eaten raw in salads (despite its mildly bitter flavor) or cooked as greens, and if cooked correctly can be delicious. The flower tops make a nice, mildly sweet tea, and can be enjoyed for its health benefits throughout the day. For a stronger more medicinal tea you can steep the dried root for at least 30-60 minutes and drink warm. The root can also be roasted, grinded and brewed, and enjoyed as a healthy coffee alternative. It is usually found in yards and on roadsides, so if you find it make sure to clean it well before use.
Lambert, Pat, “Dandelion: the Plant That Keeps Giving”, 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited, 10 April, 2020, 13 April, 2020, <https://amp.theguardian.com/>
Ding, Sara, "DANDELION ROOT SLOWS THE GROWTH OF CANCER CELLS AND PREVENTS IT FROM SPREADING" Juicing for Health, 27 FEB 2018, <https://juicing-for-health.com/dandelion-root-tea-benefits>