Dandelions: A Misunderstood Powerhouse

From Mrs. Cog's Corner

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Unknown to most Westerners, dandelions are one of the top six herbs in Chinese Traditional Medicine cabinet. A powerful diuretic, it is used to flush the kidneys and detoxify the liver. Additionally, dandelion greens are rated in the top four nutritional greens we can eat.

Dandelion leaves have the highest content of beta carotene in any green vegetable and are the third best dietary source of Vitamin A after beef liver and cod liver oil. They contain generous amounts of essential minerals and protein as well.

The dandelion root has been shown in clinical studies to kill cancer cells in melanoma and leukemia. Although this is not new knowledge in certain older traditions, most modern studies are conducted outside the U.S. and Europe.

It seems odd that our modern society would demonize such a natural powerful food rather than promote its benefits. I've known several people that became apoplectic upon discovering the growth of dandelions in what they perceived was a pristine suburban lawn. Out came the chemicals... and well, you know the rest. For more information you can start here: Why are Monsanto and Dow Waging War on Dandelions?

You can use, eat or drink just about every part of the dandelion. The roots can be lightly roasted and chopped for a wonderful organic tea. The greens are great in salads or as side dishes. The flowers are edible too. There is even a market for dandelion wine, made famous by Ray Bradbury's 1957 novel Dandelion Wine.

My personal preference is organic dandelion root tea which I buy here (loose leaf by the pound) and it lasts me for most of a year. I fill a tea mesh ball half full with the tea and put it in a cup of boiling/hot water. It is also my preferred way to consume powerful essential oils internally as I add a drop or two of clove oil (off the chart on the anti-oxidant scale) and cinnamon oil (a very powerful antibiotic and anti-viral) to a cup a day; several if I feel a cold or bug coming on.


Always a pleasure to learn from, Clara made a great video on preparing dandelions the old school way.


Great information out on the web on the benefits of dandelions and how to prepare, eat and drink them, links below.

Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots: http://www.commonsensehome.com/harvesting-and-using-dandelion-roots/

Of course we all know that Dandelion’s are weeds that pop up in our lawns quite frequently and people go to great lengths to remove them but unbeknownst to most is the fact that this is an amazing herb with great medicinal value. An effective health remedy right in our own backyard! http://naturalhealthanswers.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/detox-your-body-with-dandelion/

Besides the stimulating bitter substances, dandelion roots also contain choline, another liver stimulant. Dandelion roots make wonderful colon cleansing and detoxifying medications because any time digestion is improved, the absorption of nutrients and the removal of wastes from the body improve as well. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/dandelion-herbal-remedies.htm

Spring is one of the best times to do an internal cleansing.  It is similar to cleaning out your refrigerator.  If you spilled something in the ‘fridge, would you put more food in there without cleaning it out?  It’s the same for your GI tract AKA your GUT. http://www.janecaseyskitchen.com/spring-detox-dandelion-for-your-liver-and-god-for-your-heart/

One of my favorite wild edibles during the early Spring happens to be the bane of all lawn owners: The Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). This article details how to identify and prepare this commonplace but excellent tasting and nutritious wild plant — knowledge that is an excellent addition to your survival info store. http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/blog/dandelion-greens.htm

If you’ve already tried preparing the dandelion greens from the prior article than you know how delicious this wild plant can be. In this article I wanted to quickly present you with another pair of delicious recipes using a different part of this common every-day plant: the flowers. http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/blog/how-to-eat-dandelion-flowers.htm

The dandelion greens contain extremely important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, folate, magnesium and manganese. They may contribute up to 535% of the suggested daily intake of vitamin K, not to mention over 110% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. It is believed that some of its flavonoids such as zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin have specific healing properties. Zeaxanthin seems to provide protection for the retina when confronted by the sun’s UV rays, while cryptoxanthin can potentially defend the body against the development of mouth and lung cancer cells. http://drleonardcoldwell.com/2013/12/04/dandelion-has-unsuspected-health-benefits-such-as-inhibiting-cancer-cell-growth/

The common dandelion proliferating summer lawns is often considered a weed. It was brought to the United States from Europe and Asia and introduced for its myriad health benefits, which have been utilized by Eastern cultures for centuries. Dandelion is a bitter herb and all parts of the plant are used medicinally in herbal preparations, teas and as foods. http://www.naturalnews.com/040713_dandelion_edible_weeds_health_benefits.html

To view results of clinical studies on dandelions: http://science.naturalnews.com/Dandelion.html, and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=dandelion


2 thoughts on “Dandelions: A Misunderstood Powerhouse”

  1. Mrs Cog, you are a treasure. I’ve one thing to add. Back in the late 90’s, I decided to quit my “vices”, coffee and American Spirit tobacco, all at once; cold turkey. After 5 days I felt I was in trouble, which totally distracted me from the usual withdrawal symptoms; it seemed my lower GI tract had totally shut down. The gf, studying homeopathy at the time, helped me research this, and we prepared some Dandelion root tea from the backyard. Easy, gentle relief from an alarming condition.
    I only wish I felt confident trying the plant up here where I am now – these 80 yr old retired folk are obsessive about keeping up bizarre appearances and use RoundUp like a magic wand to try and keep yards that look as natural as a miniature golf course. I’ve shown a few that white vinegar does the same thing, without being a persistent carcinogen and neurotoxin. “Meh- Roundup works faster.”

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I am still fairly new to natural healing and find I am delighted with each simple discovery, many of which humans have used for many thousands of years. Once it really sunk in that perhaps modern ideas aren’t necessarily better, I became a kid in a candy store. Like a child hunting for Easter Eggs in the yard, I exam all the outdoor nooks and crannies to see what other prizes I can find… total herbal geekdom. :-)

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