Dandelion. You probably know it as a pesky weed that grows ALL AROUND YOUR HOUSE (outside of course - haha). I think the flower is really pretty, but some mothers don't agree - especially when their two year old runs into the kitchen with a big smile and a handful of them. What those mothers don't know, is that while their toddler tottles back outside to pick some more, and they (loving mothers that they are) secretly throw the weedies away, they are actually throwing away tea, coffee, salad toppings - and the roots? - yummy stuff there. Actually, my Mom's herb book says that you can peel the roots (yes, dandelion roots!), slice them, and cook them in a pan, all smothered in butter, then serve them seasoned with salt and paprika...... I might try it with cayenne pepper and parsley. Anyway, I thought it sounded good. The roots can also be used to make coffee.....somehow!
The flowers can be plucked off the stem and put in a salad - *edible flowers*! And while you're at it, go ahead and throw some leaves in there with the lettuce - or just do an all-out dandelion salad! A lemon-dill dressing or Greek dressing would be great - it would bring out the yummy flavors of dandelion. Yes, there are some bad flavors - actually mostly bad. haha!
Let's try this salad: be a little daring and use dandelion leaves in place of lettuce, and layer your salad with feta cheese (or any other cheese), sliced purple onion, chunks of tomato, and purple grapes. Then do this 3-2-1 Dressing. It has 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, and then add a minced garlic clove, about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and then blend this all together. Pour your dressing on and top your salad with a few dandelion flowers. OK, at least ONE of y'all better do this!
You can boil the roots or the leaves and make a tea - just a plain dandelion tea! The tea (I will be honest) is very, very bitter, so you would of course only want to use it for medicinal purposes. Add a sweetener like Stevia or agave nectar, and it's bearable.
Now for the medicinal examples.........
The tea helps your liver to be stable. Got liver problems? Dandelion will help tremendously with that - just be tough and get over the taste. It is known as one of the best liver cleansers. The coffee, I'm pretty sure, is only for pleasure with healthiness involved (though I don't know who drinks coffee for pleasure - blah!). If you do drink coffee because you like it, you're probably gonna like dandelion coffee, too, is my guess. The leaves are good for the liver, also. If you're really crazy and want to be really daring, blend up some dandelion leaves in a fruit smoothie some time! It's pretty good! Next, dandelion is also one of the best blood purifiers. Low blood pressure, high blood pressure, "bad blood" (wow, that's a little 17th century), dandelion has got ya covered. It has in it all the nutritive salts for the blood, so all the deficiencies in blood salts that cause anemia are taken away! It's also good for your spleen, pancreas, good for treating kidney stones (which my youth pastor has right now, please pray for him), gall stones, indigestion, diabetes, even Alzheimer's disease!!!!! It's rich in many nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Calcium is one of the main minerals. When used externally, it helps skin diseases such as eczema, acne, age spots.... What you do is crush the fresh leaves, boil them for 10 minutes, strain and apply. You could probably even add that to a face scrub -I don't know, just some thoughts. If you take the stem, squeeze all of the milky juice out of it, and then apply that to a wart every day, about 3X a day, it will be gone very soon (less than a week), depending on how big the wart is. So you can drink to your health, eat to your health, and apply to your health! There are sooooooo many different things you can do with dandelion and none of these remedies are designed to fail! But I would suggest, that if you're really interested, you should try to teach yourself. I won't stop sharing herb stuff with y'all, but there is so much, I can't fit it all into my blog. We people of America would be so much more able and healthy if we gave herbs a chance. In other countries, herbs is all the medicine they have over there! No side-effects, no counter-reactions (unless you're allergic!) But most likely not. So next time you're about to mow the lawn, pick your dandelion first. Enjoy!
*If you are on any medication, always talk to your doctor before using herbs- the medication and herbs may interact in a negative way.