Dandelion Healin’

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I’m feeling a lot better. I thought I’d share the element that helped me finally turn the corner after two weeks of throat infection: Dandelion

I love Dandelions, and while I’ve been aware of their medicinal properties for a while, I was unaware of their awesome nutritional properties: 20 – 30% protein, more potassium and vitamin C than an orange and banana combined, tons of trace vitamins and minerals we don’t get in grocery store foods.

It’s prime dandelion season, and my body was looking at these dandelion leaves all over my back yard and just wanting to munch on them. I’ve never craved dandelion before, so I looked it up in two books: Susan Weed’s “Wise Woman Healing” and “Edible plants of Coastal BC”

I learned that before the days of lawns, dandelions were so prized for their energizing, nutritional and healing properties that many First Nations people travelled extensively to collect them in season and ate them by the haystack.

Susan Weed’s book particularly mentioned that dandelion leaf juice or infusion is excellent for moving lymph, support my swollen glands could use.

So I went into my back yard which is really bush with a gravel moat around the house. The garden is generally free of weeds because I pull the weeds from the beds once a year and ask them to grow only in the gravel. Generally speaking, the weeds have more options than the cultivated plants.

The gravel is occupied mostly by dandelions and buttercups, because I love their cheerful yellow presence in the yard. This weekend, I was so grateful that neither I nor the herbalist who formerly occupied my house, had ever used roundup or chemical herbicides to attack the weeds.

Twice this weekend, I gathered dandelion greens, washed them and juiced them with lime. Then I put the juice in a blender with a banana, ice and water.

It’s quite yummy. I wish I had some mint in my yard, that would have made the smoothie perfection.

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Sweetie and I both drank this smoothie and enjoyed the balance if the sweet banana, the tart lime and the hint of astringent from the dandelion. We both noticed the immediate affect of our sinuses, which tingled and began to pleasantly drain. Yesterday, I had more energy than I’ve had in a month.

Dandelion is a wonder herb, it’s everywhere and it’s free. Gather it away from roadsides (lead!) and away from areas where herbicides may be used (lawns!). Children’s playgrounds are good bets.

If you don’t have a juicer you can use a blender, or just stash them in a canning jar, pour boiling water over them and put the lid on the jar for four hours to make an infusion.

I’m so enamoured with this plant I’m going to harvest as much as I can and dry the leaves for use this winter. I’ll gather roots in the fall, too.

There are a lot of good lessons to take away from my experience. One is the forehead-smacking obvious one: you don’t have to buy something from a store to heal your body.

This is a lesson I’ve learned repeatedly since I was a kid – whatever mild thing ails me, there’s usually something in my backyard to take care of it.

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