Tuesday, February 18, 2014


When the flower dandelion comes to your mind, you probably automatically think about that annoying weed that you would spend endless hours pulling out of your lawn during the Summer months...my Dad wasn't particularly fond of the fact either when those familiar puffballs started to show before they turned into sunbursts of yellow because my Sister and I would frolic around the front and backyards blowing their seeds every which way...let me tell you...lots more dandelions would show up.
I can now appreciate the fact as an adult, how much a pain in the ass and hard work it is to keep a yard looking put together and weed-free. 

Named "the small postman" in Persian because of the belief that dandelion brings good news; it's renowned for all it's various health benefits. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as vitamins A & C, calcium and potassium. 
It also contains more protein than spinach, is a good place to get B-complex vitamins, organic sodium, as well as fiber, ironmagnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. 
You can find these baby's at your local farmer's market or you can pluck them from your backyard, granted you aren't using pesticides. You can also collect them wild in a mountain meadow or abandoned lot, but again, be sure that no pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals were used. 

You can also find fresh dandelion in some health food stores or as a freeze-dried herb. There is also dandelion tea, tinctures and capsules available.

Dandelion is most famous for stimulating liver function and clearing it of toxins, but they are also good for the pancreas, stomach and kidneys. They also reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion.
It's becoming so popular that even Dr. Oz is recommending dandelion tea as part of his 48-hour cleanse; to help your liver release toxins while you sleep.
Just be careful, dandelion tea can have laxative effects, so give it a try at night the first time you drink it {just in case}.

And on another note, be wary of the warnings of taking this weedy-flower. It can interact with some medications, such as lithium, certain antibiotics and drugs that are broken down by your liver.

Here are some other {in-depth} perks of drinking dandelion tea or eating dandelion greens. 

KIDNEYS ~ some people take this weed to get rid of excess water in their bodies because of it's laxative-like effect. This weed not only helps clear excess water but also waste and salt. This inhibits microbial growth {the activity and growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, diatoms, plankton and fungi} in the urinary system. 

INFLAMMATION ~ dandelion contains EFAs {essential fatty acids} and phytonutrients {a substance found in certain plants which is believed to be beneficial to human health and help prevent various diseases} that reduce inflammation throughout the body. It can also relieve pain and swelling.

IMMUNE SYSTEM ~ studies in animals has shown us that dandelion boosts the immune function and fights off microbes and fungi.

LIVER ~ as we said, this weed helps the liver detox and get rid of toxins by reestablishing hydration and electrolyte balance. 

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE ~ dandelion {because it's a diuretic} increases urination which then helps lower blood pressure. The fiber and potassium in dandelion also regulates BP. 

DIGESTIVE AID ~ because it acts {again!} as a mild laxative, it stimulates appetite, promotes digestion and balances the natural and beneficial bacteria in your intestines.

Dandelion is basically a weed-like superfood!!
It also increases bile production and reduces inflammation to help with the gallbladders problems and blockages, it acts against cancer to slow its growth and prevent its spread, it helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels in diabetics, lowers and controls cholesterol, and every single part of the dandelion plant is rich in antioxidants that prevent free-radical damage to cells and DNA, thus slowing down the aging process in our cells. 

Dandelion's leaves, flowers and roots are all edible, although it may be slightly bitter when you first try it ~ so cut that bitterness out, saute the leaves in some EVOO, a pinch of salt and garlic. You can even put the leaves into your morning green juice/smoothie. But the best way to get all these benefits is to put the dried root straight into a cup of boiling hot water and drink as is. 
Or you can purchase some roasted dandelion root tea - I recently bought organic roasted dandelion root by Traditional Medicinals {around $7 for a box in the organic section of my local supermarket}. It has a slightly bitter flavour, and also sort of reminds me of pumpkin seeds. 
I didn't get the laxative-like effect {thank goodness because I had this first thing in the morning at work!!}.
It's not your grande passion tea from Starbucks...but it boasts so many health benefits that I am definitely going to make this a pantry staple. 

If you are considering dandelion tea medicinally or as part of a detox program, please consult your GP or holistic healthcare provider. 


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