It’s time to change the notion that dandelions are nothing more than a nuisance. Don’t squander them, as they are at no cost and can give a plethora of advantages that can aid in improving the body both internally and externally.
Dandelions are often thought of as an annoying weed to be eliminated, but they have actually been employed as medicinal remedies for hundreds of years.
The first time that dandelions were recorded as being used as a medicinal remedy was in documents from the 10th and 11th centuries from the Middle East. By the 13th century, a lot of folks in Wales were using roots and leaves to deal with multiple different health issues.
In many traditional cultures, dandelion greens were utilized to aid in digestive and hormonal balance. Additionally, they were often consumed to increase breast milk production and to alleviate issues such as urinary tract infections.
The whole dandelion can be consumed, providing both culinary and medical advantages. It is possible to harvest them at any time when it is not freezing and consume them in the form of steamed, roasted, dried, or even consumed without cooking.
Dandelions are loaded with antioxidants. These foods are rich in vitamin A, which is an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, and additionally contain plenty of vitamin C. They are an exceptional provider of calcium and iron, as well as many minerals such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
They have a greater amount of protein per portion than spinach, and the vegetables themselves supply every essential amino acid. The roots of this plant also contain inulin and luteolin, which are known to help control blood sugar as well as taraxacin which promotes digestion.
What are the advantages of collecting dandelion greens instead of throwing them away?
1. It’s free food
It is generally assumed that there is no such thing as a gratis meal, however, in this instance, one can easily find dandelion greens to enjoy free of cost. It is highly probable that you come across these creatures either in your own backyard or in nearby public spaces.
They are most effective during the spring season prior to the blooming of the plants. If you don’t have them yet, start growing them so that you can cultivate them and have a continual source.
It is essential to remember not to gather dandelions from locations that could have been exposed to any form of pesticide, or from industrial zones that may be carrying high quantities of toxic metals or other poisonous substances.
2. Improving your complexion
Thanks to its magnesium, zinc, and probable detoxification potential, dandelion greens are ideal for enhancing your skin health and complexion. If you have acne, putting the liquid from dandelion greens on the affected places may prevent microbial problems and decrease spots and other acne matters. It has a lot of vitamin C, which can aid in healing and reducing swelling.
Dandelion greens are thought to act as a diuretic, thus promoting the production of urine in order to cleanse the body of toxins, which may result in a healthier and more attractive complexion.
3. Fighting skin infections
The white liquid seen when breaking a dandelion stem contributes to battling against skin infections, as well as aiding in eliminating acne and improving one’s skin health. It is not only very alkaline, but it provides antifungal and disinfectant qualities. One could employ it to soothe the aches and discomfort connected with various skin issues, such as irritation and scratching caused by eczema, psoriasis, and ringworm.
4. Relieving indigestion and bloating
A lot of folks take advantage of dandelions to find therapeutic solutions to digestion issues like stomach swelling, nausea, and irregularity. For thousands of years, Native American and Chinese medicine have used greens as a remedy.
Dandelion is useful for digestive health due to its plentiful dietary fibers. Eating foods that contain high levels of dietary fiber can aid digestion by increasing the size and softness of stools, which reduces the risk of constipation and diarrhea. Keeping regular bowel movements can help avert more severe gastro problems. Doctors often recommend this treatment for children dealing with constipation, as it has calming, calming properties.
The intake of enough fiber has resulted in advantageous effects, like decreasing the probability of heart conditions, kidney stones, and corpulence.
A great technique for aiding digestion is to brew dandelion tea. Pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dandelion leaves that have been dried. Be aware that this could result in a laxative effect, therefore it would be best to try it out in a familiar place if you’ve never attempted it before. It is probable that there will be several good results, including improving and clarifying your skin as previously indicated.
5. Soothing aching joints and muscles by making a dandelion bath
Externally applying dandelions not only creates healthier skin, it also helps ease pains in joints and muscles when it is used as a bath oil.
Gather enough dandelion blooms to fill a single glass vessel to make a dandelion bath oil. Once you have filled the container, top it off with extra virgin olive oil until the items inside are completely submerged. If desired, you can also put in dried lavender petals which provide an enjoyable and calming lavender aroma. Gently prod the blend with the handle of a spoon or chopstick to remove any air pockets. Put a porous lid over the container, like a coffee filter or a piece of fabric, and fasten it on with an elastic band. Put the jar out in the sunlight and let it steep for a minimum of two weeks. Strain and store in a cool, dark place.
6. Lowering blood pressure
If you have hypertension, dandelions are useful for regulating your blood pressure. It is thought that its capacity to reduce blood pressure numbers is due to its diuretic features which promote the increase in the frequency and amount of urination and its high potassium content, which is famous for decreasing blood pressure readings.
7. Supporting liver health
Throughout the years, many different societies have turned to dandelion leaves for assistance in maintaining a healthy liver and for ridding the body of toxins. The liver manufactures bile, which aids enzymes in the body in decomposing fats into fatty acids and purifying and screening the blood. This incredible organ is capable of producing and performing biochemical reactions on fats and cholesterol, dividing and stocking amino acids, storing glucose, and monitoring internal processes.
The beneficial substances in dandelions assist in purifying the liver so that it can continue performing its designated functions. They are beneficial to the liver and the entire digestive system in that they aid in keeping the bile moving correctly.
6 Things to Make With Dandelion Flowers
It is generally okay for most people to eat dandelions, although if any of the following are applicable to you, it is important to check with your doctor beforehand: having active gallstones, taking diuretics, being pregnant, breastfeeding, or being on a course of medication. If you’re allergic to dandelions, don’t use these recipes.
1. Dandelion Flower Infused Oil
Oil extracted from dandelion flowers is regularly used in recipes created to relieve and cure dry or broken skin. Having sore muscles or any type of pain can be relieved by using this. The period of time during which strained dandelion oil remains usable is about 12 months.
If you don’t come across dandelion blossoms in your locale, you might be able to get some off Etsy occasionally.
To make dandelion oil:
Half-fill a canning jar with dried dandelion petals. Fill the jar up to the top with twice the amount of your preferred oil. You could use sunflower, olive, sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, or jojoba oil.
For a quick oil infusion:
Place the jar without a cover in a saucepan containing a few inches of water. Simmer the liquid on low heat for a few hours, watching it closely to make sure all of the water doesn’t disappear. Remove from heat and strain. The most efficient method of incorporating coconut oil is to do it quickly.
For a slower, more traditional infusion:
Seal the jar of dried dandelion petals and oil and store it in a cupboard for between 4 and 6 weeks, gently shaking it occasionally. When the infusing time has passed, strain.
For an alternative option:
Putting the jar of dandelion flowers and oil on a windowsill in direct sunlight will provide the necessary warmth to help speed up the infusion process. Infuse for about 2 weeks in a sunny window. Avoid leaving flowers and herbs exposed to sunlight for long periods of time as it can cause them to become dulled over time.
2. Dandelion Flower Salve
Dandelion flower-infused oil makes this salve extra soothing for:
- sore muscles
- achy & arthritic joints
- rough, chapped skin
A salve made of dandelions is especially useful for those who spend a lot of time outdoors and doing manual labor.
To put it together, you’ll need an oil that has been infused with dandelion (which you already made in step one) and either grated or pastille-shaped beeswax. To make a vegan version, try using half of the amount of candelilla wax.
3. Dandelion Vinegar
One great method of accessing the calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron in dandelions is to make a vinegar infusion with them.
For this endeavor, you should have new dandelion blossoms joined with stalks and leaves.
To make dandelion vinegar:
Collect newly bloomed dandelion flowers and leaves, rinse them clean, and pour them into a jar, making sure not to jam them together too strongly. Add apple cider vinegar to the jar until it is full of the new plant material.
Secure the lid to the jar with a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on top. This extra layer prevents the acidic nature of the vinegar from corroding metal lids.
Put the jar with the lid on in a dark cupboard and allow it to sit there for between 4 to 6 weeks, giving it a shake every now and then. Strain and it’s ready to use!
How to use dandelion vinegar:
- dilute with equal parts water and use as a hair rinse
- make an oxymel, or sweet & sour herbal syrup, with it
- dilute with water and dab on itchy bug bites
- pour 1 cup of vinegar into a bath along with 1 cup of Epsom salts for achy tired muscles
- make a homemade vinaigrette: Combine 3 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons dandelion vinegar, 1 tablespoon crumbled bacon, 1/2 tablespoon chopped onion, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Shake together in a jar and let stand for twenty or thirty minutes so the flavors meld together. Shake again and pour over your salad. Yum! (Use white wine vinegar for a milder taste.)
4. Dandelion Cupcakes
Choose a few dandelions, then rinse and let them dry completely. Take away only the yellow petals; the flavor of the green ones is much more bitter, and that is not something you would want in a cupcake.
Combine your preferred cupcake recipe components, then incorporate the yellow petals before putting them in the oven and baking it as usual.
Wait until the dessert has cooled off, put the icing on it, and garnish with an edible flower or two. Here are some suggested flowers to use for decoration: pansies, violets, violas, dianthus, lilac, bachelor buttons, hollyhocks, and roses.
5. Dandelion Tincture
Tinctures are an excellent means to maintain the advantages that come from dandelions. This type of alcohol is so dense that it has an alcohol concentration that is equivalent to certain cough medications. The dosage is counted in drops instead of cups. If you don’t drink alcohol, you can take advantage of the similar benefits of dandelion vinegar (find out how in #3).
Gather an entire dandelion plant, including root, leaves, flower, and stem, to make a tincture. If getting to the root is too hard, the leaves, blossoms, and stalks can be utilized.
Thoroughly wash it and cut it into very small pieces. Put the plants in a mason jar of appropriate size, then fill it up with 80-proof or more vodka. It’s suggested to place a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper between the lid and the tincture if the lid is made out of a metal material. Store the item in a container in a shaded area at a low temperature for 2-3 weeks, and remember to shake the jar intermittently.
I give my kinfolk much more meager doses, not surpassing 4 or 5 drops at once, while customary herbalists suggest using 30 up to 40 drops three to four times daily. Tinctures are potent substances! This specific one can be used to assist with constipation or a slowed-down liver, which can lead to inadequate digestion and acne breakouts.
6. Dandelion Infused Honey
Unprocessed honey is a curative food that can stand alone. Sipping honey can be beneficial for providing relief to the throat and gastrointestinal tract, blocking the development of H. pylori (a bacterium related to stomach ulcers), healing acne, burns, and diabetic ulcers on the skin, and decreasing seasonal allergies through regular consumption of raw, local honey.
You can eat the whole dandelion plant, and it is known for being beneficial to the liver. It is typically employed to alleviate joint discomfort, plus skin conditions like eczema, while also promoting blood circulation and serving as a mild diuretic. Studies are being conducted to investigate whether dandelion root extract may be able to fight cancer.
The blossoms have a great amount of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other minerals.
To make dandelion-infused honey:
You’ll need fresh dandelions and some raw honey.
- Remove the green from the dandelions so that you have just the yellow petals. (Some bits of green might remain, that’s okay.)
- Now, stuff these flowers into a small jar and slowly pour your raw honey over them.
- Stir with a knife to remove air bubbles.
- Let this sit in a cupboard for several days to allow the flowers to infuse into the honey.
- Once sufficient time has passed, you can strain the flowers from the honey by slightly heating the mixture (don’t go above 110 degrees F or the benefits of raw honey is negated) then straining through cheesecloth or a mesh strainer.
- Alternatively, you can do what I do and just leave the flowers in and spoon around them.
- You can actually eat the honeyed flowers by the spoonful too. I find them quite yummy!