Dandelion: Miracle Gift from Mother Earth

bright yellow dandelion petals up close The whole plant is valuable as a general tonic as it is a general stimulant to the system, particularly the urinary organs. It may be taken as an infusion of the leaf, a juice extraction, a root decoction, a fluidextract, or a tincture. Fresh leaves may be added to salads. The juice extraction is the most potent for medicinal purposes. The milky latex from dandelion can be used as a mosquito repellent.

Dr. Peter A. Gail, in his book, "The Dandelion Celebration - The Guide to Unexpected Cuisine" writes that dandelion eaten as part of your daily diet prevents or cures liver disease; assists in weight reduction; cleanses skin and prevents acne; eliminates or drastically reduces acid indigestion and gas build-up by cutting the heaviness of fatty foods; lowers serum cholesterol by as much as half; prevents or lowers blood pressure; prevents or cures various forms of cancer; and prevents or controls diabetes mellitus, while at the same time having no negative side effects and selectively acting on only what ails you.

Dandelion leaf is a good natural source of potassium and will replenish any potassium that may be lost due to the herb's diuretic action on the kidneys. The leaves are the richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, contain more iron and calcium than spinach, are rich in fibre, sodium, magnesium, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D, phosphorous, iron, a good source of protein, and rich in micronutrients such as copper, cobalt, zinc, and molybdenum. You can buy dandelion greens at speciality-produce sections of most grocery stores; leaves, tinctures, and products at organic grocery and health food stores, or grow your own.

WARNING If you are harvesting dandelions, make sure the plants have not been sprayed with any pesticides or herbicides, as they will contain poisons. Getting rid of lawn dandelions using pesticides may pose health risks to adults, children, and pets. [Part 1]  [Part 3]

Gwen Nyhus Stewart, B.S.W., M.G., H.T., is an educator, freelance writer, garden consultant, and author of the book The Healing Garden: A Place Of Peace. To find out more about the book and subscribe to her free Newsletter visit http://www.gwenshealinggarden.ca Gwen Nyhus Stewart © 2004 - 2007. All rights reserved.