Proposed Sanskrit: tooth of the lion, simhasyadADAkaH
On an herb trip one of the instructors had a printed T-shirt that said ” If you can’t beat em eat em”. This is referring to the plant with the yellow flowers that appear in the spring time. Flowers that open with the morning sun and close in the evening and in gray weather.
By the way – spring time is time to clean our liver not just our house.
Our Dandelion, considered an obnoxious, annoying weed that won’t go away despite our efforts to eradicate it.
It is hardy, abundant, and ever there. It is thought that Dandelion was introduced to America by the pioneers from Europe and Asia. Why? Because since ancient times it was widely and successfully used as a food, a medicine, and a dye.
In the U.S. it is seen more and more in the grocery stores. The systems affected by Dandelion are the liver, stomach, kidneys, and bladder. Its properties are diuretic, hepatic [medicinal action on the liver], chologogue [stimulates bile in the liver], anti rheumatic, laxative, and tonic.
Dandelion plant is traditionally used as a tonic, blood purifier, for constipation, and liver, gall bladder, kidney ailments, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, eczema, weak digestion, and rheumatism. Chinese medicine uses Dandelion for lung, breast tumors abscesses, and hepatitis.
A red dye is made from the Dandelion root.
Dandelion contains vitamins A [ a richer source than carrots], B [thiamine, nicotinic acid], C and D. And minerals magnesium, zinc, potassium,manganese, copper. And more iron and calcium than spinach. There is boron, silicon, and hi carotenoid. More beta carotene than carrots, more potassium than broccoli or spinach.
The root is dried, roasted and ground for a coffee substitute that has no caffeine. The roots are used in the treatment of rheumatism because they are a mild anti-inflammatory. Root is used for dyspepsia, loss of appetite, a diuretic, and for disorders associated with inhibited bile secretion from the liver.
Young leaves are less bitter – with the flowers are eaten raw in salads. Leaves can be cooked or boiled as a pot herb.
The leaves are a diuretic with a good source of natural potassium. Thus, can be use for water retention and bloating with the flatulence and loss of appetite.
The fresh juice is applied externally to kill bacteria and help heal wounds. The white sap from fresh leaves eases pain from sores and bee stings, removes calluses, corns, warts, and acne.
However, some people may be allergic to the milky sap.
People with gallstones should be under a physicians care when using Dandelion. The bitter compounds in the root help stimulate digestion are are mildly laxative. The acidity may cause hyperacidity in some people and may increase pain in those with ulcers.
Because of the increased bile secretion, people with bile duct obstruction or other serious gall bladder and gall stones should avoid Dandelion or be under a physician’s care.
There are no known drug interactions with Dandelion. But, the drugs used to decrease blood sugar levels [hypoglycemic medicines] may work with Dandelion root to lower the blood sugar levels further. And the physician may adjust the medicine doses.
People taking blood thinning drugs or anti-inflammatory drugs be in contact with your physician. Because, in Dandelion there are chemical compounds similar to warfarin [coumadin]. If you plan on taking herbs for treatment of an illness first talk to a certified herbalist or health practitioner.
Always be aware of the side effects of the modern, experimental, pharmaceutical drugs. Is it better to take care of one symptom or organ while the others are being damaged?
After all of that here is a tasty receipe:
Dip full bloom Dandelion flowers in a bowl of water, then dip in corn meal, and saute [not fry] 2 minutes in butter or ghee or an oil you like. You can add spices that you like. Yummmm. ‘
Here is a Dandelion wine receipe from Ann Drucker’s herb class:
3 quarts dandelion blossoms 2 1/2 lbs. sugar 2 lemons 1 orange 1 yeast cake [any variety] Pour 5 quarts boiling water over the blossoms. Let stand between 3 hours to 3 days.
Strain, add the sugar, lemon and orange rinds. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Cut up orange lemons. And pour cooked mixture on top of fruit.
When mixture cools to just above body temp. add yeast which has been dissolved in 1 cup of the warm mixture. Let entire mixture stand 12 hours, then strain.
Let it stand for 2 months and strain again. Sample in 4-6 months.
It is traditional to make the wine at the summer solstice and drink it in the winter.
A Dandelion Italiano receipe from Ann’s class:
Put 3-4 cups dandelion leaves in a pot. Boil water separately and pour over the leaves. Let water come to a boil, then strain. Repeat with new water.
In a skillet saute 6+ cloves garlic. Turn off heat and add the dandelions. Mix in 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar, 1 tbsp tamari. Adjust to your taste.
References: class notes takes over the years. And the dictionary.