It’s early spring and the dandelions are everywhere!
On my walk today, I spotted their familiar jagged leaves, their folded green sepals and even their brilliant yellow flowers facing up to the sun. Delightful to children and antagonizing to adults, dandelion is actually a natural healing wonder.
Dandelion leaves are chock full of vitamins A and C and are a great source of iron. The leaves and roots are amazing for cleansing and revitalizing the liver, kidneys and bladder and ridding the body of excess heat and water. In fact, every part of the plant is edible and medicinal. It’s sharp, bitter taste will liven up your cup of tea or add a spicy contrast to your salad.
The humble dandelion offers an abundance of nutrition and healing power! It is hardy, resilient and plentiful – you can find dandelion growing almost anywhere! So, before you banish it from your lawn or garden, consider making friends with this wonderful weed.
Finding Good Quality Dandelion
It’s well worth the effort to get your hands on some dandelion, but its important that its of a good quality! You don’t even need to get your hands dirty. Dried dandelion leaf and roots can be found quite readily at your local tea shops or health food stores. Try to avoid the “roasted” variety as it’s potency is not as strong as that which is simply dried. For fresh dandelion, you can try your local farmer’s market in the springtime.
But, if you want to try your hand at harvesting dandelion yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind!
- The nutrients are denser in the roots and leaves when the plant is not in flower. So, the best times to harvest is early spring or late fall.
- Avoid the plants that grow along the roadside or sidewalks. These plants get trampled by feet, peed on by dogs or contaminated by car exhaust or other pollutants. Instead, find a nice open field where there hasn’t been any spraying of pesticides (perhaps even your own backyard).
- While dandelion is one of the most recognizable “weeds”, there are some look-alikes! The leaves of a dandelion are long and serrated (like jagged teeth). They will be a dark, vibrant green and the underside of the leaf will be hairless. The stalk will rise out the centre of the leaves. It is hollow and will bleed a white, sticky sap when broken. Each stalk produces one flower bud on which the green sepals fold neatly around the petals and seeds.
- You can snip off the leaves or, if you intend to also use the roots, dig up the entire plant. Dandelion roots reach deep into the earth with its long tap root and sends its smaller roots in all directions. It’s helpful to loosen the soil around the plant before attempting to pull it up. Continue to loosen the surrounding soil as you gently lift the plant and root upwards.
“In the sun the bees hum about the sweet dandelions”
Healing Wise by Susun Weed
Making Friends with Dandelion!
Cultivating a relationship with this herbal is more than snipping a few leaves or sipping a new tea blend. The magic and healing power of dandelion in your life will only increase as you develop a multi-level relationship with it.
Nourish and Cleanse with a Dandelion Infusion ☕️
- An infusion of dandelion will really jump-start your day!
- Learn How to Make a Simple Infusion ► and discover a new way to unleash the potency of dandelion.
- Try it for a week! This bitter-tasting slow-steeped tea will remove any sluggishness and get you moving 👍
Seek out your neighbourhood dandelion!
- See if you can find it even before it flowers!
- Revisit it all season long and to see how it changes with each passing month.
Re-kindle your child-like wonder of the magical dandelion flowers 🌼
- Can you remember the excitement of finding a vibrant patch of these sunny, happy-looking blooms?
- Or maybe making a wish as you blew a puff of air and sent the seeds flying in all directions?
A field of dandelion is a feast for the senses!
- Can you smell their buttery sweetness?
- Taste a petal or a leaf (why not both?).
- Listen to the buzzing of the bees….
Dent-de-Lion (Tooth of the Lion)
Did you ever wonder why this common weed has so much lion imagery associated with it? It’s common names of dandeLION, dent-de-LION, and LION’s tooth give us clues as to this plant’s potency and healing power. Dandelion’s therapeutic actions ► cleanse, detoxify and strengthen. Like a lion, we can be fearless and courageous as we brave it’s bitter taste so that we may release toxic heat and suppressed emotions. We learn the lessons of tenacity and steadfastness as we strengthen our immunity by ridding our bodies of stagnancy and establish our own healthy, deep roots. And with the courage and confidence of a lion, we hold our heads high and turn our vibrant and radiant faces to the sun.
Cultivate a New Relationship
The dandelion has a long history of medicinal and culinary uses around the world and yet continues to be considered a troublesome weed by many. We have a long dandelion season ahead of us, so why not take opportunity to cultivate a different relationship with it? It’s a plentiful, affordable and effective way to support your health and immunity. It is a forgiving, bountiful and generous provider. This humble herb is a profound healer and offers us much wisdom…and you need look no further than your own backyard. 🌿☀️
The Herb of the Month Club ➤ is a delightful guided journey to experience the many benefits of dandelion and other amazing common herbals! Join anytime!
A decade ago, Kim began her journey of Yoga. What began as introducing movement, peace and calm in her busy life started the process of seeking a way to live with greater integrity and harmony. It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. This was certainly the case for Kim as, five years ago, she discovered AT THE CORE and The American Institute of Vedic Studies. With the blessing, guidance and support of her new teachers, Kim began her in- depth study of Yoga and Ayurveda.
Kim is a certified Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Consultant, Ayurvedic Life-Style Consultant and Ayurvedic Yoga Educator. She is based in London, Ontario.