For those of us who just love dandelion, I’d like to let you in on a little secret. Dandelion is not just a weed in your garden, its filled with amazing health benefits.
In fact, some say that if you have a lot of dandelions in your yard, they are there because you or someone in your household needs them. Dandelion roots can be harvested in the fall or in the early spring. Once the energy from the leaves goes back into the roots is the time when you want to harvest them.
For me, once I see them in the spring, they have already used a lot of the energy in them to produce their flowers and I want all of the energy in the dandelion in my “medicine”. As you go about getting your gardens ready for fall, feel free to remove the dandelion by its roots, but instead of just adding it to your compost pile, use the root. You can chop it and dry it for tea, make a tincture or vinegar or chop it up and add it to your sautés.
What health benefits does dandelion root have?
- Helps improve digestion by stimulating bile production
- Eases liver congestion
- Helps purify your bladder and kidney
- Helps balance high blood pressure, acne and anemia
- Helps in removing PMS symptoms, bloating, and gas
- Helps the body to produce insulin and control your blood sugar, so great for diabetics.
An easy way to get more dandelion root into your body is to make vinegar this time of the year. (you can also use the same method to make a medicinal tincture by using alcohol. I use 100 proof vodka or grain alcohol such as Everclear)
- Dig your roots
- Either dry them out enough to brush off any dirt or rinse the dirt off them (do not scrub them or you will take off some of the good medicine)
- Fill your jar approx. ¾ of the way with the roots
- Fill your jar again with some organic apple cider vinegar
- Use a chopstick or knife to stir it and remove a lot of the air bubbles – then I recommend that every few days you open your jar and do the same to remove all the air bubbles that will be coming out of the root.
- Let the jar sit approx. 6 weeks
- Strain out the plant material and you’ll have a tasty vinegar to use. You can use your vinegar on salads or a wonderful thing is to take a tablespoon of the vinegar and put it over your greens after you cook them. It will help your body absorb more of the minerals from your greens.
Dandelion is a great ally for women as well as men. If you can use our invasive weeds as medicine than they will have served their purpose.