I'm a gigantic fan of dandelions. Our bees need them, they are resilient, full of vitamins and nutrients and so freaking happy. Have you ever looked at a dandelion and thought, "Aw, that little buddy looks sad?" No, no you haven't. Dandelions are edible, every part of them, and they really have a bad rep. If only the whole world knew how magical they are. Here is my dandelion PSA.
A sweet friend and mentor of mine created this 'Dandelion Thank You.' Feel free to share it.
What is so good about the Dandelion?
It is a perennial, so you don't have to replant it. It shows up in early spring as a reminder that beautiful things will grow out of the earth again. This happens during a time when there isn't much around for bees to forage. Look at what this honeybee is packing. Without dandelions our honeybees would be hard-pressed to find anything to take back to their hives. And, we don't want them taking pesticide ridden pollen back to their hives. I don't know if you've heard, but we have a serious shortage of bees. Stop hating on the dandy, puffball, blowball, lion's tooth, and piss-the-bed. If you can't do it for you, do it for the bees.
Dandelions are rich in vitamin A, C, E and B-Complex, also iron, protein and a wide spectrum of trace minerals. The minerals we gather from eating kale, arugula, and spinach don't compare to the greens we can get from a healthy (unsprayed) dandelion. Add some dandy greens to your salad mix on a regular basis. Europeans pay big money for dandelion greens. Psst: It is best to pick them from a plant that hasn't flowered yet, they'll be slightly less bitter.
Dandelion is an aperient which means it aids in digestion. It is also a cholagogue, it promotes the formation and discharge of bile from the gallbladder. It is a tonic and diuretic and can be great for jaundice and liver support.
What do we use dandelions for in our family?
We like the tea, and the tincture. One member of our family has elevated blood pressure and this diuretic removes excess water from the body, whilst supporting kidneys. Win Win!
We drink dandelion tea if we have fevers, bladder issues, and if we're doing any sort of a detox, this tincture is looped in the mix. The tea will increase urination, but it replaces the trace minerals that your body loses through urination and sweat. Magical. Seriously. It is also a great warm tea if you're constipated.
I make a salve with dandelions. I put the flowers on a screen to dry for a day or so, and infuse them with oil. Dandelion flowers have anti-inflammatory properties and can be good for rheumatism, gout, stiff joints and skin inflammation. Making something with fresh flowers at the beginning of spring feels good, as long as we leave some for the bees.
Dandelion can help with the generation of new skin cells. A spritz for your skin and hair can be a hydrating treat, and it is really easy to DIY (subscribe to our email list for recipes). Dandelion can help with acne, eczema, rashes, boils and general skin irritation, so after you make that spritz, try it on your sweet skin. Or, harvest some flowers/leaves and treat yourself to a warm cup of tea.
I'll leave you with one of the best costumes I've ever seen.