On any lawn, you’re apt to find
A weed that grows called Dandelion
Its roots and leaves are known to cure
To heal the liver, make blood pure
And it is true that Taraxacum
Is also full of potassium
In case you need to diurese
It’s powerful and works with ease
It will not leave you all deplete
Of minerals, it is replete
So, should your liver start to ail
The flow of bile begin to fail
If you’ve a case of flatulence
A loss of appetite perchance?
The bitter herb from root and leaf
Will surely bring you some relief
Improve digestion, stimulate
Relieve congestion, eliminate
Kidneys, liver, stomach, spleen
This common weed does wonders keen
The bitter cool of root and herb
Will on your system work superb.
~excerpt from, Botanica Poetica
by Sylvia Seroussi Chatroux.
Ahhh, nothing says spring like those beautiful earthbound sunbursts glowing joyfully in the grass! When you mention spring many of our minds wander to this beautiful and powerful plant with its nourishing, stimulating and cleansing properties. Many spring tonic herbal teas will include both the leaf and root; and many spring green mixes incorporate the fresh leaves of the Dandelion. The use of Dandelion for food and medicine has a long history, and the plant has befriended many humans with its gentle yet profound healing abilities. As with most great beings there is more than a bit of controversy in the history of our friend Dandelion. The replication ability of this herb is quite powerful. Lawn owners all across the world declare war on this persistent plant, if only they could experience the deep support held within those leaves and roots! I once attended a lecture by herbalist Cascade Anderson Gellar, she pointed out the strength of spirit contained in the Dandelion – a paraphrase, “spray them with poison chemicals, pull them out by the root, curse them, step on them, whatever – they still come back, perhaps a bit deformed with two heads, but they still grow.” You have to admit the Dandelion does have an insatiable hunger for life, seems that we could all take a lesson from this gentle, sunny friend. It seems that humans and the Dandelion are destine to be together! So if you find your spade wandering in the direction of a Dandelion, remember its deep drive for life and health and either let him grow or save that harvested Dandelion for some herbal rejuvenation!
Materia Medica Info
Habitat and growth: Found wild in most parts of the world. Grows from spring to fall.
Parts used: Leaf, root and flower
Medicinal uses: (leaves) used as a nourishing diuretic, known to encourage loss of excess water without depleting the body of potassium. Bitter flavor makes it useful for encouraging the digestive system by strengthening functions of liver and gallbladder. (roots) Also act on liver and gallbladder, roots are known to be extremely detoxifying. Encouraging the natural cleansing abilities of the liver and urinary system.
Flower essence: Dandelion flower essence is used to sooth emotions held in the musculature of the body. Wonderful essence to ease stress or to enhance physical therapies.
Spring Tonic Tea
Dandelion leaf 1tbsp dried or handful fresh
Nettle leaf 1tbsp dried
Alfalfa leaf 1tbsp dried
Spearmint leaf 1tbsp dried
Marshmallow rt ½ tbsp dried
Place all herbs in a quart jar or tea press. Cover with hot water and let steep until room temperature, 4hrs to overnight. This long steep will allow more nutrients to be released into the tea. Strain and drink 1- 3 cups daily as a nourishing spring tonic!
1. Harvest fresh flowers, leaves and roots (make sure the plants and the harvest location have not been sprayed with any chemical fertilizers or weed killers)
2.Place freshly harvested plants in a quart mason jar, fill jar about ½ -¾ full of dandelion parts and cover with your favorite white wine (fill jar with about 2 inches of room at the top for expansion of plant material). Shake daily for 2-4 weeks, making sure that all plant material is completely covered with wine. Strain and sip a small glass daily as a relaxing tonic!