As I walk around my yard I notice the abundance of what some people feel are obnoxious weeds, but I see them as healthy food. In spring these plants are prolific with their big yellow flower brazenly sticking out of the greenery. I, however, see their distinctive leaf pattern and know what great benefit they bring to body wellness. In the botanical world, dandelion greens are best known as a liver tonic. And goodness knows liver function needs a lot of help in this toxic soup in which we live.
Some healthful properties of this common plant:
- The greens are rich in iron and calcium
- The leaves are high in anti-oxidants like vitamin C and betacarotene; vitamin C helps with iron absorption too!
- Dandelion is a tonifier for the liver. This herb can be found in many formulas enhancing the detox process. If you chew on the leaf you’ll notice a bitter flavor; bitters enhance liver and gallbladder function.
- High in minerals, this plant helps support many biochemical functions. It has copper (10% RDA), manganese (8% RDA), phosphorus (5% RDA), potassium (5% RDA) and magnesium (5% RDA).
How to eat dandelion. Wash well. Try it in smoothies, or add some leaves into your salad greens, or sauté in garlic or spring onion. See my smoothie recipes for additional basic smoothie recipe ideas.
Pick dandelions only from land that has NOT been sprayed with chemicals. The younger leaves (before the flower appears) will yield less bitterness. Spring and early summer is best time to choose wild/yard dandelion. They are one of the best proactive health foods to lower your risk of cancers, inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular illness .
For pro-health activities such as detox, improved energy, greater immunity and true disease prevention, include dandelion this spring. Eat it often while it’s available. Click here for further reading about dandelion.