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What to do With Dandelions, They are More than Just a Weed!
Have you ever wondered what to do with dandelions in your yard? Sure, most people see them as a nuisance and want to get rid of them, but actually, they should be harvested due to their amazing health benefits.
I’m actually trying to grow more dandelions in my yard, I’m quite envious of those whose land is covered with them!
Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions have many health benefits and uses which is why it is a great idea to save them. Every part of the dandelion has a medicinal use; the root, the stem, and the flower. Dandelions can be used as a natural remedy for many aliments.
Dandelions have been used in Chinese and Eastern medicine for hundreds of years.
Dandelion helps/has been used to:
-Cleanse & detoxify the liver
-Treat skin conditions such as acne
-Reduce oxidative stress
Dandelions contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals and can improve your health. A cup of dandelions contains over 112% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A and 535% of the daily amount of vitamin K. Dandelion greens are also high in potassium, vitamin C, and calcium.
When you go foraging for dandelions, be sure to use ones from your own yard or any area where you know chemicals have not been used.
7 Ways to Use Dandelions
1. Make a Dandelion Salad– A simple way to add dandelions to your diet is to grab the dandelion greens, rinse them off, and throw them into your salad! You can combine the dandelion greens with other greens, lettuce or spinach. Dandelion greens are commonly used in salads and taste great! The whole plant is medicinal, even the flower can be added to your salad.
2. Juice Your Dandelions– Another great way to add raw dandelions to your diet is to put them into a juicer. You can add a lemon or other fruits for flavor. Dandelions could also be added to a smoothie if you don’t have a juicer.
3. Make Dandelion Tea– Almost all natural health food stores carry dandelion tea, but why not make your own that you know is organic and hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for months. You can make the tea with the dandelion roots and/or the greens. I usually use a combination of both. All you need to do is rinse of the greens and roots, dry them out (using a dehydrator or can use an oven to heat at low temperature), mince them by using a knife or food processor, pour hot water over dandelions, and strain. According to a recent study, cancer patients noted remarkable improvements from consuming dandelion tea. Leukemia cells were reportedly forced into apoptosis (cell death).
4. Dandelion as a Wart Remover – To use dandelions as a wart remover, break open the stem and you should see a white sticky juice/milk which can be applied to the wart daily.
5. Dandelion Infused Oil– Dandelion oil is great remedy to help relieve aching muscles or joints, it also has an amazing scent! To make the dandelion oil, pick a bunch of the flowers and place them in a jar. Tear some of the flowers to loosen the petals and pour oil over the flowers until covered. Seal the jar and let it sit for about 2 weeks.
6. Make Dandelion Soup– Another way to add dandelions to your diet is to throw in pieces of the leaves or root into your soup. Not only does it add great health benefits, but it tastes delicious!
7. Dandelion Tincture –Tinctures of dandelion can be quite expensive, yet are very easy to make yourself. You can use vinegar, glycerin, or alcohol to make the tincture. To make a dandelion tincture with vinegar, gather the leaves and roots, rinse them off, chop them, and put them into a glass jar. Pour in the vinegar (this is the one that I use) and seal the jar. Some recommend shaking the mixture every day while steeping. On average, steep for about 6 weeks, then strain and the remaining liquid is your tincture! Dandelion tinctures are great for cleansing the liver and the average dose recommended is 10 to 30 drops per day. Dandelion root and leaf aid in stimulating the release of bile from the liver and are used as a natural alternative for individuals with liver and gallbladder disorders.
Do you harvest the dandelions in your yard? What do you do with the dandelions?