Spring is the perfect time to begin a detox or “ body cleanse” (as I like to call it).
Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. During spring, Mother Earth brings forth the best herbs and plants to help tone and nourish our systems.
Introducing…dandelions or “Taraxacum Officinale”, a member of the Sunflower family (notice the bright, sunshiny yellow petals). They’re cheerful little plants that pack stupendous nutrition and medicinal qualities. The leaves taste slightly bitter, similar to endive. Although considered the bane of many gardening enthusiasts existence, herbalists worldwide have revered dandelion for many centuries. Ayurvedic, Chinese Medicine and Native American cultures make good use this common and at times annoying “weed”. As a matter of fact, it’s still cultivated as a crop in many parts of Europe including France and Germany. Dandelions are a sensational super-food readily available for your nourishment!
What’s So Special About Dandelions?
Quite a lot! Here’s what so special about this overly abundant wild, edible plant:
- Dandelion contains 112 percent of the daily-recommended value of vitamin A and four times more vitamin A than lettuce.
- Dandelion is higher in beta-carotene than carrots.
- Dandelion contains more iron and calcium than spinach.
- Dandelion supplies your body with 32 percent of the daily value of vitamin C per cup (of leaves).
- Dandelion contains vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, and many other trace elements and enzymes (wow).
- Dandelion contains the antioxidant lutein, which is beneficial for healthy vision.
- Dandelion contains helenin (a chemical compound), which is known to help with night vision.
- Dandelion is rich in inulin (a prebiotic), which feeds and encourages the growth of the beneficial flora in the gut as well as balancing blood sugar and diabetes.
- Dandelion flowers contain lecithin, which helps the liver to break down fats and improves brain function (useful).
- Dandelions have milky sap that is found in the leaves and flower stems. The sap has been used to remove warts, corns, callouses and other stubborn skin maladies.
- Fun Fact #1 – when placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves of Dandelion release ethylene gas ripening the fruit quickly
- Fun Fact #2 – Dogs, cats, hamsters, horses and our other furry friends can also eat dandelions. It aids their digestion, and cleanses their liver and kidneys.
Here’s a simple and delicious recipe to help you add some dandelion into your daily diet!
For more information on this wonder weed, click here