What a Dandy Lion!

Ah! Spring! Very nearly my favorite time of year! The birds singing and busy about their nesting duties...all of the plants waking from their long winter's nap...and the dandy lions... :)

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Yep, dandelions! I like them! Maybe it is the little kid in me, or maybe it is just the happy color, or maybe it is because they are just so good for you and this is a reminder that God is taking care of us.

Good for us? Yes, the dandelion is a blessing from God. (And here you've been cursing it as a nasty weed and killing it...) Let's take a closer look at the dandelion and see just what kind of a blessing that God has sent...

But before we do, let me caution you about two things:

Number one: ALWAYS harvest from an area that you know has NOT been sprayed with chemicals!

Number two: Wildcrafting (gathering food and medicine from the wild) can be addictive!

Ok, now on to the subject at hand...

Various parts of the dandelion plant will have affects upon different parts of the body. (Cool, huh?!?) Liver, bladder, stomach, taste buds... ;) Dandelions contain many beneficial, healthful nutrients. Bitter compounds, choline, inulin, large quantities of minerals like calcium, sodium, silicic acid, sulfur and, in the fresh leaves, a high content of potassium. WOW! What a deal!

The bitter compounds help to stimulate appetite and promote digestion. Choline acts upon the gallbladder and intestines. Here is a little recipe for the gallbladder:

Gallbladder Formula
1 tsp each dandelion root, Oregon grape root
and marshmallow root
1 quart water
½ tsp each chamomile flowers and nettle leaves
Combine roots and water and simmer for about
5 minutes. Turn off heat, add remaining herbs
and steep for about 20 minutes. Strain herbs.
Drink at least 1 cup daily.

Dandelion can stimulate the production of bile from the liver, and work on both the liver and kidneys to get to work cleaning the blood! (Spring cleaning, anyone?) This can help with conditions of eczema and gout. Here's a little recipe for you:

Liver Tea
1 tsp each dandelion root, milk thistle seeds and
roasted chicory root
½ tsp each sarsaparilla root, licorice root and
ginger root
1 quart water
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and simmer
for a couple of minutes. Turn down heat and
let steep for about 15 minutes. Strain and drink
at least a cup a day.

It is said that if one applies the "milk" from the stem of the dandelion several times daily that it will remove warts. I've never had a wart to experiment on, so I will just have to take their word for it.

Dandelion is also good for the skin and complexion. They say that it will remove freckles. Personally, I like freckles, so I am not looking to remove them. But, if you want to give it a shot, here is the "freckle recipe".

Dandelion Anti-Freckle Oil
4 medium sized juicy dandelion leaves
5 Tbsp castor oil
Wash and chop the leaves and place them with
the oil in a small pan over a low heat. Allow
to simmer for ten minutes, then remove from
the heat. Cover and leave to steep for three
hours. Strain, bottle and label. This oil will {they say}
bleach and fade away stubborn freckles, brown
age spots and small moles.

If you have quite the crop and want to do some fun things with dandelions, here are a couple of fun, tasty and healthy recipes for you to try:

Dandelion Sauté
4 cups chopped dandelion leaves
2 cups grated wild or regular carrots
several cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp wine
1 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
3 cups chopped onions
3 Tbsp olive oil
pepper to taste
Sauté the onions in the olive oil. When soft,
add the dandelions, carrot, garlic, wine and soy
sauce. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes until all the
flavors blend. (courtesy of : Identifying an Harvesting
Plants in Wild (and Not so Wild) Places

Dandelion Pancakes
1 cup fresh dandelion petals
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp raw sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
Collect a colander full of dandelion
blossoms. Wash and remove their green caps.
Set aside the petals. Combine the dry
ingredients. Beat in the wet ingredients and stir
the dandelion petals into the batter. Add a little
more milk if a thinner pancake is desired. Heat
a griddle with oil or butter and pour the batter
on in big spoonfuls. Flip over when bubbles
ring the edges of the cakes. Serve with maple
syrup. (courtesy of : An Herbal Feast)

Wow! What a dandy lion!!!

Now, I am not going to predict how your neighbor's might react to your crawling around in the yard picking dandy lions... But, while they complain of heartburn and indigestion, you'll be smiling while you munch on God's green blessings!

Wishing you the best of health,

Sara and the Ol' Farmhouse family

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Posted on April 28, 2015 .