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Hello, I'm A Dandelion. People Call Me A Weed, But I'm A Super Herb!

I'm here because your soil needs my help so best you let me grow without disturbing me! When everything is fixed, I will disappear again, I promise!

When you see me, remember that I'm the ONLY one who wants and can grow in that particular acidic spot, lacking calcium. Because: If the soil is too compact / hard / stomped and I want to loosen it for you with my roots. Or there is too little calcium in the soil - don't worry, I will replenish that for you with the dying of my leaves. Or the soil is too acidic. But I will also improve that for you if you give me the chance. Or a mixture of the above reasons, of course.

Are you trying to remove me prematurely with my root? However meticulous you are, I will return twice as strong! Just until your soil is improved.

You can even tell by my growth at which stage my help is at. If my leaves are flat on the ground then I'm far from ready but if they all reach up then I'm already a long way on my way.

Something completely different is that I am one of the first bloomers in spring, so I will announce spring / summer for you.

During the day when it's hot, I open my flowers but in the evening when it cools off I close them again quickly. In fact, if it's not hot enough during the day I won't open them at all!

My flowers are the first food for insects after hibernation and unlike most other plants, I have pollen AND nectar, not merely one OR the other! And I am generous with them!

My flowers are even delicious for you people by the way, did you know? I used to be called ′′honey (or gold) of the poor′′ because my flowers are so sweet in e.g. jam, sauce or salad! The internet is full of recipes - check them out.

But wait until the end of May or later before you start picking and even then, don't pick everything yet! The biodiversity and bees will be very grateful!”

Dandelions Are Herbs, And Have Many Health And Nutritional Benefits!

Dandelions pop up overnight to blemish a perfect green lawn and crowd out the petunias in your flower garden. But instead of going to war with the ubiquitous yellow weeds, you want to welcome them into your kitchen.

Why should you add them to your diet? Let us count the ways.

Nutritional Benefits

Dandelions are probably the most nutritionally dense green you can eat — outstripping even kale or spinach. Dandelion greens, in particular pack a whole lot of vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Vitamins A, C and K

  • Folate

  • Calcium

  • Potassium

Health Benefits

Besides being chock-full of nutrients, dandelions contain compounds that may help prevent health problems. Unfortunately, scientists don’t focus a lot of attention on wild herbs and plants. More research is needed to confirm everything dandelions can do.

Provide Antioxidants

Dandelions contain several different types of antioxidants throughout the roots, leaves and flowers, Geib says. Antioxidants protect your body against free radicals — rogue molecules that can damage your body’s cells and make you age faster.

Reduce Inflammation

Chronic inflammation in the body plays a role in a long list of serious health problems, including cancer and heart disease. One way to stay healthy is by eating foods that fight inflammation.

Lab studies have found that compounds in dandelion can dial down inflammation. Definitely add dandelion to your anti-inflammatory diet in addition to the below listed recommendations:

  1. Choose nutrient-dense fresh berries and vegetables to obtain the most nutritional bang for your buck.

  2. Radically reduce/entirely eliminate nutrient-poor inflammatory foods such as refined starches (white versions) and added sugars (white or brown sugar, soda, energy drinks) from your diet.

  3. Choose poultry, fish, eggs and whole Greek yogurt as your quality sources of protein, calcium, vitamin D, probiotics and unsaturated fat.

  4. Radically reduce/entirely eliminate saturated fat loaded processed meats like bologna, salami and hot dogs.

  5. Choose monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocados and nuts) and omega-3 fats (wild salmon and tuna, walnuts, and ground flaxseed) that our bodies cannot make. These healthy fats from food or ass supplements neutralize inflammation, decrease risk of heart disease and cancer.

  6. Choose healthy saturated fats such as butter, cheese, high-fat red meat and skin on poultry.

  7. Avoid trans fat altogether. They still lurk in flavored coffee creamers, microwave popcorn.

Manage Blood Pressure

Dandelions are rich in potassium, which makes them a natural diuretic. In other words, they make you pee. Diuretics are often used to help control high blood pressure.

Control Blood Sugar

Dandelion has been used around the world as a natural way to control Type 2 diabetes. Researchers are still investigating that link, but studies in animals suggest that the compounds in dandelions might help reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Lower Cholesterol

Studies in animals have found that extracts from dandelion roots and leaves can naturally lower cholesterol levels.

How To Eat Dandelions

The great thing about the dandelion is that every part of the plant is edible. Here are a few tips for preparing this free-range herb:

  • Greens: Dandelion leaves are on the bitter side, but they have a spicy kick similar to arugula. Try tossing some fresh, washed leaves into a salad. Soak the leaves in cold, salted water for 10 or 15 minutes followed by blanching (dip into boiling water for a few seconds) them in order to take the edge off the bitterness. You may also sauté the blanched greens with some olive oil, onion or garlic and top with Parmesan cheese.

  • Flowers: Dandelions’ sunny blossoms give color to a salad. Use them fresh or dried to make dandelion tea — or brew dandelion wine. You can try infusing them into oil or vinegar, too. Dandelion-infused oil can also be used to make a salve that’s great for muscle aches.

  • Roots: Roasted dandelion roots are used in a tasty drink similar to coffee. You can find dandelion-based coffee substitutes at health food stores.

Dandelion Supplements

Can you get the goodness of dandelion from supplements and extracts? Possibly, but since there is not a lot of research on dandelion supplements, there aren’t clear dosage guidelines.

Most foods pack the biggest nutritional punch if you eat them fresh — and dandelion is probably no exception. But if you’re not a fan of their flavor (or the plants are out of season), talk to your doctor about whether dandelion supplements might be beneficial.

Make sure to chat with your healthcare provider if you take certain medications. Dandelion supplements may interact with some drugs, including:

  • Lithium

  • Blood thinners

  • Certain antibiotics

  • Diuretics (aka water pills)

  • Some heart and blood pressure medications

Should You Add Dandelions To Your Diet?

Dandelions have a lot going for them, but there are some things to know before serving them for dinner. You can pick the blossoms right from your yard, “but — if you’re harvesting wild dandelions — make sure you’re picking them from an area you know hasn’t been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.”

You don’t need to eat them every day to reap the benefits (though you could if that’s your jam). Approach them like any other herb and adding them into the rotation as part of a varied and colorful diet.


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