September 30th, 2013Dandelion-Wonderful Weed
David Christopher, MH
Dandelions should be used, not cursed. Many foods we cultivate do not even come close in nutrient content to the lowly dandelion, and they are free. You do not have to plant them or cultivate them or expend any effort on them, they just come up. In Dr. Christopher’s Herb Syllabus, he informs us that 100 grams of Dandelions are packed with 14,000 Mg. of Vitamin A, 187 Mg. of Calcium, 397 Mg. of Potassium, and many other nutrients including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. You could probably live on Dandelions, if you had to. When I leave for work I pick the flowers that have just opened with the sunlight, pop them in my mouth, and enjoy the bitter sweet flavor. I kind of get a kick out of imagining what the neighbors are thinking about my breakfast munchies.
Dandelions grow so abundantly almost everywhere that it seems logical to think that they are a native flora, but they are not. These aliens were brought over from Europe and spread rapidly. The native populations, who were true naturalists and naturopaths, quickly adopted Dandelion into their healing modalities. The Pillager and Meskwakis used the root for chest pains, Ojibwas for heartburn, and the blossoms were used as a heart tonic. The leaves were used as a tonic for bruises and the Tewas used them for bone fractures. The plant was also widely used as a food source.
The name Dandelion comes from the jagged leaves which must have reminded people of lion’s teeth. They are called Dent de Lion in French, Dens Leonis in Latin and Leontodon in Greek. Dandelion has been used for hundreds of years with recorded uses by the Arabians and Welch of the tenth and thirteenth centuries up through the present. It was in the United States Pharmacopeia until 1965 and is still accepted in Chinese Medicine today.
Dandelion has the highest plant source of Iron and of course is used for Anemia. It is very effective for liver and gallbladder congestion and has also been used effectively for sluggish spleen and has mild diuretic qualities. Inflammation of the liver is cared for by using one part Dandelion to three parts Marshmallow as a tea. This is consumed every waking hour of the day. There is no toxic level for Dandelion so use it in any quantity that is effective.
Dandelion is an excellent food that can also be used medicinally, so enjoy.
David Christopher is a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer.