Dandelion is a tenacious herb. It grows almost year-round here in East Tennessee, and it can grow nearly everywhere. Yes, you can even push back the snow and often find dandelion greens beneath. You can poison it, smother it, or pull it, but eventually, it will pop back up. Instead of hating it, why not embrace it and learn to use it for better health? I mean, dandelion wellness benefits are plentiful and yours for the taking!
Dandelion Wellness Benefits to Know And Use
All parts of the dandelion are edible and nutritious, from the flower to the root. Dandelion is a source of several minerals and some vitamins.
The flowers can be dipped into batter and fried as fritters, or you can pull off the individual petals of the flower and sprinkle them into salads, use them on baked good toppings, or make a pancake syrup from them.
The leaves can be sautéed with other greens, added to soups or fresh salads, or used in baked recipes that call for lettuce. Just remember, the larger the leaf is, the more bitter it will taste, so choose smaller-sized leaves when eating dandelion!
The spring root can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute, and the fall root can be used as a prebiotic for beneficial gut bacteria.
Dandelion roots (and large leaves) are quite bitter. They are stimulating to the digestive organs, such as the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, thus, improving digestion, absorption, and elimination. If you’re struggling with digesting your food properly, using dandelion bitters before meals is a great option. You can also use dandelion to support the liver in its metabolism role—encouraging it to remove waste and hormones from the blood.
Small dandelion leaves tend to have a salty flavor and are more nutritional. They are also stimulating to the kidneys, thus, encouraging elimination and the removal of waste from the body. Thankfully, because of dandelions mineral content, it offsets losing too many minerals through the urine.
So no matter what time of the year you come across dandelion, there are always ways to incorporate it into your diet and wellness benefits to gain from it.