Dandelion

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With Locks of Gold today;

Tomorrow Silver Grey:

Then Blossom-bald.

Behold,

O Man, thy Fortune told!

J.B. Tabb~( 1845-1909 )

 Most of us will know what a Dandelion is,  many see them growing wild, they are also found in our gardens, especially our lawns.

We are often encouraged to kill them in those weed-killing adverts, as they show us how to zap them dead with one squirt of poison.  

Hare and Dandelion painting
~Sue Dreamwalker

Yet the Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has tremendous health benefits, perhaps that’s why big pharma linked with the chemicals companies of weed killers want you to keep zapping them.  Because it grows in abundance and is free and it aids our health.. Like some other plant-based medicines I could think of.

The dandelion root has been used for hundreds of years to treat a wide range of health issues, so it is no wonder that it’s regaining popularity as people discover how easy it is to grow and harvest.

The Dandelion has many health benefits, the root is where most of the medicinal properties are. But you can eat the leaves and the flowers along with the stems, they are all edible, and can be added to salads and stir fries. Or you can dry it out and use for making tea.

Here I hung out Dandelions Drying for making tea

Dandelion derives from the French ‘Dent de lion’ ( Lion’s tooth ) a reference to the jagged leaves pointing backwards. Which to the imagination look like a lions jaw.

Dandelions contains 12 times the amount of vitamin A than a lettuce, and about 3 times its vitamin C.

I pick younger leaves as the older leaves tend to be Very, very bitter if using them in a salad. Or steamed like spinach.

Note: Make sure that your Dandelions have not been sprayed with any chemicals or weedkillers, and are picked away from the roadside where they will pick up contaminants from vehicles exhausts etc. Wash well.

You can also make Dandelion Wine  I am sure many of us can recall the taste of Dandelion and Burdock Pop or cordial … One of my favourite fizzy drinks as a child and still is… 

 

Studies have been found Dandelion is very good for our hearts, and can lower bad Cholesterol, it can fight Free Radicals with its powerful Antioxidant properties, called beta carotene.

It can help stabilise blood sugars, and some research suggests it may be helpful in treatments of type ll Diabetes.

 Also Blood Pressure can be lowered naturally with dandelion root. Potassium has been proven to help lower blood pressure and dandelions are rich in potassium. Also Potassium increased in your diet will help relieve muscle cramps, you can also get this from Banana’s too.  

Potassium also helps osteoporosis and kidney stones too, so a cup of dandelion root tea every day will provide the potassium your body needs to stay healthier.

Dandelions have antimicrobial and antiviral properties in them, that work to strengthen the immune system. Vitally important at the moment to keep our immune systems topped up. I also use Echanechia drops this helps our immune system fight cold and flu symptoms!.

 What is there not to like about the Dandelion, for they improve digestion, help reduce inflammation, which is why I drink dandelion and root tea on a regular basis, along with nettle tea, I will go into the benefits of nettles another day.  Dandelion leaves are rich in vitamin A.

Dandelion picked and washed

Here I picked tender young leaves and roots from my allotment, I washed and scrubbed the earth from the roots and then hung up to dry, once dry I then crushed to store in an airtight jar to use as in a tea.  Lots of methods can be found on the internet of how to prepare and add to recipes.

Dandelion Tea

So next time you think of zapping a dandelion or pulling it up from your garden…. Think twice on how it may aid your own health and benefit you,… all for free… 😊

 I will add a link here so you can see for yourself all of those health benefits

Happy Gardening!

Healing Properties of Garlic

Just some of the garlic we harvested Last year.

Healing Properties of Garlic. PhotobucketGarlic: Allium sativum

 Hot- Anitiseptic, Expectorant

Garlic is renowned worldwide for its healing properties, it was first documented in Ancient Egypt some 4,500 yrs ago being given to workers building the Pyramids to keep up their energy and ward off contagious diseases like flu and colds.  The Greek physician, Galen, called garlic ‘ The Great Panacea’

Garlic has an antiseptic action which is effective against viruses, fungi and bacteria, and it has been thoroughly researched and documented in both the East and West.  Its warming and strengthening action on the respiratory system, makes garlic extremely valuable in treating colds and flu.

In India and China, it has also been discovered the value of garlic in treating amoebic and similar types of Dysentery, killing the bacteria which  cause these diseases, Garlic can also be used against many other symptoms for instance Candida, for this action the purple skinned verity is recommended.

It works to help eliminate harmful bacteria created by digestion of food in the gut due to a slow digestion, Garlic increases circulation, warming cold limbs, lowering High blood pressure.

Note: Garlic should not be taken when there is an excess of heat or inflammation in the body, especially in the digestive system, as in Gastritis or Ulcers. 

Garlic is my kitchen basic, enhancing savoury dishes, and you will find many a recipe with garlic. Garlic especially goes well with most pulses, especially chickpeas. .

Recently in my own area where I live the University of Nottingham found that it was 90% effective in the treatment of MRSA (meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureusis) a type of bacterial infection Superbug that is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics.

 Scientists at England’s Nottingham University recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and other ingredients found in the link below..  “This 1,000 yr old recipe was recreated and was found to be effective in treating 90% of the superbug MRSA”. Link to this BBC News Item above and I have also enclosed a short video clip below of the findings.