Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Healthy Spring Cleansing with Dandelions!

They're popping up and showing their sunny yellow faces, bringing smiles to the enlightened. At last, Spring has arrived! Time to start gathering, and cleaning the winter sludge from your body.

This is NOT just a useless weed! Dandelion has been safely used as a medicinal herb and food for centuries. Native Americans were using Dandelion for a wide variety of ailments long before the discovery of America by Europeans.

Dandelion (taraxacum officinale) - The name of the genus, taraxacum, is derived from the Greek word taraxos (disorder), and akos (remedy), because it was considered to be a cure all for every health problem.

Traditionally, this abundant weed has been used as a tonic and blood purifier, for constipation, inflammatory skin conditions, eczema and acne, joint pain, and liver dysfunction, including liver conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, gout, and jaundice.

It's also used in the treatment of flu, gallstones, kidney and urinary disorders, hypoglycemia, dyspepsia with constipation, edema associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness.

Dandelion is unequalled for detoxification, hepatitis, and acute infections. It's a powerful diuretic but doesn't deplete the body of potassium like many diuretics. It's very rich in minerals like iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and boron and vitamins A, B, and C. It also contains saponins that prevent tumor growth and up to 25% inulin, a phytochemical that seems to selectively nourish and increase the body's supply of good intestinal bacteria such as bifidobacteria.

Externally the fresh juice will fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns and warts. When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves release ethylene gas to ripen the fruit quickly. A liquid plant food can be made from the root and leaves. A dark red dye is obtained from the root. Or make your own cosmetic skin lotion from the appendages at the base of the leaf blades, distill in water, then splash on to clear the skin and fade freckles.

Gather edible leaves and flowers anytime, roots in spring. The young leaves are less bitter and delicious when tossed with sea salt, lemon juice and olive or flax oil, and flowers are eaten raw in salads or dipped in batter and fried. Get the kids out to gather a gallon of flowers and make your own wine. Be sure to hide away a bottle for a special winter gathering. You'll love a taste of summer during the Winter Solstice. Gather, chop fine and slow-roast the roots for a delicious coffee substitute.

What a versatile and generous weed!

We all need this FREE medicine, and you'll definitely notice the difference with a cleaner, healthier body. There's no need to kill, spray herbicides or otherwise eradicate this healthful weed from your manicured lawns. Don't you believe that every green, growing plant is here for us to use beneficially? Spread the word, not the poison.

Victoria Kindle, a weed appreciator and naturalist, loves and lives in the healing community of Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee and is the owner of - Tn.Teas&Herbals
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