Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Learn An Herb: Dandelion
I personally have eaten dandelion greens only a few times, but after doing some research for this post, I think I will make them a regular part of my diet. Let's talk about the many ways in which dandelions are oh-so useful!
For one, dandelions are dynamic accumulators which means that they gather vitamins and nutrients from way deep in the soil (with that big ol' tapo root). That means they can accumulate nutrients from places that most plants can't reach, which makes them very high in vitamins and minerals (especially vitamins A and C, beta carotine, potassium, and copper). This means that you can either eat the dandelions (all parts of the plant are edible) and reap the benefits of all of those goodies, or, you can chop the dandelion off at the surface and place it back onto your yard or garden. As the dandelion decomposes, those nutrients will be released back into the soil and will become available for uptake by the plants nearby. I may or may not have taken dandelions from my neighbors yards and put them on my own garden....
Externally, dandelions can be used to fight bacteria and help heal wounds. They sap also can be used to remove corns and warts (I am so going to try this on my planter's wart! I will keep you posted) and can be used as post-bee sting pain relief.
Internally, the roots can be used as a liver detox and the plant can be used to support the kidneys, gallbladder and urinary tract. It has also been shown to help jaundice, gout, hypoglycemia, eczema, and acne (among other things). The flowers and greens of the dandelion can be eaten in salads, or stewed. A tea can be made with fresh or dried leaves, or a tincture could be made. As I mentioned, now that I know how good this things are for us, I do plan on including dandelion leaves in salads and teas throughout the summer!
A couple other random uses include placing dandelions in a bag with unripe fruit to help speed up the ripening process. Apparently a red dye can also be made from the roots. I haven't tried that yet but sounds like a good summer project!
Have you used dandelions? Eaten them? What did you think? Pin It Now!