dandelion, lion’s tooth, diente de leon
What are Dandelion Leaves?
Dandelion is a weed most everyone can easily identify with its long, serrated leaves and its golden orb of a flower head (actually composed of hundreds of little flowers!) which closes when the sun goes away and opens again when the sun again makes an appearance. It is a perennial weed, much to many a gardener’s chagrin, and is now common all over the world. Most people look upon dandelions as obdurate pests, yet are unaware of the intensely healing properties its leaves offer.
Benefits of Dandelion Leaves
Dandelion leaves have been essential to human health for as long as humans and dandelions have co-existed. First Nations tribes in North America relied on the plant much as we now rely upon household pharmaceuticals like Tylenol for general pain relief; for them, dandelion leaves cured stomach aches to toothaches to nervous disorders, and so on. Dandelion leaves do have a similar effect as the pain killers most rely upon today, but are obviously far more holistic. For example, while pharmaceutical pain-killers harm the liver, dandelion leaf helps strengthen and support the liver while also offering pain relief. Dandelion leaf is a woman’s best friend in terms of balancing her menstrual cycle and all the aches and pains that comes with it including PMS, Bloating, breast tenderness, as well as the irritations that accompany menopause. Dandelion leaf is rich in potassium, and it is extremely helpful for digestion providing healthy bacteria as well as stimulating the appetite as a tonic. For the fiery ones among us, dandelion leaf is known to calm heated emotions and nerves, so think of having some dandelion tea before entering a stressful situation, or just drink it every day!
How to consume Dandelion Leaves
Dandelion leaves are becoming more and more common as an essential green whether in salads, steamed, or sauteed. The dried leaves can be used as teas, or dried and powdered dandelion leaf can be taken as capsules