Dandelions in a field. Photo © Vera Kuttelvaserova \ Fotolia.com

Dandelions are everywhere. It’s impossible not to notice the yellow blooming plants this time of year. They grow just about anywhere, including our lawns, where most people see them as the annoying weed that needs to be killed, whether by pesticides or the more environmentally-friendly (and safer) method of just digging them out. But have you ever considered that this abundant plant maybe has its purpose?

Herbalists have long called weeds and wild plants like dandelions nature’s healing garden. That dandelions – and the health benefits they provide – are so widespread used to be something to be thankful for!

Here’s how you can learn to love dandelions again.

Spring is optimal liver-cleansing time. The liver has over 600 functions and many people's would benefit from a good cleaning. Allergies, digestive problems, eczema, headaches and acne are all symptoms of a stagnant or congested liver. Liver loves bitter food, which dandelions certainly are.

The whole plant can be used to our benefit. The root, which you simply clean, chop and boil in water, provides a tea that supports the liver, leaves can be used in salads and even the yellow flowers can be used to make a dandelion “honey” that looks and tastes just like honey (recipe below). You can also pick the buds before they start blooming and eat them right away or fry them in butter – they taste great! And, of course, the flowers make for a beautiful crown or necklace for the kids. Consider leaving a few in the ground for the bees, too – they're a good early-season food source for these pollinators!

The whole dandelion plant is waiting to help us. The animals seem to know that, so why don’t we? Maybe it’s time to re-connect with nature and see the miracles growing right under our own feet.

Dandelion "Honey"

Put the following in a pot and let sit for 24 hours:

  • 220-260 dandelion flowers
  • 1 whole orange, sliced
  • 1 whole lemon, sliced
  • 1 litre of water (or enough to cover)

Strain and add 1kg of sugar. Cook on low, until it reaches a honey-like consistency (this can take up to an hour or so).

Blashka Novotna is a registered holistic nutritionist. Born in Czech Republic, she moved to Canada in 1999 and studied a variety of alternative healing methods, including food and environmental sensitivity testing, EFT, bioenergetic medicine. She's currently studying the many benefits of herbs.

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