Here we go, Herbicidal Hens! Don’t go pluckin’ that weed too fast! Today, we are crowin’ bout the Dandelion.
I had been workin’ on this one but since Spring is creepin’ cross the mountains of Virginia, I realized I’d better get things finished up. Especially since our yards will be burstin’ with these golden blooms that many love or love to hate.
Now, while there was plenty of Mountain Lore surroundin’ the Dandelion, there was also plenty of Folk Medicine surroundin’ it too. These medicines and cures have been adopted by many now days and used presently by many Herbalists alike. Dandelions is not only a blood purifier but it stimulates gland activity. It can work wonders for the liver, bladder. kidneys, and the gastrointestinal tract – great for constipation. It can also aid with digestion by increasing the amounts of saliva and bile that the body makes. The tea can be a diuretic. It has also been known to treat arthritis, lower blood pleasure and cholesterol. Caution should be taken, however, because some people can be allergic. Usually people know if they are or not already.
Dandelions are rich in calcium, Potassium, Vitamin C and A. The plant has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties , is a liver –protectant and can be used for weight loss (even though it is also used to treat loss of appetite). The leaves and root have something called taraxasterol, which is a triterpene.
The Dandelion grows and blooms all the way through March into September. It is not hard to find or collect. It is known to be bitter, though, so for those who need an aid, you may wish to mix it with a sweetener like Honey or other herbs, fruits or leaves.
Before we get down to specific recipes, let me throw some light on the Mountain-Lore traditions surroundin’ the Dandelion.
Plant Dandelion in the Northwest corner of the house or property and the owner shall receive the gift of favorable winds. However, you can also whisper a message to the seeding stem and blow….the seeds shall carry that message to a loved one who is far, far away. You can also use the same method to see how long you shall live. However many seeds left will give you the years one has left. If you have no interest in years lived, however, maybe you need to tell the time. Again, using the same method, blow 3 times, the seeds left will give you the hour of the day or night.
For those really deep in superstition, make a tea and that alone will bring about a sort of psychic intuition. The steam from the tea can be released by the bedside, if you or someone wish to call forth spirits.
Now, how bout we get to more practical uses?
Back in the old days, people would dry, roast and grind up the root as a replacement for coffee. This was probably very helpful during times of winter when provisions were low or durin’ times of war when items such as tea and coffee were hard to come by. As far as healin’ goes, well, there is a ton of information there. (See recipe below)
Collection: Collect Leaves, Root and Flowers of the Dandelion. Dry All. Some people collect the leaves when the plant is young and use them in a salad. Others use the plant to make a Wine.
Aid Digestion, Increase Bile and Rid of Gas
- 1 oz. dried Dandelion Root
- 2/3 oz. Fennel Seeds
- 2/3 oz. Peppermint Leaves
Steep in 1 cup Hot water for 10 minutes. (Remember, 10 minutes or more helps release Tannins and give potency to the tea.
Skin Cleanser Tea
- 2/3 oz. Dandelion Root
- 2/3 oz. Dandelion Leaves
- 2/3 oz. Nettle Leaves
- 2/3 oz. Red Clover Blossoms
- 2/3 oz. Rose Hips
Steep in 1 cup hot water for 10 minutes. Drink Daily. @-# weeks, you will see a difference in skin.
Metabolism Aid, Kidney Stimulator, Relieve Bloating and Release Fluid Tea
- 1 oz. Dandelion Root
- 1 oz. Dandelion Leaves
- 2/3 oz. Nettle Leaves
- 2/3 oz. Spearmint Leaves
Steep in 1 cup of water for 10 or more minutes.
Help Stimulate a Child’s or Person’s Appetite
- Use the root or leaves to create a tea but add dried fruit or honey. A tablespoon or so of the dried plant should do but play with the potency especially with children. Remember, the plant is bitter so they need a little masking to help it down—that’s where the fruit or honey comes in.
- Drink 1/2 cup 30 minutes before a meal.
Purify Kidneys and Bladder – Aid with Stones
Folk Medicine was big on using Dandelion to do this. Science now days backs up the claim. Dandelions in high doeses of 200 mgs have proven to have the ability to increase red blood cells, normalize white blood cell counts which backs the claims that it is a blood purifier. So, this remedy, though from the mountains, may just indeed have some scientific studies backing it.
- 2 tbsp. Dandelion leaves
- 1 tsp. Nettle leaves
1 quart of hot water and steep for 10 minutes. Dilute with another quart of hot water and drink within half an hour. Drink daily until stones have passed and once a week to prevent new ones.
Cut Roots into pieces and dry in an oven at 150 degrees F with the door cracked about 2 inches. You leave the door cracked so that air can circulate. Then roast them in a pan at 325 degrees until brown—remember to turn them and brown the all the way around. If you are good at dehydrating with a Dehydrator, go for it but remember you still have to roast them in an oven after. Grind and use 1 tsp. per cup. This is also great if you are trying to wean yourself off of coffee.
Digestion Using Alcohol
This isn’t used for getting drunk but to aid in digestion—which is also why Dandelion Wine is so popular or a reason for popularity other than just drinking wine. But say you can’t make your own Shine or Wine? Here is a simple method. Take a handful of the flowers and steep for one week in a pint of clear grain alcohol or your favorite wine. Keeping it in a cool, dark place. If you can not handle drinking a shot or so after, then mix 1 tsp. in with a favorite herbal tea every day after meals. This will help with digestion.
Remember, Dandelion can be used in a tea as a Diuretic and to cleanse the body of toxins.
Now, if you are out to make actual Wine—I know I have some awesome Hammered Hens out there, I found this recipe for you on allrecipes.com
Recipe by: Elle
“This very old recipe utilizes the bane of homeowners: the dandelion! I found this in 1993 when a flood left our front yard full of beautiful, very large dandelions. The blossoms CANNOT have been sprayed with any pesticides, and should be thoroughly rinsed.” Quoted by Elle
- 1 quart yellow dandelion blossoms, well rinsed
- 1 gallon boiling water
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 8 cups white sugar
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 lemon slice
- Place dandelion blossoms in the boiling water, and allow to stand for 4 minutes. Remove and discard the blossoms, and let the water cool to 90 degrees F (32 degrees C).
- Stir in the yeast, sugar, orange slices, and lemon slice; pour into a plastic fermenter, and attach a fermentation lock. Let the wine ferment in a cool area until the bubbles stop, 10 to 14 days. Siphon the wine off of the lees, and strain through cheesecloth before bottling in quart-sized, sterilized canning jars with lids and rings. Age the wine at least a week for best flavor.
CLICK LINK TO ORIGINAL AND PRINT Dandelion Wine Recipe — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2016 Allrecipes.com Printed From Allrecipes.com 3/25/2016