March is the month of the tenacious Dandelion here at One World and I can’t wait to see these beautiful blooms popping up on lawns everywhere! The long taproots are easy, although time consuming, to gather and are super versatile. They can be eaten fresh, dried for tea or tincture and even roasted! Read on to hear about my favourite uses for dandelion root!
For Your Digestive Health
The bitter qualities of dandelion root make it an excellent addition to a bitters formula, especially when the leaves are not available to nibble on. Taken twenty minutes before a meal it stimulates bile production and prepares the body for food, helping to increase appetite and improving digestion as well as acting as a gentle, non-habit forming laxative. One of my favourite and easiest bitters formula combines equal parts dandelion root, burdock root and orange peel in a mason jar of vodka. Store and shake daily for two weeks then strain. Take one dropperful twenty minutes before eating.
As a Prebiotic
Prebiotics are food for your intestinal flora, or probiotics. In dandelion’s case it is a starchy substance called inulin that provides this nutrition to your microbiome. Note that eating or decocting the root is the best means of extraction for inulin, it does not extract in alcohol. If you harvest your own roots, try harvesting in the fall for higher inulin levels in your roots.
As a Coffee substitute
For those folks who love a hot and bitter cuppa first thing but want to ease off coffee then try substituting your regular coffee for a roasted roots blend. If the roots are roasted you won’t get the prebiotic goodness but you will get all the other benefits dandelion root brings! Read my post here for instructions on how to roast your own. For a yummy blend to start your day off right, decoct roasted dandelion and chicory roots and add a glug of maple syrup to taste.
As a Liver Tonic & Hormone Balancer
Dandelion is a traditional liver tonic, diuretic and blood cleanser. As I mentioned earlier it stimulates bile production in the liver which aids in the elimination of waste products and hormones from our system through the kidneys, liver and lymphatic system. add to a tea formula with red clover A sluggish liver can effect your digestion, skin and reproductive system so to keep your liver in tip top shape check out our Love Your Liver Tea recipe!
For Clear Skin
The health of our liver has a strong connection with the health of our skin and dandelion root is oftentimes used by herbalists to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. This is due to its alterative or blood cleansing action in the body. This makes dandelion root an excellent herbal ally for fasting and detoxing the body which can have amazing benefits for our skin health. Combine with other springtime favourites such as Cleavers, Nettles and Violet to create a super skin detox tea blend!
Tell me about your favourite ways to use Dandelion Root!