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May 17th, 2010

Dandelions – Pungent, Bitter – Vitality, Vivaciousness

by Tim, 5 Comments »

I like extraordinary foods. Dandelions are pretty extraordinary. Yet, they are common. Try that on for size.

Thankfully, I grew up eating dandelions every now and then. My grandpa would pick them (from areas that had not been sprayed with pesticides or who knows what), and we would have them in salads or soups or sauteed. They definitely take some getting to know. You may not be the biggest fan right from the start. You may have to acquire a taste for them. You may have to work at including them in dishes and disguising their pungent bitterness. BUT, all your hard work will be rewarded. First, your work at liking dandelions will be rewarded with you becoming a fan of dandelions. Second, your body will be rewarded with numerous health benefits.

dandelions

Dandelions contain:
Vitamins – A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, Choline. Of those it has, most notably, loads of Vitamin K and tons of Vitamin A. Is a load more than a ton? Well, for this article it is.
Minerals – calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper, managanese. Of those, most notably, calcium and iron.

Aside from the nutritional goodness, what I find fascinating about dandelions is their long history of use in the body to promote healing and healthy functioning. It has commonly been used to heal and effectively treat liver disorders (jaundice, hepatitis) and promote liver health and detoxification. It is a diuretic and disinfectant, that is, it cleans you out and helps prevent harmful microbial growth in the urinary system.

Also, interestingly enough, the scientific name for dandelion is: Taraxacum officinale, which basically means The Official Remedy for Disorders or Pharmacy Remedy for Disorders. Because it can cause changes in the liver and flow of bile, it is good to start introducing dandelions slowly into your diet, especially if A) you are not used to eating them, and B) you have liver, stomach, bowel problems. So try some in a mixed salad or added to a soup. I wonder what they would be like in a smoothie? Hmmm. Bitter smoothie? Hmmm. I may have to try that.

I would highly recommend checking them out and doing some reading about them if you are interested in restoring vitality to your body. Yes, I said vitality. Good word, good word.

dandelions