Dandelion :: Granting all your wishes + making your medicinal dreams a reality
Dandelions have long been one of my favorites. Summers spent picking them out of the manicured lawn and making wishes only my childhood heart could come up with. Fast forward to being a first time homeowner and suddenly dandelions became the nemesis to my lawn.
What’s the deal with these hardy plants?
Ally or Enemy?
Let’s first introduce the plant through a deep dive we call a Monograph, in Herbalism.
Latin: Taraxacum officinale
Common Name: Levagona, Wild Endive, Witch Hat, Blowball
Origins: Americas, Europe, Southern Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and India
Herbal Actions: Alterative Aperient Bitter Cholagogue Diuretic Hepatic Nutritive Tonic
Liver Strengthener + Stimulator
Dissolves Warts - milky sap from stems
Tincture for Arthritis - root
High Blood Pressure - leaf
Prebiotic full of Inulin - fall harvested root
Curve Sugar Cravings
Honestly the list goes on and on...
Bile duct obstructions, latex allergies. Gallbladder or kidney issues always consult Dr first.
Framework of this Plant:
Dandelions are readily available in urban areas, so much so that we long ago typecast them as a weed. By definition a 'weed' is a plant growing where it's not wanted. But, for a moment, we're going to zoom way out to get curious about weeds, or at least in this case dandelions.
Many of us are aware that in nature many plants have a symbiotic relationship. We've come to celebrate the micro networks of mushrooms and the benefits they share with their tree allies in the Fantastic Fungi documentary.
Is there a symbiotic relationship with urban areas and dandelions or are they just the cockroach of the plant kingdom?
Try as you might, once one dandelion appears in your lawn, it's almost inevitable that they will propagate themselves everywhere. They become nearly impossible to remove from your lawn without using chemicals. But if they thrive in this wanna be mono-cropped environment, is it possible there is a reason?
In nature it is RARE to see one species of plant living alone, and yet we have these very expectations for our lawns and city parks. Dandelions thrive in the could be mono-crop situation of green spaces, because they’re actually there to lend a hand. As lawns age the soil beneath them hardens. We end up spending time and money adding new top soil, watering the heck out of these things and then spraying them to death to maintain this ideal visual landscape.
Dandelions show up because of the role they play in this type of depleted environment. They have a knack for breaking up hardened soils. Their thick tap roots do the work for us. Those deep roots also draw important minerals, such as calcium, which is nearly always lacking due to over watering. The bonus is they are food for beneficial bugs!
The 1950’s called and they want their idyllic white picket fences back as well as the scope of life. Since those days, we as has humans, have evolved to understand that there is actually perfection in the imperfections. My vote is that dandelions are our mellow yellow Allys and armed with further evidence as stated below from an herbalism lens, I think you might just join me on the bright side of this plant.
Now that I've got you looking at weeds as friends too... lets get to the fun stuff!
How to introduce Dandelions as a daily staple:
**Please note that I encourage caution for wild crafting this plant. Most dandelions in our Urban Areas are likely to have come in contact with chemical fertilizers and weed spray. Rule of thumb is that any wild crafted area should be free of chemicals for up to 7 years before foraging for edibles. Thankfully dandelions are in abundance at our farmers markets and herbal apothecaries.
Dandelion Greens (leaves):
Keep it simple and add these vitamin + mineral rich leaves to your daily smoothly blends
Use in a Bitters Salad to promote digestion + support your body sytstems. Learn more about the benefits of Bitters Here.
I love this simple Bitters Green Salad for Spring days ahead:
This dandelion blend is a great caffeine alternative. You get the benefits of roasted dandelion in an instant.
Search the product HERE
Dandelion as a Spring Tonic:
We can't forget our introduction to Spring Tonics from last week. Being that dandelions are one of the first plants to rise from winter, it lends as a helpful ally to support us making the transition into spring.
Check out our Spring Tonic Tea Recipe
We'd love to know how you integrate this plant ally into your spring regimen.
I'm Jessy Raspiller, Venture Well Founder + Clinical Herbalist. I've had a passion for optimizing my own health + wellness for the past two decades. I'm excited to rouse others curiosities through the practices, rituals and allies that I've turned to time and time again.
**Please use caution when introducing new herbs. Never blindly take herbal remedies without learning more about their constitutions and contraindications. It’s important to consult with your medical professionals to ensure that herbal allys you’re curious about will best support your overall well-being.