Dandelion: Nature’s Spring Tonic Growing In Your Backyard

May

11

By Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D.

Spring is the season that is celebrated in Ayurveda as the ideal time for detoxification.  Even in the environment you see rebirth as the snow melts and the flowers begin to spring from the ground.  The rhythms in your body mimic those in nature and this is the season toxins within your body also begin to “melt” allowing a cellular renewal.  All of this internal spring-cleaning requires some extra effort from the organs, especially your liver—one of the most important organs for detoxification.  To help this natural detoxification cycle, add some dandelion to your daily routine as one of nature’s most effective springtime tonics.


As children, you probably remember running through the yard and admiring the little yellow flowers that transformed into magical puffs of white growing in most suburban neighborhoods—the dandelion flower.  These flowers seem like little jewels growing out of the earth.  Dandelions are synonymous with childhood wishes. Besides being a vehicle for childhood dreams, this suburban weed is actually a medicinal wonder used in many ancient medical systems.

dandelion-meadow-1362678_1920Dandelion leaves and roots have been used for centuries as a medical tonic. They are used to cleanse the liver and treat problems such as diabetes, acne, cancer, anemia, high blood pressure, gall bladder issues, premenstrual symptoms such as bloating gas and water weight gain, and urinary disorders.  Dandelion is a natural diuretic that removes excess water from your body, which supports your body’s natural spring detoxification and taking some of the pressure off your liver.  Most people’s liver is overburdened with the amount of work it has to due on a daily basis given the modern lifestyle.  The liver is the organ that breaks down the majority of medications and it removes metabolites created from the consumption of alcohol and fatty foods.  Dandelion not only benefits the liver but also its digestive partner, the gallbladder.  The gallbladder is responsible for bile production, which allows the body to break down fats.  You need proper bile flow to utilize fats properly.  As a diuretic, dandelion stimulates you to urinate more.  This helps to cleanse the entire urinary tract and naturally lowers blood pressure.

The leaves, which are full of vitamins and minerals, can be eaten and taste a bit like arugula.  The flowers are also edible. You can add dandelion flower petals directly into your salads or stir-fry them with your vegetables.  The color yellow is used in color therapy to stimulate the stomach, spleen, and pancreas; just another way these lovely yellow flowers help us with digestion. 

My favorite way to eat dandelions is using the greens in salads or cooking them with other green, leafy vegetables, like kale. 

 

I also like drinking dandelion root tea a few times a week during the spring—I just put one tea bag in a thermos full of hot water and sip all day long.  There are also dandelion blends that serve as wonderful coffee substitutes.

This little yellow flower that many consider an unwanted weed is a blessing found in your own backyard.  Next time your child blows off all the seeds on a dandelion flower while making a wish, share the story of how this little flower really is magical.

 

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Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, Uncategorized, Your Health