The dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has been valued since ancient times for its healing properties. It is a symbol of “emotional healing” since the plant can endure harsh conditions. As such, the dandelion represents overcoming suffering by standing strong. Gardeners tend to think of the dandelion plant as just another weed. However, there is more to it than meets the eye.
The dandelion has a wide range of medicinal properties like aiding digestion and stimulating appetite. You can also consume the entire plant, from root to blossom. It has a slightly bitter, chicory-like taste that makes for a nice ingredient to use in salads and stir-fries. The dandelion has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects. Studies have shown that extracts from the plant carry anti-tumor properties that help against liver, colon, and melanoma cancer cell lines.
Apart from that, there are a couple of other things. In folklore, it is said that you can calculate the hour by the number of breaths it takes to blow off all the seeds of a dandelion globe. Time anyone? Fairy lore claims that blowing the seeds off a dandelion will carry your thoughts and dreams to your loved one.
Quick and easy stir-fry recipe
This dish cooks in less than 5 minutes. It has plenty of garlic and ginger to boost its antiviral properties. The ingredients needed:
- 6 cups of roughly chopped dandelion greens, remove tough stems
- 5 cloves of garlic, crushed or grated
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: scrambled eggs or mincemeat
Bring a deep frying pan or wok to high heat. Put in the oil, and then the ginger and garlic. Add the greens and stir-fry until they start to wilt. Then, add in salt, pepper, and any optional ingredients.
Stir fry until the greens are cooked. Serve hot. Simple.
The root itself can also be roasted to create caffeine-free coffee.
Dandelion is also known as “pu gong yi” in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and “simhadanti” in Ayurveda. It has a humorous English folk name, “piss-a-bed,” and its French nickname, “pissenlit.” Both suggest the root’s active diuretic effect. In capsule form, it’s called water-pills and can be bought over the counter. According to scientific research, most diuretics reduce the amount of potassium in the body. Dandelion, however, is rich in potassium, so despite its diuretic action, it does not lower potassium levels.
Elixir of life
In folk medicine, dandelion is called the elixir of life because of its wondrous purification effects on the body. It is a blood purifier, laxative agent, and liver cleanser. Dandelion helps to remove negative energies and is a great mood enhancer.
Dandelions easily absorb substances from the environment like pesticides and heavy metals, so it is not a good idea to eat them picked from the wild. Dandelion root is a stimulant and can cause cardiac arrhythmias, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It’s best to consult a physician if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or taking other medications. To be safe when buying, choose dandelion products that have been certified organic.
The writer of this story is not a medical professional, and the information that is in this story has been collected from reliable sources — every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional health care.