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Monday, June 8, 2009

Herbal Spotlight: Dandelion

I have began to write about the medicinal values of herbs(and some beauty tips) because I believe that we absolutely need to get back to basics in all that we do as preppers. I am not saying that we need to go cold turkey on prescriptions and medications. Why I am writing about herbs is that so many synthetic medications have side effects that are often more toxic than the initial reasoning to take the meds.

As a prepper I have come to the conclusion that money has been a lead factor in why many products are made, and why we are lead to believe that natural or herbal remedies are not safe. If we can make a tea or salad that will heal us, then the pharmaceutical companies loose money.

Now that said, I will put a disclaimer in as the times we live in require this: I am not a doctor nor am I suggesting that I know all of your medical conditions. I am offering information to give you an opportunity to understand that you can be in control of making you a more healthy person, and that simple remedies may heal you.
My family and I went up to the mountains east of my home to bring home more wood, and I began to forage for the local plants for my herbal pantry. Do not gather dandelions where sprays and chemicals are used as YOU may be at risk for serious health issues. Gathering up in the mountains affords me the opportunity to collect herbs without any chemicals on them. There are many medicinal uses for dandelion, and this link has shared even a breakthrough for lowering triglycerides.

Dandelion is a natural diuretic that increases urine production by promoting the excretion of salts and water from the kidney. Dandelion may be used for a wide range of conditions requiring mild diuretic treatment, such as poor digestion, liver disorders, and high blood pressure. Dandelion is a source of potassium, a nutrient often lost through the use of other natural and synthetic diuretics.

Fresh or dried dandelion herb is also used as a mild appetite stimulant and to improve upset stomach (such as feelings of fullness, flatulence, and constipation). The root of the dandelion plant is believed to have mild laxative effects and is often used to improve digestion. Research suggests that dandelion root may improve the health and function of natural bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have also reported that dandelion root may help improve liver and gallbladder function.

Some preliminary animal studies also suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and improve lipid profiles (lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL, "good," cholesterol) in diabetic mice. However, not all animal studies have shown the same positive effect on blood sugar.
The site Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You, is loaded with more valuable information about dandelions and the vitamins they contain:

According to the USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Minnich, in "Gardening for Better Nutrition" ranks them, out of
all vegetables, including grains, seeds and greens, as tied for 9th best. According to these data, dandelions are nature's richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods, after cod-liver oil and beef liver! They also are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of protein.(source)

In my book, Rodales Encyclopedia of Natural Home Remedies, it is said that the milky substance that is on the stem of the flower can be used to cure warts. All one needs to do is rub the milky substance over the wart.

Drying the leaves is simple, just wash and place on the drying trays.
Here I am drying the flowers. I have used the flowers in home made shampoo for my family. The value of dandelions is almost unmeasurable. It is surreal to find that something that Americans spend millions of dollars to remove from their yards is more nutritious and healthy than most of the items we grow in our gardens. If you cannot find dandelions in your region, please go to my farm blog and click on the Mountain Rose Organics on the left hand column. Then at the site just search for dandelion and you can pick and choose which product may be right for you. All the products on the site are low cost.

Here is another post I wrote for Nunavut Preppers, on Herbal Spotlight: Caledula.

Here is the post I wrote for Double Nickel Farm on our trip to the mountains to collect dandelions and gather wood.

(c) Double Nickel Farm



Anonymous said...

Great post Jennifer. I am but supporter of herbal and natural medicines and remedies. Dandelions make for great salads.

Kentucky Preppers Network

erniesjourney said...

Great post - and have you noticed how everyone sprays for "weeds" - it's like that is normal to have weed-free lawns and in fact we are killing off so many plants that God created to help us? I am sold on plantain too!

wvsanta said...

Great Post and thanks a bunch for the links this is something that really interest me. I will be looking into this more.

Kymber said...

i looooove dandelions!!! and we have them aplenty around here which is awesome! i am in the process of trying to learn more about foraging and wild foods and herbs in my area...so i will be looking forward to more of your "Herbal Spotlight" posts!
thanks for the links too!

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Can you tell me what you use the dried leaves for? All I've done with dandelions so far is to make tea with the petals. I'd love to have more hints on what to do with other parts, too. Thanks!

Humble wife said...

Thank you all for your comments...

Gen-IL-I dried the leaves and use it in seasonings and even where cilantro is needed as it has so many nutritional values that will be very beneficial to ones health!

Gen-IL Homesteader said...


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