Medicinal and Edible Plant Guide: Dandelion
Yes, Dandelion is an edible plant! These small yellow flowers that cause headaches for so many homeowners all over the world are not only edible, but are nutritious and have medicinal properties as well.
Taraxacum: also known as dandelion, is a small common weed that is native to North America, Eurasia and is found worldwide.
Dandelion as A Food Source:
Dandelion is a great source of vitamin A, C, B6 and potassium. It also contains calcium, folic acid, copper, iron, riboflavin and magnesium. Dandelion leaves are one of the best eating greens available, and they have more calcium and iron than most cultivated greens.
The roots can be roasted, ground and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers can be made into jelly, syrup and wine. The flavor is very similar to honey. The leaves can be dried and added to soups and stews all year round.
Dandelion as Medicine:
Dandelion has been used medicinally for hundreds of years and was first documented in the early 1300’s. Some uses of the dandelion are, as a tonic, diuretic, decongestant, antacid, cholagogue, aperient and itch reliever.
The leaves and roots of a dandelion can be chopped up and boiled then strained to create a tonic to help with decongestant, urine flow, bile discharge from the gallbladder, and neutralize acids in the intestinal tract.
It is also said that Dandelion root may improve gallbladder and liver function, and help to strengthen the immune system.
A Word of Caution:
Although the dandelion may be used to strengthen the body and treat diseases it can also cause allergic reactions in some people. If you are allergic to ragweed, iodine, daisies, chamomile or marigolds you should refrain from using dandelions.
As with all herbs, one should research the plant thoroughly to avoid any unwanted side effect.
Mother Nature provides! It pays to know how to utilize the plants and trees in your area, or an area you plan to explore. With a little knowledge of the available resources, a survival situation becomes much less an emergency and more like another day in the woods.
Geared To Survive recommends these great books for identifying and using plants as food and medicine
You can learn more at the University of Maryland Medical Center's Website
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