Herb info 11/2017: Dandelion.
Dandelion is bitter and diuretic. If you dig up the root in fall it's not as bitter. It can even be sweet, because dandelions store largish amounts of inulin (a type of sugar) for the winter in their roots.
Bitter herbs are cooling and drying. Because dandelion is strongly diuretic, it's also strongly (water)drying. The leaf is one of the strongest plant diuretics there is.
Dandelion cools an overactive liver. I give it to people who suffer from hepatitis and to those who work with solvents, as in strong glue, gasoline, lacquer and other paints, essential oils and the strong chemicals that cleaners and hairdressers use.
Dandelion is also good for people with high blood pressure. The type who never suffers from allergies (lactose and gluten don't count), whose digestion is strong enough for three, who freely sweat when needed and whose urine can be very concentrated.
Use dandelion leaf, flowerbud, flower and root as wild greens. Add the leaf to salads or smoothies (preferably with a dash of lemon juice). Fry the flowerbuds or make them into dandelion capers.
Leave freshly picked flowers in a shady spot for an hour to give the small black beetles a chance to leave. They will. Then add them to smoothies, omelettes, salads, or make them into a dandelion flower syrup.
Let the roots dry a tad and then roast them for dandelion coffee. (Note, dandelion coffee is diuretic, too.)
Note. You can cover up bitter taste with something sour, for instance lemon juice or vinegar. Don't bother picking the "least bitter" dandelion leaves. Just add enough lemon juice to your foods.
Note. If your blood pressure is low, your sodium levels are too low and you need to eat enough salt. Eat even more salt if you eat dandelion.
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