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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Cusack

Dandelions.....why I LOVE them!

Growing up in the city it was normal to watch everyone scrambling each spring to kill off the dandelions. I personally always liked them. As a young child I remember picking them for my Mom and teachers each spring with such pride as I presented my beautiful Dandelion bouquet to them. What's not to love about these sweet little yellow gems as they stand brightly against our green lawns as if to say ""SPRING IS HERE""! As I got older I never gave it much thought again until my own kids stared giving me these wonderful spring bouquets. One day I thought to my self, what purpose could these or do these have? I have heard of folks making wine out of them and dandelion green salads. But is that it?? So I began my quest to find out what can these little gems do for me. As a homesteader you are always looking to find a way to use everything the earth on your farm has to offer..even better that it's FREE!!

Well was I surprised to find out that you can not only make wine and eat them BUT they can make amazing soap and salves! You can make Tea. Use the roots to make a coffee like drink. The medicinal traits were so surprising to me. Medicinal Uses of Dandelion: (1): Digestion problems, sluggish liver and/or gallbladder function: *As a bitter herb, dandelion root stimulates gastrointestinal functions. An infusion of roasted root is an alternative to coffee and, if taken before or heavy meal, can pleasantly stimulate digestion and handle issues with the liver and/or gallbladder Instructions: *Infuse 1/2 tsp- 2tsp. dried or roasted dandelion root in each 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 20 minutes and strain. Drink 3 cups per day. If using roasted root, add milk to taste but avoid sweeteners because they diminish the herb’s effectiveness. The list just goes on and on as far as it's uses.

(2): As a Detox and Diuretic: *Feeling sluggish or run-down? It might be time to detox. Dandelion leaves have powerful diuretic activity. They promote the production and excretion of urine and also stimulate the liver and gallbladder. The leaf is also a wonderful source of potassium, so if you need this nutrient, try this tea: Instructions: *Infuse 1-2 tsp. dried dandelion leaves in each 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 20 minutes and strain. Drink 3 cups per day. Then I looked into uses of Dandelions is soaps and salves...also more than I expected high in many Vitamins and minerals, says can even help with Acne, severely dry skin issues. Being rich in antioxidants, dandelions provide anti-ageing benefits, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines, age spots and wrinkles around the eyes and lips. Besides nourishing your skin, this herb helps tone and firm up sagging and unbalanced skin. Dandelion juice regulates the secretion of hormones and widens the pores, thus facilitating the removal of toxins through sweating and urination. Dandelion sap can be applied topically on acne to inhibit microbial infection. Vitamin C in it speeds up the healing process, thus reducing the visibility of scars and red inflammation that often accompanies acne. Dandelion tea can also be consumed to prevent acne. All you need to do is steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of dandelion root or leaves in a cup of water. This will rid your body of toxins that cause acne. The research is out there. I could go on forever.

This is by no means a diagnosis for anything always consult your Doctor. And when you do pick Dandelions always make sure they are in an area free from pesticide sprays and not used as a doggy bathroom!! Lucky for me we are a 'NO chemical' farm. So next time your gonna spray those little beauties try picking a basket full and make something really great from them......My bounty is gonna make some fabulous Goats Milk soap, some sore muscle salve, and some tea! I will decide from there what other projects I want to do while they are so abundant. ENJOY your Spring and do not be afraid to go outside the box! There's always a great surprise waiting for you. Sometimes the best choices are right out in the yard in front of you.

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