Thursday, 26 April 2012

Kitchen Krafts - Dandelions

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Today I am going to blog about Dandelions. I love their gorgeous colour, they always seem to tell me that spring is really here!
Let me start with the botanical details first.
The latin name for Dandelion: Taraxacum Officinale
The great thing about dandelion is that you can use the entire plant, blossom, leaves and roots. 
According to the Doctrine of Signatures, yellow flowers tend to be used for the liver and gallbladder (Bile)
Dandelion is best known for its' vitality-giving qualities. It is used as a "Spring Clean" as it works on many bodily systems and will detoxify and enliven you, especially if you are feeling a bit groggy after a long winter. 
Now, if any of you have eaten Dandelion you will know that it is extremely bitter. Because of these bitter principles it detoxifies the liver and cleans the kidneys, it activates the gallbladder to empty itself and to create new bile which in turn activates the spleen and stomach juices.
If you happen to suffer from arthritis or gout, this is an amazing herb that will help to remove he excess uric acid from the body. As it is a natural diuretic it doesn't rob the body of potassium. It is also a fantastic source of calcium.
It also works wonders on the skin - detoxifying it and supplying it with blood.
Here a list of the most common problems that Dandelion could help with:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hepatitis
  • Stomach problems
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Gallbladder issues (including stones)
  • Kidney stones
  • Allergies
  • Gout
  • Skin problems 
Side Effects: If you are allergic to daisys, marigolds or chrysanthemums you may have an allergy to dandelions.
Normal usage of dandelions (1-2 cups of tea over a 3 week period) cause no side effects.
Children who have eat the stalks and lots of them, will show "Poisoning" or severe cramping.
I tell anyone using herbs in a tea form, to always use the herb for 3 weeks and then give it a break for 3 weeks.

What about the psychological reasons to use Dandelion? 
You will find people who are melancholic can find great help through this plant. People suffering from anger, and rage can benefit from this plant, as it will detox the body on all levels, letting go of harboured feelings.

So how can you take Dandelion? You can use it as a tea, or eat the leaves in a salad. The leaves are also used in the Green Nine Soup - which is a combination of herbs used for a spring detox.

To make the tea I would recommend to use the leaves and the roots together. But to do that you would make a decoction of the roots, and an infusion of the leaves and add the two together afterwards.
In other words: Place a teaspoon of root into a pot and cover with a cup full of water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, then allow to cool. For the infusion: Place a teaspoon of leaves in a cup and cover with boiling water. Allow to draw for about 10 minutes. Strain the two mixtures and mix.

Now here is a yummy recipe for Dandelion Honey. This is a wonderful syrupy spread, that brings you the goodness of the dandelion for everyone to enjoy!

You will need:
4 Cups Dandelion Heads
1kg sugar
1 litre Water
Juice and rind of half a lemon

Place the dandelion heads in a big pot and cover with the water. Allow to stand for about 2 hours.
Bring to the boil and then remove from heat. Allow to stand overnight.
In the morning remove the heads from the water.
Return liquid to the stove. Add the sugar and lemon juice and rind.
Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer until the desired thickness has been reached. It should have the thickness of syrup/honey. Once this has been obtained, bottle and label. If you find that the cold honey is still too runny, you can reheat it and simmer until it thickens.
Enjoy!
Join me next week for a post on Asparagus!

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Till next week
x
Disclaimer:All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.
I will be sharing this post over at Natural Suburbia on Friday.



8 comments:

  1. I am so happy to read a post of someone happy about dandelions! Even as a flower I've never cursed them as a weed.
    But this! Dandelion Honey? I've never heard of it but would totally try it if we had a yard that might grow them. Townhouse living... Boo.
    I'm Pinning this sucker!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi More Like June,

      Oh I know how you feel, we also used to live in a town-house complex in S.A. and had such well-trained gardeners there were never any "Weeds" around. I think in my entire 5 years back home I saw 2 dandelions!
      I am terrible like that. My mom-in-law loves to have her gardens looking wonderfully neat and tidy and "weed-free". So as she pulls the "Weeds" out, I save them and plant them in my beds. My garden is usually and eye sore as my plants grow meters high! :D

      Thanks for visiting.

      x

      Delete
  2. Oohh what a great idea. My daughter is always picking me dandelions on our walks, I'll have to try the honey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mummyzilla,

      It is really yummy, hope you get to enjoy some.

      Thanks for the visit
      x

      Delete
  3. Hey, this is great, I will be trying, Love your world

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Starah,

      Glad you like it.
      Thanks for visiting.

      x

      Delete
  4. We love our dandelions here. Can't wait for them to come into bloom. I just might try your Dandelion Honey recipe. Sounds yummy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi W-S Wanderings,

      Hope you do, it is really good.

      Thanks for visiting.

      x

      Delete

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I used to be a homeschool mom, and now that my children go to school, am a mom who has found a creative side and am exploring that with great delight!

I am interested in alternative therapies, studied as a vibrational therapist and incorporate my beliefs into my everyday life.

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