Herbal Series with Tess: Dandelion

by Tess Wood | Instagram

Taraxacum officianale

Bitterwort, Cankerwort, Clockflower, Irish daisy, Lion’s Tooth, Priest’s Crown, Puffball, Swine’s snout, Tell-time, Fairy Clock.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Properties

Dandelion is more than just an invasive weed; it’s actually a herbalist’s best ally, packed with Vitamin A, B, C and D. It’s easy to find, and all the parts can be used. This incredible herb is a diuretic, which helps in treating things such as stomach, kidney and liver issues. Dandelion is also incredibly high in antioxidants, which I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about enough on here but they are fantastic for ridding the body of free radicals, chalk full of beta-carotene that helps protect cells from any damage. This beautiful abundant herb helps regulate blood sugar levels and even blood pressure. It aids in digestion by relieving constipation. Dried and ground with water added, it creates a paste you can use topically on the skin to heal skin damage and soothe rashes, boils, psoriasis and eczema. Dandelion is an incredible immune booster for the long winter months as well. You honestly cannot go wrong by incorporating dandelion into your life! So the next time you are weeding your garden don’t throw them away.

Magical Uses

Dandelion, much like Calendula, has a sunny disposition, making it a cheerful herb for any sun magic working. They also represent bravery and courage, as the word “dent-de-lion” loosely translates to “tooth of Lion” and can be placed under pillows or in pockets for such uses. Place fresh flowers on your altar or around your home to drive out negative energies. Make a wish, simply blowing out a dried dandelion and focusing your intentions on it as it floats away; this is something we have done since we were children without even realizing. Dandelions have also been used for divination, seeing how many seeds blow away can be used to predict outcomes, like how many children you may have or what grade you will get on a test. When used in a tea, Dandelion also is said to increase your psychic abilities. This little “weed” really is powerful and full of magic.

Folklore

Dandelion has been called many names over the years but the most well known is “Tell-time” and “Fairy Clock” because you can predict when it’s yellow flower head will open as the sun rises. Evolved over 30 million years ago, it’s uses have stood the test of time. Native Americans used it as a food source, while folks in China used it as an immune booster. n Arabic culture, it was known as a liver tonic. The legend of holding a dandelion under your chin and if it appears yellow you’ll be rich someday, has been around since medieval times. Thought to bring luck on your wedding day if added to a bouquet, as well as blowing the seeds from the plant can carry thoughts to loved ones. One specific legend says that the tallest dandelion stalk found can predict how much you will grow in the coming year and the sticky white sap was used to cure warts and corns.

Photo by Tess Wood

Dandelion Coffee Recipe

This easy-to-make a recipe gives you a vitamin-filled, non-caffeinated alternative to everyday coffee. I absolutely love having a cup of this in the mornings before I start my day!

  • Step 1: Roast fresh cut or already dried Dandelion root on a baking tray in the oven on about 180° Celsius. For fresh Dandelion root, roast for approximately 30 minutes. For pre-dried dandelion, roast for about 15 minutes. You want a nice dark brown colour, not burnt. You will also smell a nice nutty fragrance once they are almost done.
  • Step 2: Once completely roasted, add to a pot with about 1.5 cups of water and some spices of your choice ( alternatively you can use a coffee cafetiere, with boiled water). I like to use Cinnamon and Cardamom to add flavour. Let this simmer on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Step 3: Take off the heat and strain, add any sweetener of your choice if desired, because this is bitter. I love to add Honey or Maple syrup to mine! And there you have it, enjoy your beautifully brewed cup of dandelion coffee.
Photo by Tess Wood

Precautions

  • Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Always consult your doctor before starting to use herbal remedies of any kind as they can interact with other medications.

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