Spring has arrived. The season of new life in the plant and animal kingdom. In the human kingdom, spring symbolizes growth, renewal and possibly a new handbag. And with pie season officially over, it’s the perfect time to detox. Now, without getting all master-cleansy or juice-fasty on you, here’s a simple way you can benefit from a wonderful seasonal detoxifier — dandelion.
The word dandelion comes from the French for “lion’s tooth”, a reference to its coarsely shaped leaves. In modern day French, the plant is called “pissenlit” which means “urinate in bed” because of it’s diuretic properties. But more on that later…
Dandelion root is an incredibly versatile plant that’s found and eaten all over the world. The leaves and crown of dandelion leaves can be eaten raw in salads or as cooked greens and the flowers can used to make wine. Dandelion root has untold medicinal uses: it’s a blood and kidney cleanser; a liver detoxifier; it can treat pneumonia and other respiratory illness; and it’s “also useful for clearing obstructions of the spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, and kidneys. It is of tremendous benefit to the stomach and intestines, balancing the enzymes that simultaneously benefit digestion, assimilation, and elimination”.
Oh, and beauty wise, it can also avert or help eliminate age spots.
One of the best ways to ingest dandelion root is as a tea. Although widely available as tea bags from most health food brands, committed spring-cleaners can opt to make their own. This recipe, courtesy of care2, shows you how:
DANDELION HERBAL TEA
4 cups pure water
6 tablespoons. dried dandelion root (1 year old minimum)
6 tablespoons dried dandelion leaf (double amount if fresh)
Simmer the dandelion root in the water, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then strain the liquid over the dandelion leaf. Cover tightly and steep for another 20 minutes; strain the tea again.
Just a tip: avoid drinking too close to bedtime. You don’t want to experience “pissenlit”.