Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Herbal Ally Challenge 3 ~ Research ~ Eat or Drink your Vitamins

* Dandelion ~ Taraxacum officinale *
Family ~N.O. Compositae
Native To ~ Asia & Europe
The best time for gathering dandelion leaves is early spring before the plants bloom and late fall after the first frost when the leaves are less bitter. The leaves of the dandelion plant contain several vitamins and minerals to promote well-being. Dandelion leaves contain 7000 units of vitamin A per ounce. If you compare that to lettuce which only has 1200 units and carrots which contain 1275 units of vitamin A , dandelion is definitely more nutritious. Dandelion also has more beta-carotene than carrots. The leaves also contain iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, as well as vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, D, E, and P.
Since dandelion contains vitamin E, dandelion tea/infusion is great for skin ailments. Vitamin E helps encourage the growth of body issue and protects cells from damage, so it promotes healing and reduces scarring. You can use the dandelion tea/infusion externally to wash acne on your face or for washing cuts/scrapes to help with scarring.

If you prefer just a simple cup of tea , gather 7 dandelion leaves. Tear the leaves into small pieces , add to a jar. Boil 1 cup of water , pour over the leaves and let it seep for 5-10 minutes , strain into your favorite cup. You may want to add a little honey to sweeten before drinking your vitamins.

~ Dandelion Blessings ~

Monday, January 24, 2011

Herbal Ally Challenge 2 ~ Dandelion Infusion

I spoke to soon about not being sick since I had been taking the Dandelion tincture. But in all fairness to Dandelion , I stop taking the Dandelion tincture sometime before Christmas and had planned to start it again afterwards. But I waited to late , I awoke last Wed. with the sniffles and a cough. I don't know if it was a cold , sinus problem or something viral , but it didn't last but a couple of days.
I did try to do part 2 of the " Herbal Ally " challenge. I made a Dandelion infusion , but I only drank a cup. What can I say , it was bitter , bitter and more bitter. Of course my taste buds were off , due to being sick but I just couldn't drink anymore. I'll probably try this part of the challenge again when I'm feeling better.

~ Dandelion Blessings ~

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 Herbal Ally Challenge / Dandelion

Kristine over at ( Dancing in a Field of Tansy ) has challenged her readers to join her in an herbal study of 1 plant or ally this year. If you're interested , you can read about it here ( ). Our first challenge was to create a journal cover. I used a regular composition book , gessoed the cover , did my favorite toilet paper technique on the background to add texture. I then added a piece of corrugated cardboard , a square of burlap and a Dandelion atc I created a few years ago. I'm not finished with the cover , but thought I would show it anyway. I chose Dandelion as my herbal ally ..................
Dandelion is a well known herb , with many useful benefits. My first experience with Dandelion started in 2006 when my youngest daughter was pregnant , she was diagnosed with a rare liver disease ( Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy ) that only surfaces when you're pregnant. The liver stops functioning properly , causing bile to build up and poison the body. It causes intense itching over the body from head to toe and can cause the baby to be stillborn. I started researching the itching and knew what we were dealing with before the test came back to confirm it. As I researched , Dandelion kept popping up in the information as a way to help get the bile acids back to normal levels. We talked to her CNP about what I had found on the internet about Dandelion , she had studied herbal medicine before coming a CNP and told us , she couldn't recommend Dandelion , but it was a safe herb to use during pregnancy and it wouldn't hurt a thing if we decided to use it. Since I didn't know much about wild herbs , I headed to the GNC store to buy Dandelion. The ICP started around the end of the 8th month , I think she took the Dandelion about a week before she started leaking fluid and they had to induce labor , which was a Blessing. They usually induce labor early to avoid the baby being stillborn. I'm not sure if the dandelion had time to reduce the bile acids , but it did make us feel better to be doing something. My grandson was born about a month early and he was healthy. My daughter's liver went back to functioning normally after he was born.
The latest walk I've had with dandelion came about a 1 1/2 ago , I was having digestive problems and began researching herbal ways to deal with it. Once again Dandelion reared it's beautiful head. I dug the roots that Fall and made a tincture , started taking the tincture daily. Dandelion helped with my digestive problems and apparently boosted my immune system. I've haven't had a cold , flu or been sick since I started using the dandelion tincture. It's been amazing , since I take care of my Grands while their parents work and I'm constantly wiping noses and dealing with sick kids. Last summer I cooked Dandelion blossoms for the first time , they were delicious. I can't wait for the Dandelion to bloom this Spring. I'm looking forward to cooking and learning more about Dandelion.

~ Dandelion Blessings ~