Herb Spotlight: Dandelion!
For Easter long weekend this year, I left Victoria to visit with family, and when I returned I noticed bright yellow had sprung all around the city! It's as if they were telling us it's officially Spring.
The Dandelions! The common weed that many gardeners dread appearing in their yard, is actually a wonderful medicinal plant that I have grown to know and love.
Not only is the leaf beneficial as a diuretic, but Dandelion leaf is packed full of potassium, arguably one of the best natural sources of potassium there is! This is an important piece of information, as prescription diuretics often deplete those vital minerals in the body by frequent urination - Dandelion leaf is designed to balance the diuretic effect it has by being incredibly mineral rich. It's as if it has its own backup system for potential side effects.
The root has an affinity for the liver and gallbladder and promotes healthy bowel movements utilizing its cholagogue action. This works by encouraging the gallbladder to contract, thus stimulating bile flow and promoting peristalsis - all while nurturing a strong and healthy liver. What's fascinating to note is the colour of the flower - bright yellow, resembling urine, and bile, which this plant is famous for.
I love that Dandelion is such a common spring herb among Victoria. It's lovely spring tonic, and gentle cleansing qualities make it a perfect choice for this time of year. I love this little plant!
A few things to note if you choose to harvest Dandelion; make sure to collect off the beaten track, away from roads, industrial areas, and heavy foot traffic, as pollutants may absorb into the plant and outweigh the many benefits.
How good is Spring!?