Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dandelions, Friend or Foe?

Some see dandelion as a pesky weed, children see the puffy seed heads as a playful delight, the hungry see it as food, herbalists see it as a humble, yet noble medicine. The leaves are tasty when young. I absolutely love them sautéed in olive oil with garlic, salt and a pinch of lemon (essentially the same way I cook spinach.) Dandelion leaves act as a gentle but highly reliable diuretic. Dandelion root enhances digestion by gently promoting the secretion of stomach acid, the release of bile from the gallbladder and enzymes from the pancreas. When used on a regular basis, it improves the digestion of proteins, fats, and starches. And because bile is a natural laxative, dandelion root helps normalize sluggish bowels. The roots are rich in inulin, a prebiotic that feeds and encourages the growth of healthy gut microflora. Science has confirmed that dandelion root has a protective effect upon the liver. And then those puffy seed heads.....
- Tieraona Low Dog, MD