Would you like to know more about the versatile ways to use dandelions in your backyard? Welcome to my kitchen as I get creative in a video creating a meal out of dandelion that is chock full of nutrients, liver and blood purifying, fun, and delicious! Who ever said "weeds" can't be beautiful??

The dandelion has so much to offer us! It's rich in nutrients and has more nutrition than most cultivated greens, like kale or spinach. The leaves offer us diuretic properties and aid the liver and kidneys. The root is a hepatic and liver and blood cleanser and has been used for centuries as a highly regarded medicinal herb. The whole plant helps to prevent toxic stagnation in our bodies and keeps body fluids flowing properly. The flowers have many of the medicinal benefits of the root and leaves and also offers us a high amount of antioxidants and polyphenols. Consuming foods rich in polyphenols, such as dandelion, can be used as an important aid in the prevention of degenerative diseases, particularly cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases and cancer. Remember too from my last post, "Spring Wild Edibles" that dandelion also has potent anti-viral properties...which we can use more of right now. To see the studies view that specific blog article.

Dandelion is a bitter herb. Herbs that have bitter properties help to stimulate digestion. They also help to stimulate the liver and pancreas to assist with the digestive process. Bitter herbs have a sharp, aromatic, pungent taste and smell. When a bitter herb touches the tongue, our digestive system is stimulated to start secreting digestive juices. Bitter herbs also act as a prokinetic and stimulate the smooth muscle of the stomach to increase the rate of stomach emptying, which also helps to prevent vomiting and excess belching. These types of herbs assist the migrating motor complex in the gastointestinal system to serve as a "housekeeping" role and sweep residual undigested material through the digestive tube, making bitter herbs a very helpful aid in those dealing with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Bitter herbs also help to promote health bowel activity and regularity, preventing constipation.

Eating a wide array of wild foods and/or wide array of fruits and vegetables helps to inoculate our digestive system with billions of friendly flora, which supports our immune system and aids in our overall health. Eating a wide array of these foods gives us a plethora of different healthy flora (prebiotics and probiotics) and creates a stronger and more diverse microbiome.

Incorporating dandelion and other edible wild foods and herbs in our diet can help us achieve a microbiome that has a wide population of diverse friendly bacteria.

Please remember the following important information before gathering wild food or foraging guidelines:

Always make sure you are gathering from an area that has not been sprayed or treated with pesticides...including your yard! If you are gathering from other places besides your yard, remember that plants can absorb and accumulate toxins, including heavy metals, which means that contaminated plants can have higher levels of toxins than the surrounding soil. Always harvest at least 30 feet from the road (and only harvest near smaller, less-traveled byways).

Please make sure you are not harvesting in an area with environmental toxicity or herbicides and pesticides. Some fields, including hay fields that appear to be untended can be sprayed with herbicides. Avoid the foundations of buildings, because these are often sprayed with pesticides and may be contaminated with lead paint scrapings (near older homes). Railroads and power lines are typically sprayed heavily with herbicides. If a river is polluted, then the floodplain and the plants growing in it are likely to be polluted as well.

To get the recipes in this video, click on link below for "A Dandy "Dandelion" Meal