“Eat wild foods when you can.” – Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food
Spring is Kapha time – April showers and May flowers bring damp, heavy, mucus-pervading congestion and dullness. Among Ayurveda’s timeless remedies for this Kapha condition is exercise and eating bitter tasting foods. A great way to implement both remedies is to forage dandelions and make homemade foods containing this fresh and delicious bitter green.
According to Anita Sanchez, author of The Teeth of the Lion – The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion, “[Dandelions] were well known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years. Dandelions probably arrived in North America on the Mayflower – not as stowaways, but brought on purpose for their medicinal benefits (Anita Sanchez, Ten Things You Might Not Know About Dandelions).” Among the many medicinal benefits of dandelions are…
- Being rich in calcium, iron, and other minerals such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
- Being loaded with antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, E, and K.
- Containing more protein than spinach and including all essential amino acids making it a complete protein.
- Acting as a terrific detoxifying and cleansing green that is incredibly healthy for the liver and gall bladder.
- Reducing the risk of cancer, multiple sclerosis, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and stroke.
- Providing relief from diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, anemia, and inflammatory diseases such as asthma and arthritis.
The Recipe – Dandelion Greens Salad
- Yields 2 Servings
- 1 Bunch: Dandelion Greens
- 2 Tablespoons: Parsley, Finely Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon: Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon: Cold-Pressed Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon (or to taste): Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
- Pick dandelions from a non-chemically treated lawn.
- Wash greens thoroughly to ensure all dirt is removed.
- Cut flowers and stems from the dandelions. Chop dandelion greens roughly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk dressing (lemon juice, olive oil, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and black pepper)
- Add parsley to dandelion greens. Pour dressing over greens, toss, and serve.
Do you have any wonderful recipes containing dandelion to share? Any questions or concerns with picking or preparing this tasty green? Please let us know in the comment section below! We hope our dandelion discussion inspires you to create your own masterpiece with that pesky plant – who would have thought weeding could be so delicious?