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Spring is here! That means that fresh greens are too. One of my favorite spring greens are dandelion greens. Yep, same dandelion as the lovely little yellow flower that grows in your yard! Dandelion is a powerhouse of nutrition. Dandelions were traditionally eaten as a spring tonic, and are perfect for cleansing! I love to include them in green smoothies. Like all bitter greens, they encourage secretion of digestive enzymes. They are also very supportive to the liver and kidneys, and help cleanse the system of toxins. On top of all that, dandelion greens are chock-full of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium!
In addition to the greens, the flowers and the roots can also be used culinarily and medicinally. Dandelion root tea - also known as chicory - is a wonderfully robust, dark, strong-bodied beverage that makes a satisfying coffee replacement. It is also very liver-cleansing, and is delicious. Dandelion root is also used to make one of my favorite beverages, Dandy Blend. Dandelion root extracts are mixed with water soluble extracts of barley and rye (it is gluten free how they brew it, read about it here) and it makes the most awesome coffee-like beverage EVER. I got my mom and a bunch of my friends hooked on this stuff. Dandelion flowers can be added to teas or water kefir to make cleansing beverages or tinctures. Or, of course, the infamous dandelion wine. :)