The cultural knowledge of herbs is not entirely lost. Tea drinkers seek warmth through sips to find a remedy for the onset of an ailment or to relax. Once upon a time, herbal lore was instinctual, just like the hand wanders into a cupboard to find oregano written on a glass bottle. The basic knowledge of medicinal plants may still be in our genes, urging to take root and blossom. You, too, can appreciate the versatile quality of herbs by first loving plants, the colors or fragrance. Take it one step farther! The gardener in you can make teas, salves, tinctures and poultices to promote good health!
How often in childhood did you pluck the long-stemmed dandelions and make a wreath for your head? Neighborhood children participated, perhaps tossing all the yellow flowers in the center for everyone to weave together. The fond memories of spring’s first flower are quite possibly viewed as a detriment to a perfect lawn. There are good reasons why you should appreciate the wickedly wonderful dandy of a flower. It is, in fact, a powerhouse of an herb! Within the flower heads are vitamins A, C and D, and high amounts of beta carotene, potassium, iron and copper.
Timekeepers and Forecasters
How can a weed have magical abilities? Keep an eye on your yellow beams of sunshine. Before a rain, similar to other pollinated flowers, they close. And, notice their sunny side is only available between 5am and 8pm.
Spring Cleansing the Body
The fiction novel, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, described the process of making dandelion wine by pouring the summer’s best into a bottle. The picking always begins in spring. Rather than wine, you can make a medicinal tea that soothes digestive ailments, boosts energy levels, eliminates water weight and bloating, and aids mineral absorption.
Dandelion-Infused Tea: After washing a handful of flower heads in cold water, place in a heated mug, and fill with boiling water. Cover and allow to steep for 10 minutes before drinking. An alternative, yet less attractive, is a pre-packaged dandelion tea. You’ll be amazed at the results!\
Detoxing Agent for the Skin
Beneficial antioxidants can help to nourish the skin by reducing fine lines. Once made, the toner can remain in the refrigerator and applied with a cotton ball.
Day One to 14: In a Mason jar, combine a half-cup each of distilled water and apple cider vinegar. Add one handful of chopped dandelion heads and two opened teabags of green tea. Seal, shake daily and store in a cool, dark place.
Day 15: After straining the herbs, place the liquid in a clean, sterilized Mason jar. Pour only a robust green tea, without the herbs, in the new container. Add three drops of your favorite essential oil; perhaps, orange, mint or lavender. After shaking, you can begin using daily!
The Beauty in Yellow
Of the lowly flowers, the wild dandelion arrives as a messenger to suggest warmth and longer days are coming. The bright color can relieve stress or worries. A time when you recall holding a spent stem in your hands, closing your eyes and searching for a wish to scatter the seeds on the coming breeze. There are buzzing and flying creatures, who sometimes wiggle their appendages in excitement when spotting the pollen-laden flower; therefore, save some dandelions for the pollinators, especially honeybees!
Welcome the sight of the dandelion throughout spring and summer. Able to regenerate new blooms, the best solution is to go foraging. The outcome is a promise for wholesome good health, whether added to salad, sautéed or infused in a tea. Cheers!
Next Month: Holy Basil