Although a weed technically, in the natural health circles it is more commonly referred to as “dandelion greens”. Everyone from the Celts to Romans understood the value of this plan and consumed it as food. Dandelions were a standard plant cultivated in monasteries for its medicinal value, and even Arab doctors recommended it for various ailments. Today it is commonly used throughout Europe as a diuretic and for a number of other ailments. Typically all of the leaves emerging from below the flower can be juiced or eaten in other ways.
Hardy Dandelion Greens Juice
- 1 large handful dandelion leaves
- 1 celery stick
- ½ lemon
- 2 apples
Wash all ingredients and chop into pieces small enough to fit your juicer. Juice all the ingredients starting with dandelion leaves and serve over ice.
The common dandelion plant contains more nutrients than most vegetables available in the grocery store. Two cups have only 45 calories but provide 203% of the daily requirement of vitamin A, 58% vitamin C, 17% iron and 20% calcium. Additionally it is an outstanding source of vitamins K, E, B6, thiamin, manganese, potassium and riboflavin. It is also a good source of folate, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. The phytochemical taraxacin in dandelion is understood to be the source of dandelion’s tonic like effects on digestion. Its abundant supply of antioxidants and other micronutrients provide it with expectorant, antiseptic, and germicidal effects.
Health Benefits of Dandelion Greens
Dandelions are loaded with usable calcium which is essential for bone strength and growth. The antioxidants like vitamin C and Luteolin offer protection against age-related bone damage such as decreased bone density. These same nutrients keep the liver functioning at optimal levels while other compounds found in dandelions protect it against hemorrhaging. Dandelions regulate the flow of bile and incite the liver to enhance digestion.
Diabetes is a major health issue in the world today. Dandelion juice stimulates the production of insulin and helps in maintaining blood sugar levels in the normal range. Being diuretic in nature, dandelions also help to remove toxic substances from the body by increasing urination. The disinfectant characteristics of the plant help to eliminate microbial development in the urinary system. Sap from dandelion is beneficial in treating skin diseases resulting from fungal and microbial infections.