How Can This Ayurvedic Food Make You Feel Great?
Dandelion arrives on the spring scene just when the herb is needed most. Many herbs have this amazing quality - proliferating just when their healthful properties can really make a difference. The inspiring yellow flowers of dandelion celebrate spring's full swing, and the promise of good health in this new cycle.
Maybe dandelion's charm does not strike you - are you pulling them from your garden, or cursing their appearance on your lawn? Then you are missing out on a prized medicinal herb that holds helpfulness in its leaves, roots, and blossoms. The plant is a perfect spring tonic that cleanses the liver and cools the hot nature of Pitta, which is beginning to ascend in springtime.
Dandelion is a cholagogue, clearing the liver and gall bladder while removing cholesterol from the blood. The delightful dandelion holds your hand in the transition from winter to spring to summer, helping to eliminate the heaviness of winter's indulgences, making you light for spring, and also keeping the coming heat of summer from accumulating. The so-called weed also helps to process the environmental toxins that burden our modern civilizations.
This herbal ally's attributes don't stop there. Dandelion root regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics. Its high potassium content makes it a strong diuretic, relieving high blood pressure and the water retention that causes spring sluggishness. Feeling puffed up in the April warmth? Try dandelion leaf tea, or dandelion leaves in your spring salad.
Dandelion is definitely drying; it makes the mouth dry and tingle. It dries the eyes and makes the frontal lobe alert. It aids in digesting a fatty meal. Dandelion is a mild laxative, but should be combined with ginger or cardamom to counteract its cold quality. Be careful and don't be too zealous with this potent food medicine; for instance, too many raw dandelion leaves makes the stomach cold, curbing the appetite.
Footnote: The information for this article was in part gathered from a 2022 study and survey of 18 students of Ayurveda who experimented with dandelion. During the study, students ate dandelion for 3 days and journaled the pharmacological effects. This study was sponsored by the Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda, and specifically the Mastering Ayurvedic Digestion & Nutrition certification course.
ABOUT DANDELION LEAVES
Dandelions originally come from Eurasia, the country of Georgia, where they have been enjoyed by humans for at least 3,000 years. Many homeowners are challenged to treasure the furry yellow flowers, to give up weed killers for a season, and to enjoy the wild plants that are nature's plan for green spaces. The nutritional power of dandelions remind people that growing food instead of lawns brings us back to a personal intimacy with the environment and health. The medicine you need is growing right under your feet, the dandelion's sunny petals remind us. Listen to John's You Tube video on dandelions
BUYING & PREPARATION
Grocery store dandelions are great, and dandelion leaves from the farmer's market will work just fine, but go ahead, and stalk the wild dandelions growing in your back yard. They pack a more vital punch. Wild food has to contend with elements, and compete with other plants, while farmed food is coddled, often fed fertilizers, and may be treated with pesticides. Frank Cook (the late herbalist from Asheville, N.C.) would say that the difference between grocery store food and wild food is the difference between a dog and a wolf. Find out how you can go wild!
Eating wild foods brings you closer to the land. When you eat a dandelion, you are communing with the natural world, taking in the strength of thriving plants. You become a part of the land. Eating wild medicinal foods has a potent effect. If you ate 20 dandelion flowers for three days, a part of your brain would be vitalized; perhaps your life would change forever. Who would have thought that these wild and under appreciated plants like dandelion have the vitality to keep us strong and healthy?
COOKING DANDELION LEAVESBrowse Recipes
Every part of the plant is edible, the flower, the leaves, the seeds, and the roots. However, it's important to separate seeds from the white fluff, also called papas, which can get stuck in your throat.
Once you eat a dandelion, there's no going back. Soon you'll be munching on many of natures delights, including lamb's quarters, nettles, purslane, and chickweed. Make your favorite dressing, bring a big salad bowl, an instructional manual on how to identify and forage for wild greens, and venture into wild land. Your enjoyment will connect you with your ancestors, who may have spent whole winters without fresh greens. Imagine the ecstasy, biting into those fresh leaves that trumpet the arrival of spring!
WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with at any given time. Ayurveda shows you your specific body type’s needs and what should be favored in your Ayurvedic menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you experience optimal health.
Are Dandelion Leaves Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
SERVING SIZE: 1/4 lbs
SPECIES: Taraxacum officinal
AYURVEDIC MEDICINAL BIOCHARACTERISTICSWhat is the biocharacteristic theory of medicine?
Experiences are PersonalExperiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. The list of herbal-actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Here are the herbal actions of Dandelion Leaves:
STIMULATES-PERISTALSISAn herb that promotes involuntary smooth muscle contractions to facilitate the movement of food and waste through the digestive tract.
APPETITE-SUPPRESSANTSuppresses hunger without causing weight gain
DIGESTIVEHerbs that encourage healthy digestion.
STIMULANT-LAXATIVEStimulant laxatives induce bowel movements by stimulating peristaltic movement (the contraction of smooth muscle in the intestines). They are effective when used on a short-term basis. On a long-term basis, they can create dependency.
BREAKS-UPThe Sanskrit word for breaking up congealed matter / clogs in the body. Often used for constipation. Be careful with herbs that have Bhedana action.
GENERAL-LAXATIVEPromotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
DETOXICANTAn herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
STIMULATES-ENERGYThis category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
BLOOD-THINNERHerbs that thin the blood. Helpful for people with heart disease or clogged circulation.
IRRITATES-KIDNEYTight, sharp pain just below ribs in the back.
DIURETICHerbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.
LITHAGOGUEAn herb used to expel stones such as kidney stones or gall stones.
HEPATOPROTECTIVEAn herb that is capable of preventing liver damage.
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
LIVOTONICAn herb that strengthens the liver. It is helpful for people with a history of substance abuse, chronic liver issues from hepatitis and hemolytic anemias. Generally, liver tonics are oily, cool, sweet, mildly sour, or has beta-carotene.
ANTIOXIDANTAn antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals that lead to a chain reaction causing damage or death to cells. Antioxidants terminate these oxidation reactions.
Joyful Belly is a recognized school of biocharacteristics medicine.
HEALTH & WELLNESS PRACTITIONERS!
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HOW DOES EATING AYURVEDICALLY MAKE YOU FEEL?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.
View Other Ingredients for SpringDandelion Leaves is recommended for Spring. Check out these other Spring foods here.
Comments & Impressions of 'Dandelion Leaves'Do you like 'dandelion leaves'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'dandelion leaves'?
(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 rating, 287 likesSign in to review this food
I would exercise caution eating things from your lawn. Our neighbors use ChemLawn and I am sure that the chemical lawn "cocktail" ends up on our law too (runoff).
Sad but true modern reality that your lawn may not be safe for your children, your bare feet, or to grow a simple garden. There are also many permaculture remedies for this if you want.
TRADITIONALLY INDICATED FOR THESE SYMPTOMSDandelion Leaves may be beneficial for these symptoms. The suitability of any food for a condition is highly dependent on the individual. Please see your doctor before using this food to treat a medical condition.
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.