Dandelion Taraxacum officinale
Dancing, Dancing Dandelion
Spin around in the green, green, grass
Twirl my girl for it’s spring time
Cause I hope your true love you shall find!
We have all been there! The pure joy of a child in spring time dancing and spinning in the new green, grass til they are dizzy with giggles and laughs, fall to the ground and what is found, but a yellow head dandelion staring back. Pure bliss! It is spring! The green things awaken from forest and field. I pray for abundance and good yield. True Medicine awaits us, like God talking back. Put your poison away! Wait until tomorrow to mow. As for now we have a lot of fun plants we should know!
Let yourself wonder to the closest Dandelion. Is this just a weed or Medicine to heal man kind? True the leaf that looks like lion teeth is bitter. The bitter taste that aids digestion and creates more enzyme in the saliva and helps break down food and vital nutrients in every chomping bite. The soft flower is a soother with anti-bacterial properties. Picking fresh blossoms and infusing them into oil makes a wonderful soother for eczema, bug bites, sun burn, and poison ivy. The white sap is a first aid remedy on hand in the field. The old timers would use the white sap to rid a wort away. Infusing the whole, fresh plant into vinegar for up to three weeks is another common Ozark method of saving the green energy for another day. The infused vinegar is full of Vitamin C, Calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and beta-carotene. The vinegar can then be used in dressings and for a wonderful hair rinse. The leaf is a first choice diuretic for most herbal practitioners. A gentle herb that gets the job done. This leaf is dried and save for making tea to repair and support the kidneys and whole urinary tract system. The old folks once knew to drink 2 cups of dandelion tea to ease swollen legs and ankles. At least it makes a pretty show in a fresh and wild green salad. The bitterness is taken away with a home made dressing of olive oil, vinegar,with a squirt of maple syrup.
The Dandelion Root is dug and toasted and ground with chicory root and coffee bean for a wonderful flavor addition. This mix not only taste great, it lowers the acidity in the coffee drink. The strong, powerful root has an amazing tap root that makes it’s way around the rocks and clay of The Missouri soil. All the while pulling vital nutrients from deep with in, making it available for our human animal body. The liver sings when dandelion root is introduced into the diet. For serious liver issues like hepatitis, the dandelion roots has been used. Mild teenage acne can usually be kept at bay with dandelion root and red clover blossoms blended into a tea. I have been eating raw dandelion root this spring for a mini detox. The bitterness seems to grow on me. I can never dry enough roots to last thru the winter. Dandelion roots is often partnered with other spring cleansing root allies like burdock, sassafras and ginger. Sounds like an old fashion root beer is a brewing! By creating more bile in the gallbladder, this plant can be used as a mild laxative and aids in fat, cholesterol metabolism. I am continually in aw over the little weed that can with stand environmental shifts and changes. If you are what you eat, I want to be the DANDELION. I have been gathering seed from the up right,long leaf plants and replanting them near my home. I hope to always have an abundance of this perennial food and medicine source in the garden and beyond. In my old age, I hope to sip the dandelion wine in my dandelion garden and still giggle and laugh like a child. Will you join me?
Stop by Turtle Earth, in Steelville, Mo. for tea time and story tellin. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 11-4pm.
Ozark Old Time Root beer
Makes 1 gallon
1oz of Dandelion root washed and rinsed
1 large burdock root washed
a hand full of sweet sassafras root
1 Tbsp of fresh ginger root Zingiber officinale – from the store
1-2 cups of sweetener
Get a stock pot and add a gallon of Ozark finest water
add chopped roots, close lid, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Play some music and sing a song while the roots are dancing in the water! Add sweetener of choice. Local honey or maple syrup are the best! I add a cup per gallon. Stir and let cool in the creek. Strain out roots and pour into a clean gallon jar or 4 quart mason jars. When the temperature is luke warm add a yeast. Any yeast will work but I like the red star champagne yeast. This is the time to say your prayers. Place a tight lid on the jar/s and wait 3 days. If the temperature is warm, you should get a good fiz in 3 days with a very low alcohol content. Keep refregerated after 3-4 days or it may explode.
Enjoy this cold root brew with friends and family while telling stories around the fire.
Remember: none of this is approved by the FDA. So, have a nice Day!