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Dandelion Root

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The flowers of dandelions aren't much different in appearance from chrysanthemums - and in Japan they're considered just as beautiful! But in North America we soak our lawns in carcinogenic pesticides to destroy them.

The flowers of dandelions aren’t much different in appearance from chrysanthemums - and in Japan they’re considered just as beautiful! But in North America we soak our lawns in carcinogenic pesticides to destroy them.

The fact is that the humble dandelion is “hepato-protective” - capable of protecting our livers from many toxic chemical pollutants.

Dandelion for Gentle Cleansing

People have used dandelion safely as medicine since ancient Roman times. Traditionally, the root was a spring tonic. It works directly on the liver to clean up toxins accumulated there over the winter.

This is the remedy to improve your energy because it “stimulates respiratory function at the cellular level.” It’s a natural vitamin supplement, too. The root contains choline, vitamins A, B, C, iron, silica, magnesium, and calcium, all welcome energy providers after the long winter.

Gall bladder problems, jaundice, and hepatitis respond well to it, and the root can be taken as a tea, a tincture, in capsules, or chewed raw. It’s also a standard treatment for skin problems such as boils, eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It corrects hormone imbalances (i.e., PMS) and even lowers cholesterol.

Dandelion root works by decongesting and restoring the liver. It does this by stimulating the flow of bile - nature’s own self-healing technique.

Recent scientific investigation shows that dandelion root improves the body’s ability to eliminate cancer cells. Studies show possible anti-tumour activity and antioxidant action.

All this makes dandelion root a good herb to start your spring cleansing treatment with. It’s safe for almost anyone and inexpensively obtained. Find plants that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. The roots are most powerful when dug early in the spring before the new season growth begins, or in autumn after growth has died down. They can also be washed and chewed raw or chopped and added to salad - use the delicious greens, too! A piece of root, two to three inches long, is sufficient to make tea or a tincture for a day’s use.

You can make the tea by simmering a heaping teaspoon (two to eight grams) of dried root in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. A cup of this decoction is taken three times daily. The dose for the tincture is two to eight millilitres (1:5, 25-percent alcohol) three times daily before meals. A course of treatment can last one or two months.

Preventive Medicine

According to Drs Christian Duraffourd and Jean-Claude Lapraz of The Phyto-Aromatherapy Institute, there’s a good chance your arthritis will improve as well when you use dandelion root. Animal studies have indicated an anti-inflammatory action.

Probably no other single herb is as safe or as helpful for people living in a polluted environment. Its hepato-protective action puts dandelion in the category of preventive medicine, because many diseases can be avoided if the liver is in good health. Perhaps now you can see the beauty in those little yellow flowers on your lawn. Shouldn’t you be harvesting them?

Contraindications: Dandelion is best left alone, however, if you have gastritis, diabetes, (since it lowers blood sugar levels) or if you are allergic to Compositae (daisy) family plants.

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