Dandelions galore - delicious AND nutritious!
Dandelions galore – delicious AND nutritious!

Dandelion Blossom Syrup is a tried-and-true, best-selling recipe that I’ve borrowed from my favorite herbalist Susun Weed. In her book, Healing Wise, she mentions the specific ability of dandelion blossoms to freshen tired skin and lift the spirits. When it comes to the time-honored delicacy of dandelion blossom syrup, however, she urges us to “feel the wise woman ways” of using this medicine and food.

No question: my Dandy Syrup is delicious. I take one quart of freshly picked, fully blooming dandelion blossoms and simmer them in one quart of mountain spring water for one hour. Then I let them steep overnight. The next day, I add one pound of organic raw sugar and half of an organic lemon (cut into long slices) and boil it down to the sticky, syrupy consistency that you’d expect from raw honey. YUM!

But the most frequently asked question is: what are dandelion blossoms good for? I can share with you from my own experience that dandelion blossoms will lift the spirits and ease cramping. I use it in my tea, on my toast and yogurt, and by the spoonful for premenstrual symptoms including fatigue, depression, and cramping. It gives me an even keel, it helps me look forward to a centered and joyful day.

If only the dandelions would bloom all year long...
If only the dandelions would bloom all year long…

What else do we know about dandelion blossoms? In pursuit of weed wisdom, I stumbled upon this most excellent study from the University of Maryland Medical Center:

While many people think of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a pesky weed, it’s chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines.

Source: Dandelion | University of Maryland Medical Centerhttp://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion#ixzz3fVR0mBky
University of Maryland Medical Center
Follow us: @UMMC on Twitter | MedCenter on Facebook

The article also cites definitive antioxidant properties to the flower itself. Strangely enough, most scientific data on the nutritional and medicinal benefits of dandelions do not isolate the root from the stem, leaves or blossoms. So why use just the blossoms?

One of my clients recently clued me into a hidden (and as yet unproven) benefit of incorporating dandelion blossom syrup into your diet: it may act as a subtle anti-histamine helping those with seasonal allergies. Perhaps the alchemically transmuted dandelion pollen from the blossoms will catalyze a subtle immune response slowly acclimating the body to pollen exposure without the immune overreaction we experience as allergies. While this is the proven theory behind allergy therapy, no conclusive link has yet been found with my Dandy Syrup.

The University of Maryland‘s dandelion study did cite measurable benefits to the immune system from consuming dandelions (again, no specification on which part of the plant or how it is taken). The only contra-indication for dandelion use would be latex allergies, since the entire plant (especially the milky white substance inside the stem) contains latex.

Conclusion? Dandelion Blossom syrup is proven to strengthen the immune system, is rich in antioxidants and definitely helps us feel brighter and lighter. The lemon peels add a dash of bioflavinoids and I’ve started throwing in some roots and leaves for good measure. Try some Dandy Syrup at home or e-mail theholistichomestead@gmail.com to order some today (this is a seasonal product with limited supply during the summer months)!

 

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