Herbs'n' Other Alternative Health Remedies

Herbs'n' Other Alternative Health Remedies
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nutrition that is free! Yes free!

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As children we were taught to be thrifty.

While raising my children it became quickly  apparent to me that often times they would take it for granted that there would always be food and clothing for them and usually thought that costly was better. It is not until we start paying our own way that we truly appreciate the actual cost of items or a true bargain when we can get one. Even when our parents gently then more forcefully remind us of the cost of items it still does not truly make an impact until we are stretching our own pay check to pay for the many living expenses we incur.

It is a food source that is abundant and free!

While researching one of the wonderful foods that I grew up eating, one that grew abundantly and was free for the picking I learned so much. One of the most nutritious foods we can eat is also one that is free. As winter gives way to spring yards will soon fill with an array of their sunny yellow heads. Mail boxes and door steps will be full of adverts for those who boast their talents of ridding lawns of weeds. Before you enlist the aid of these enterprising individuals please take a moment to read the wonders of dandelion greens. I did and found some interesting facts I will gladly share:

Dandelions detoxify our systems.

In Dont' Kill that Dandelion Darlene McFarlane advises on herbal uses highlighting tips of detoxifying your system. We ate the greens but I never knew that any of the flower or stem was useful so I was amazed as she shared with the reader use of dandelion stems to aid in purifying our system of toxins. Sarah1215 gives us some interesting background information and more herbal benefits of dandelions, plus a how-to in creating your own dandelion crown in her article called How to Make a Dandelion Crown.

Dandelions have a long history of use.

Sandra Stiles Furstal gives us a glimpse of the roots of the dandelion (pun intended) dating back to medieval France. The dandelion was one of the more than 2000 herbs that were used when the settlers came from England. The roots have been used in tonics and liver cures, as well as to stop infections, skin diseases, dropsy, and to settle the digestive tract in Dandelion Facts and History. I grew up eating dandelions, as I said earlier. Once the leaf became broad enough, we harvested them. In Dandelions are not just a Weed J Martin gives tips on cooking and using dandelions providing you with a guide in step by step preparation and cooking.

They have a high nutritional content.

You don’t have to sell me on eating dandelion greens. I grew up eating them, plus their free, but I decided to check out the nutritional content in 1 cup of cooked dandelion.
  • · Just 59 calories
  • · Calcium 252 mg. (compared to 93 in spinach)
  • · Iron 3.24 mg. (compared to 2.20 in spinach)
  • · Phosphorous 75.6 mg. (compared to 38 in spinach)
  • · Potassium 418 mg. (compared to 324 in spinach)
  • · Vitamin A 21,060 IU (compared to 8,100 in spinach)
  • · Vitamin C 32.40 mg. (compared to 28. in spinach)
This is not to down play the role that spinach plays in eating nutritiously but to point out that there is much to gain by adding dandelion greens to our diets.

Dandelions are beneficial to our health in many ways. 

According to the Reader’s Digest Family Guide to Natural Medicine the dandelion was first introduced to the New World by the Europeans and quickly put to use by Native Americans for a multitude of remedies from health tonics, chest pain and knitting broken bones. They would often follow the animals to see which herbs they sought for remedies and learn from them. One of their favorite animals to watch was the bear.

Common uses of the dandelion are wine, coffee, salad, and greens. It has been long approved as an over the counter medicine to treat liver, gall bladder and kidney problems, as a mild laxative, appetite stimulant, and a diuretic and also to improve potassium levels and thereby improve health and lower blood pressure. I hope that I have whetted your appetite for more information on dandelions and that you soon will be enjoying the free rewards of nature’s bounty.

Thanks so much for visiting me today. This post linked to mellow yellow Monday and I hope you have a wonderfully "mellow" one! Take care and God bless! 
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5 comments:

sweetmemoirs March 21, 2011 at 3:26 AM  

what an awesome and informative post you have here, Judy! thanks for droppin' by sweetmemoirs! your such a sweet blessing! happy MYM! :)

JDaniel4's Mom March 22, 2011 at 7:34 AM  

I don't think I have ever tried one! They sound like they can do so many great things!

~✿~Icy BC March 22, 2011 at 3:58 PM  

You've provided such an informative post about dandelion! It's amazing what nature offers us, all for free!

Self Sagacity March 24, 2011 at 12:41 AM  

you're kidding! this is so great! I never knew that it was edible. I will have to try it sometime.

SquirrelQueen March 28, 2011 at 11:13 PM  

I have very vague memories of my grandmother showing me how to make dandelion tea. I make it sometimes just for fun and once in awhile I will add a few leaves to a salad. I knew it was a good plant for us but I didn't realize it had all those vitamins and minerals. Thanks for the info Judy.

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