All About Dandelions

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Latin Name: Taraxacum officinale
Family: Asteraceae
Energetics: Cooling, bitter tonic
Taste: Bitter, sweet, minerally

In the early days of spring, Dandelions draw the eye with their tufts of golden petals perched on a single, hollow stem. Prolific is their nature. To one it is either a bane to behold, undermining all previous attempts at lawn care, or a sun-fed medicinal plant to cherish, you may choose your side.

For me, as the warm days roll in I witness the first Dandelion blossom with awe, celebrating its simple beauty, year after year. If you watch children and their first spring encounters with Dandelion, many are just as enthralled as I, if not more so. And why wouldn’t they be! The flowers serve as body paint and lawn snacks all in one, and when the seeds come, a breath filled wishing game on a stalk.

I say follow the children’s lead, let go of the dull idea of a pristine lawn and appreciate the Dandelion for what it is, a weed of wonder.

So ingenious are its seeds they carry their own parachute, floating on the wind in elegance, capable of up to a mile’s travel. This plant, subjected to the most toxic pesticides by some, is actually a medicine the likes of which our society needs in mass. And their food utility, edible from root to flower, was appreciated enough by humans past to carry it to many far-off places.

Long considered a traditional spring tonic, Dandelions were anticipated in the first warm days to provide the nutrient density of fresh vegetables missing from a winter’s diet.

Growing in a basal rosette, these early spring Dandelion greens are most palatable picked before flowering. The leaves as they grow older become tougher and increasingly bitter. The greens are packed full of nutrients, you can try them in a salad or a sauté, as they can be consumed raw or cooked.

The flower can be eaten raw, along with the flower stem, or cooked in any manner you see fit.

Dandelion roots can be chopped and put into stir fries. Filling a necessary bitterness to the diets of today.  The roots also house inulin, an indigestible fiber that feeds our gut microbiome.

Using Ayurveda to Maintain Health Through Seasonal Transitions

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At the core of Ayurveda, the science of life from India, is dinacharya, daily routine for balance, and Rituacharya, routines for seasonal balance. These ancient practices are the ultimate self-care regimes. Think daily home spa treatments, meditation, yoga, and healing food!

Dinacharya and Rituacharya are composed of many self-care techniques performed at relatively the same time each day to encourage balance in the body, mind, emotions and spirit and prevent disease by alleviating doshic accumulation (the five elements can build up and cause imbalance) in the many layers of the being.

When we create a personalized healthy lifestyle, meaning daily habits that are in balance with nature, there is more opportunity for harmony inside and outside of the body.

There are many influences on us from nature: seasons, climate, sun and moon cycles, global temperature changes, and aging. There are also many influences on us that are man-created such as traffic, stress, air-pollution, water-pollution, busy schedules, financial stress, and more. All of these influences that we come in contact with have an effect on us. If there are similar qualities that we are repeatedly in contact with, these can build up and cause imbalance in our body, mind and spirit.

Our personal nature has a rhythm that is communicated through our body’s biorhythmic clock. These bodily clocks synchronize with the sunlight, moonlight and temperature in the atmosphere, to name a few examples. It is also affected by what we choose to eat, think, when we sleep and when we rise.

For balance in the transition to spring (Kapha season) we rise with the sun, meditate, dry brush the skin, practice Abhyanga with warm sesame oil infused with tulsi, eat a light breakfast with cinnamon and clove, focus on the tastes of bitter, astringent and pungent, engage in some vigorous exercise daily, reduce dairy and clear clutter from our homes.

Spring is a marvelous time to go within to nurture, develop and plan your dreams and goals. Just as it is natural to plant seeds for our summer garden in spring, nature is also holding space for us to plant our own seeds now to be harvested in the fall. Anything done steeped in the energy of earth and water (kapha), is sure to take root and become a stable, nurturing endeavor.

Use of Anise Hyssop in Herbal Medicine

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I use Anise Hyssop as a tea, in a tea blend, or as a tincture. Any remaining flowers + leaves? I make herbal projects like the ones below. All tasty + fun to make!

Anise Hyssop Medicine:

This lovely fragrant herb offers digestive support and can alleviate uncomfortable gas and bloating. We can use Anise Hyssop in a delicious tea to help to relieve congestion and to relieve bouts of harsh excessive coughing. With anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes, Anise Hyssop (tincture or tea) combines well with licorice root to soothe bronchitis and help to clear up respiratory infections. As a gentle cardiac herb, Anise Hyssop is a wonderful addition to a supportive formula to strengthen a weak heart.

Anise Hyssop Medicine ~ Infusion

Such a well-loved tea herb, this special fragrant plant lifts up anyone when enjoyed hot or cold! It’s an easy herb to grow and such a pretty addition to your garden. I hope you’ll grow this one, even if space is limited to a large pot on the balcony.

Anise Hyssop Projects:

The edible flowers find their way into floral ice cubes and make a delightful addition to festive tea parties with my girlfriends! They impart a light anise flavour and can serve as a beautiful edible garnish as well. Separate the tiny flowers from the stem and elevate the presentation of a chilled summer soup or fruit salad. Last year, a chilled Vichyssoise soup was adorned this way and very impressive!

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Read The Complete Post Anise Hyssop Medicine + fragrant herbal projects on Studio Botanica.

Cynthe Brush

Certified Clinical (Medical) Aromatherapist Creating Custom Blends Since 1999

Therapeutic Essential Oils Practitioner & Self-Care Health Educator has used essential oils for personal, family, & client health issues since 1999.

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