Lion’s tooth, Pissenlit
Everyone knows the Dandelion. Monsieur Dandelion comes up in the Spring, with blossoms a sheath of yellow carpet growing everywhere in our gardens and thorough fairs. Oh dandelion. Enjoy the blossoms in a dandelion wine, enjoy the leaves in salads or stir fry's and the roots, well- we dig those in the Autumn to make a superlative root medicine for the liver.
Dandelion is primarily a diuretic hence its name “Pissenlit" in French. The leaves in the spring are very high in potassium as well as other micro and macro minerals and rich in Hydro-chloric acid an important constituent in proper digestion. Bitter, sweet dandelion is supportive for those with edema and constipation and useful to balance stomach acidity as well as for reducing swelling and inflammation or joint pain of any kind.
The root of dandelion is a superlative kidney and live tonic. I make a Traditional Kidney Tonic with dandelion, parsley, marshmallow & ginger roots which is taken as a decoction, (simmered on the stove) and drunk for three weeks. Our kidneys replenish and our energy levels go up exponentially. While fasting, the powdered dandelion root makes an excellent coffee substitute. Dandelion also combines well with many other member s of the Asteraceae family, particularly with Burdock for difficult skin condition. Dandelion and Burdock work well together and act like a broom in the digestive system. Burdock skillfully sweeps the toxins from the joints and tissues into the blood and lymph, while dandelion ushers them out. Dandelion root is very good to reduce gallstones. Elecampane works well with dandelion for spleen imbalances and weak digestion or with Barberry for liver heat, constipation and hemorrhoids. Yellow dock and dandelion together, make an excellent iron tonic.
In the heat of the Summer I bring along a tincture of Dandelion root. Dandelion cools the mind and body quickly. These are a few of the many reasons to come to know Monsieur Dandelion. Dandelion is extraordinarily versatile in the medicine chest and is safe to take with pregnancy.
Did you know the dandelion blossom is actually made up of thousands of tiny individual flowers, hence the reason for the number of plants that come up in one place. The flowers collected in the Spring make a wonderful aperitif to drink over the winter’s cold evenings. I have some brewing and ready to drink at the Summer Solstice. Enjoy!
DANDELION WINE RECIPE
2 gal/8 liter crock
3-5 Qt./ 3-5 liters blossoms
5 Qt./ 5 liters water
2 lb. sugar 1 kg, sugar
1 organic lemon
1 organic orange
1 package/ 8 gm of active dry yeast
2 slices of whole wheat toast
Find a field of bloom on a glorious shining day. Pick the blossoms with a sweeping motion of your parted fingers, like a comb. Leave the green sepals. Discard the stock. Put blossoms in a large glass, ceramic or plastic container. Boil water; pour over flowers to cover. Cover your flowers with a cheesecloth. Stir daily for 3 days. On the fourth day strain blossoms from liquid. Cook liquid with sugar and rind of organic citrus for 30-60 minutes. Return to crock. Add citrus juice. When liquid has cooled to room temperature, soften yeast, spread on toast and float the toast in your crock. Cover and let work for 2 more days. Strain. Return liquid to container to settle for one more day. Filter into clean bottles and cork lightly.... Drink upon the Summer Solstice. Enjoy!