DAN­DE­LION LEAVES

Herbs & Superfoods - - Top 25 Super Foods -

Many would con­sider it a weed, but dan­de­lion ( Tarax­acum of­fic­i­nale) leaves are full of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, es­pe­cially vi­ta­mins A, C and K. A cup­ful of dan­de­lion leaves con­tains 112 per cent of the daily rec­om­men­da­tion of vi­ta­min A, 32 per cent of vi­ta­min C and 535 per cent of vi­ta­min K. It also con­tains lots of po­tas­sium, cal­cium, iron, mag­ne­sium and phos­pho­rus.

The en­tire dan­de­lion plant is ed­i­ble. Flow­ers, leaves and roots have been chomped on or slurped up in liq­uid form for cen­turies, mostly for medic­i­nal pur­poses, and in par­tic­u­lar for kid­ney and liver com­plaints. It’s a nat­u­ral di­uretic. Even fit­ness guru Jil­lian Michaels (of Big­gest Loser fame) markets her own dan­de­lion tea, a drink touted “to rid our bodies of ex­cess water, weight and bloat­ing.” (Its other com­mon name is pis-en-lit, or in English, pee in the bed.) The root is mildly lax­a­tive so it’s been used to treat con­sti­pa­tion and in­di­ges­tion. It‘s also used as an anti-in­flam­ma­tory in tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine.

Make sure you use only spray-free leaves from your gar­den, or sow your own seeds, avail­able from Kings Seeds.

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