How to Harvest and Prepare Dandelion Roots II
Once you have harvested and preserved dandelion roots, you can think about how to use them in your home. There are many ways in which you can use dandelion roots. You can make various medicines, or you may use dandelion roots in the kitchen.
Warning: you should not use dandelion root medicine or any food prepared using dandelion roots if you have irritable stomach or bowel, or in case you have an acute inflammation.
How to Make a Tincture and Decoction
In order to extract medical compounds from the roots, they have to be tinctured or decocted. To make a useful tincture, you should place dandelion root in a jar. Cover it with 80 proof (40%) vodka. Cover it tightly and leave it for 4 to 6 weeks. Make sure to shake it every day. After thing time, strain out plant material. Store in a dark glass bottle. Don’t forget to label and date the tincture.
In order to make decoction, you should place on ounce of dried roots in a pan with one pint of water. Alternatively, you may use two ounces of fresh roots (by weight). Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover it and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain and compost the spent roots. These roots decoctions can be used to make simple yet effective healing teas.
Using Dandelion Roots
Dandelion roots are a powerful detoxifying agent. They are also commonly used for treating numerous medical problems, from arthritis to hangovers.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, dandelion has been traditionally used as a diuretic. It’s used to increase the amount of urine the body produces, which allows the body to get rid of excess fluid. Dandelion has been used to help treating numerous conditions where a diuretic might help, such as high blood pressure or liver problems.
However, it’s also important to say that there is no good research on using dandelion as a diuretic on people. In any case, dandelion and dandelion roots are healthy and can’t bring harm if they are used in moderation and if you follow the warning: do not use it if you have irritable bowel or stomach or if you have any acute inflammation.
Fresh and dried dandelion can also be used as a mild appetite stimulant. You may also use it to improve upset stomach. Dandelion roots may also be used as a mild laxative. They have been used to improve digestion. There is some research that suggests that dandelion can help improve liver and gallbladder functions, but these studies and results are only preliminary.
Also, some preliminary studies done on animals suggest that dandelion can help in normalizing blood sugar levels and bring cholesterol levels to normal. It may also help lower the level or triglycerides while raising HDL, the “good” cholesterol. Studies done on mice suggest these findings. However, animal studies are only in its first stage and not all of them confirm the beneficial effect of dandelion on blood sugar. In order to confirm the connection, separate studies are needed. Studies done on humans will show if dandelion truly works in lowering blood sugar levels in people.
Some other studies done on animals suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation. Further studies will show if this effect can be confirmed in humans.
If you want to use dandelion and dandelion roots, it’s good to know some good recipes.
- Strong Herbal Infusion Tea. To make this tea, take ½ ounce of dried dandelion leaves (by weight). You may also use one ounce of fresh leaves. This weight is good for one cup of tea. Place the ingredients in a glass canning jar and cover with freshly boiled water. Put the lid on and leave overnight. After this, strain and compost solids. Drink about 3 to 4 cups per day for medical benefit. Alternatively, you may use a French press and steep (or cover) for at least 20 minutes before straining.
- Anti-Cellulite Tea. Dandelion can be used to fight cellulite. It will help your body to metabolize fats and to improve elimination of waste. Dandelion truly works as a cleansing herb. All these properties will help you reduce cellulite. To make a helpful anti-cellulite tea, infuse 1 part dandelion leaf and 1 part nettle (Urtica diodica) leaf. Decoct 1 part dandelion root and 1 part burdock (Arctium lappa) root.
- Decongestant Tea. This tea is made to help your body clear phlegm. It will also open your lungs and sinuses. To prepare this tea, infuse 1 part dandelion leaf, 1 part nettle (Urtica diodica) leaf and 1 part thyme (Thymus vulgaris) herb. Decoct 1 part dandelion root.