As I am making this Dandelion Spring Tonic from the roots, leaves and flowers of Dandelion – I am being reminded of how wonderful it is that Mother Nature shares her abundant medicinal wild plants to support us on our healing journey through life.
For many beautiful and magical reasons, my love friendship began with dandelion as a small child. However, it was not until later in my mid-twenties, (feeling burned out, and having developed digestive imbalances and food allergies), that I began to reconnect with the ancient medicine of this remarkable healer and plant ally.
My Swiss partner had the herbal wisdom and knowledge of dandelion instilled in him from childhood and throughout his adult life. Often he would go with his Grandparents to collect dandelion in spring, even if they lived inside the city. An example of a delicious, typical and simple springtime dish in Switzerland is a dandelion, walnut and egg salad.
When I met Juerg 16 years ago, it was springtime in New Zealand. He showed me the many dandelions growing on his land, and we gathered the leaves and flowers for salads every day. Over time, I got so used to the bitter flavour of dandelion leaves and I found my body craved it!
During Autumn, we collected dandelion roots for tea. We also cleaned, dried, roasted and ground the roots with Juerg’s Grossmama’s antique coffee grinder to make coffee. Often, we stir-fried dandelion greens mixed with other wild weeds in garlic, turmeric, a bit of soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil.
Especially in springtime, dandelion is a wonderful natural tonic to stimulate your liver and your immune system – building up strength, shifting and filtering out any toxins from the body, flushing out kidneys, supporting the function of your pancreas and generally bringing your digestive system back into tone and balance.
Tasting dandelion before a meal, (whether in salads, a few drops of a tincture made of the root or a tablespoon of the dandelion vinegar tonic like I have made) helps to stimulate digestion, which in turn can help you to get more vitamins and break down fats in your food because it supports and enhances your stomachs beneficial and natural acids.
I believe that dandelion’s medicinal and overall effect for me was – slow and steady – on my body’s immune and digestive system. Overtime, my heartburn, indigestion, allergies etc balanced out and disappeared. Like a loyal and true friend, dandelion supported me to feel safe and inwardly strong – so that I could dive deeper in my own healing process.
Some of my core wounds related to savouring food came to light for me to face and heal through love, understanding, forgiveness and compassion. I am now confident to say that dandelion medicine enhanced and supported me to begin to truly savour life again – connected to the vitality and joy of my playful inner child and authentic soul essence.
I began to reconnect again with a world of magic in nature around me – a magical world I had felt intricately a part of as a small child. Since then, my favourite “being-time” in spring has been watching and photographing bees and other pollinators while they collect the pollen of the dandelion – one of the first and most important food sources for bees after winter hibernation.
There are many ways to use & celebrate
the blooming of dandelion flowers in spring!
If you are collecting dandelions in spring, please always make sure you leave plenty of flowers for the bees and other pollinators. Also, be aware and very careful of areas that may be polluted by poisons like pesticides or harmful fertilizers.
It has been said that the flowers of dandelions have higher levels of antioxidants than the leaves or roots! Other possible benefits include relieving pain from headaches, backaches, and menstrual cramps, stomach cramps and depression. The flowers also contain Vitamin A and Vitamin B12, which are both good for eye health.
In spring (when there are enough flowers), we love to make syrup from the bright yellow flowers together with young pine shoots. Some people also make dandelion wine from the flowers but I have never tried this!
We also have a spring ritual of making healing massage oils from the dandelion flowers. Dandelion oil is exceptionally soothing for tired muscles and can be simply rubbed into tense muscles or joints for relaxation and pain relief.
What are some of your favourite ways to eat or use the medicine of dandelion in spring?…Please feel free to leave a comment below!
Juerg and I have been journeying together for the past 16 years. While Juerg is originally from Switzerland we have both lived and met in New Zealand in 2005. We have since traveled extensively in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Nepal, North America, North Africa and Europe.
Both Juerg and myself are offering support to people who long to connect more deeply with the magic and abundance of Mother Earth, including learning, gathering, and using/cooking with wild medicinal and edible herbs, mushrooms, and other edible wild foods. However, we strongly believe it is not just about benefiting from what Mother Earth has offered us for millions of years but that we also have an obligation to do our inner work, to heal and grow in love and soul wisdom.
We advocate a simple, humble and authentic way of life. For many years, we have lived and traveled in small campervans being as close as possible to nature, in particular mountain regions such as for the past few years in the pre-alpine region of Italy, France and Switzerland.
Over the years, we have created many videos, which can be viewed on Juergs YouTube channel. Juerg is the author of the book “Sacred Journey” which you can learn more about on his website. We have a shared “Sacred Journey” page on Facebook. I regularly post writings and sharings on this blog, which I also link with Instagram.
Both Juerg and I are available for personal guidance and couple sessions via skype. These sessions are for people who long to grow more deeply towards an authentic relationship based on heart and soul love. If you are interested to know more about working with myself or Juerg, please contact us.