Dandelion tea is being studied in Windsor, Canada as a possible remedy for cancer. A patient got better, who wasn’t supposed to, and he atributed his success to dandelion tea. A private donor gave money to his oncologist to do further studies. The test group will be about 24 patients. Money and expertise going towards natural and simple therapies is the real news story here.
Dandelions cleanse the liver and has some chemicals that encourage cell death to cancer cells, but do not harm good cells, the roots contain 40 naturally occurring chemicals. Dandelion are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Dandelions (Taraxacum) are found worldwide. They are edible and medicinal. The leaves are common in salad, steamed or stir fried, the roots can be made into a coffee substitute, and the leaves and flowers can be made into tea.
Susanna Moodie writes about this in “Roughing it in the Bush” in 1852, a book that has inspired me since I was a kid.
Dandelions grow everywhere. In north america people use large amounts of herbicides to destroy dandelions. If you are going to harvest the plant make sure you find a garden, or field where no chemicals have been used for many years. Please watch out for people who lie about using herbacides, I know at least three people who say that they don’t, but do.
The spring is a better time to harvest the leaves. I add a few tender ones to salad. You can add a few leaves to soup stock. The dandelions that grow in well toiled and fertilized soil often have the most tender leaves.
The fall is the best time to harvest the roots for coffee. They can get quite thick…about the size of your thumb. It is quite a bit of work to harvest enough to make dandelion coffee. Dry them, cut them the sizes of coffee beans, roast them, and then grind them. Boil the grinds to make coffee. I like the flavour. One night I drank two cups, and I have to saw I had extremely weird dreams. I’m just telling you the truth. You can buy the roots already dried and roasted…but they call it tea.
Use the leaves to make tea. You can use fresh or dried. You can even throw in a couple flowers. Or buy it…it’s still winter here!