Summer is the perfect time for juicing with all the fresh produce coming up in the garden and at the farmers market. It’s also a great way to handle bumper crops of greens, squash and melons. There is nothing like a whole garden bed of kale, lettuce or spinach to get you in the mood to juice – because there is just no way to eat all of that great green goodness in salads fast enough to use it all up…
Another great way to boost your summer juices is to add in some fresh dandelion greens. They can be slightly bitter in a salad, but tempered with some citrus (lemon and lime together work miracles in any green juice) they provide super healing power without being so sharp you cannot drink the juice.
Dandelion is one of the most powerful and important healers in the plant kingdom and is known for its curative power particularly in healing and improving liver and digestive function. It is known to heal or prevent such liver diseases as jaundice and hepatitis. Dandelion is used to calm and heal the digestive system, relieve gas, diarrhea, constipation and purify the blood. According to herbal medicine research, dandelion contains vital nutritive salts which help to remove acidity and purify the blood. Dandelion is highly regarded as among the most potent healing plants in herbal plant medicine and is held in such high regard around the world. It is recognized in Chinese herbal medicine and the herbal medicine of Europe including Germany, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland and the Soviet Union.
The greens can be eaten raw, steamed or added to your fresh juice recipes. Roots can be boiled to make a tea and sweetened with a little local raw honey when cool for a healing daily tonic. However you choose to incorporate dandelion, your body will receive a powerhouse of nutritional support by including it in your diet. In summer it is abundant and easy to collect around the garden.
Be sure to pick un-sprayed plants, and avoid plants along roadsides which can pick up pollution from cars.
Wash and shake dry, and then put through the juicer early in the juicing cycle as dandelions are more tender than other commonly juiced ingredients.
Another great reason to encourage dandelion in your gardens is its benefit to bees. Dandelion is one of the first flowering foods for bees in many areas and healthy un-sprayed dandelions which continue to bloom all summer will continue to provide pollen for bees while many other plants have relatively short bloom times.
Check out Annie’s juicing book to learn more about juicing great fresh veggies, greens and fruits.
Learn more about dandelions at Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy Website.