Far from a weed, Dandelion (from dent de lion - lion’s tooth) is the most revered and beneficial flowering plant in some cultures.
Native to Europe and Asia, it is now in almost every corner of the world. The dandelion is considered a weed in cultures where its not native and used extensively in cultures where it is indigenous.
Traditionally, used as a tonic for healthy livers, kidneys and digestive systems. It was first mentioned as a medicine in the 10th century for its prized cleansing and healing properties. Dandelion improves the functioning of the lower body organs and has been used historically against anemia, gout, hypoglycemia, respiratory problems, cirrhosis, hepatitis, cramps, constipation and nervousness.
Today the root is still very popular. The Japanese consider the root a vegetable. The youngest leaves are used in salads and can be cooked similarly to spinach. The rosettes are sometimes thrown into salads as well. The Brits use dandelion often mixed with burdock root as a popular soda sold throughout the country.
Sympathy for the Kettle has been a big advocate of dandelion since our inception in 2004. In lieu of serving espresso in our east village shoppe we brew a heady and frothy roasted dandelion root. Great on its own or with milk, we recommend it with a touch our favorite French chocolate.
We also use dandelion in our detox brew tea blended with other beneficial roots, herbs and flowers.