It has been several months since I have written anything online, because I fell very deeply into a fictional story that I am writing, but I am very pleased to pick up where I left off with some practical folk lore.
Today’s lore is inspired by a friend who woke up in the middle of the night with cramps and a UTI from a complicated systemic candida infection, which for those of you who have experienced this, understand how painful it is. So, she looked up the normal home remedies, but due to her doctor prescribed diet is unable to utilize quite a few of them. So, today I am going to make her a fresh leaf dandelion detox tincture. My own recipe, that I adapted from a similar fresh leaf tea my mom used to make me.
To get started here is a bit of lore on dandelions!
This precious flower, now crossed off as a weed, was a gift to the new world by the French, it is said. The break down of the name “dande-lion” is translated as lion’s mane. Modernly treated with horrible pesticides, this stubborn plant refuses to die off. A lesson to be learned from one would think. It has many wondrous healing properties including: liver and kidney detox, natural dye, tincture (tea), roasted leaves make a tasty caffeine free coffee replacement for a healthy morning pick-me-up, anti-bacterial milk from the stem can be applied on the go for playtime scrapes, they enrich your garden soil with acidity necessary for plant growth, it is a natural anti-depressant, it can be used as a diuretic, and no part of this plant is poisonous. You can eat the leaves in a salad, and then have the roots and petals in a complimentary infusion with honey afterwards.
I have even seen a video on youtube of a woman making a dandelion wine. (Awesome.)
Perhaps, I will make a video and a demijohn of homemade dandelion wine myself!
According to occultist and author Sarah Anne Lawless, “Dandelion belongs to Hecate and is mainly a chthonic plant associated with the underworld and necromancy. It is beloved by bees, goats, pigs and is considered a toad plant (all have a certain underworld nature), with bees sometimes acting as psychopomps in old folklore. Dandelion is also a very Mercurial weed associated with the air element explaining its use in aiding in communication with the dead and increasing psychic ability. Drink an infusion of the dried and roasted roots to enhance your psychic abilities before performing divination or summoning spirits of the dead. Medicinally, Culpepper writes that Dandelion has an “opening and cleansing quality… it openeth passages”. This can be applied to sympathetic magic, meaning this weed is excellent for walking between realms and communing with the spirits that reside.”
You can read more about this on her site, where she has a written piece about the growing, and usage of dandelion in magical practices: http://www.sarahannelawless.com/2010/10/16/weeds-for-witches-part-iii-dandelion
For me personally, being an herbalist in the making, I find it pure joy and magically profound that this tiny, underestimated, and forgotten flower has so many incredible traits just waiting to be tapped in to, yet it is ever to often written off as a nuisance. Let this be a lesson about following the common opinion. Just because it is said to be true by the masses, doesn’t make it so, not in the slightest.
So, here is the recipe for the Dandelion Detox Tincture
Firstly, start with two large bunches of organic dandelion greens. These can surprisingly be purchased at a grocers like Sprouts.
Wash lightly in cool water, and cut off the long portion of the stems and set aside. Start boiling 2-3 quarts of water on the stove and add the stems. (I do those first because they are more fibrous and therefore harder to breakdown.
Boil for 15 minutes.
Then take hand fulls of thee greens and twist them into halves and then quarters with your hands, adding them to the mixture as you go. Stir.
When you have gotten all of your greens in, let boil until they are soft and pliable, much like spinach.
Here is where you can go a couple of different ways. Because we are in Texas and its summer time, doing a traditional tincture just didn’t sound that appetizing. However to make one, you simply strain out the green remnants, and serve hot like a tea.
What we did is this:
Throwing all of the greens and juice into a blender we added a lot of ice and lime, and then pureed it until mostly liquid. Grab a straw and a bit more ice to your glass and you have a very healthy detox smoothie.
-Dandelion Picture Photo Credit to Louise Docker