Using herbs – or weeds – from your garden for your health is actually a lot easier than you think! A good example is using dandelion roots to support your liver. Now is the time to make your own herbal remedy and you can totally do this.
We are in autumn and swiftly moving into winter so the growth of plants is slowing down. That means we can shift our focus from using leaves and flowers to harvesting roots, barks and berries. Roots are especially powerful, as that’s where plants like the dandelions store their energy so they can survive winter.
Dandelion roots are great for liver support. Herbalists have used the roots to enhance bile flow. A proper bile flow is so supportive of the liver because it helps preventing the formation of gall stones. Drinking enough water is of course essential as well…
High in minerals and and inulin
Dandelions send their long roots deep into the earth, pulling minerals into the plant. Fresh dandelion roots have a sweet and slightly bitter taste and they make a wonderful nutrient-dense food.
Besides being high in micronutrients and phytonutrients like iron, manganese, carotenes, calcium, and potassium, dandelions are also high in inulin. Inulin is a starchy carbohydrate that can help restore healthy gut flora in an interesting way. It’s a prebiotic, which means it’s food your beneficial gut bacteria love and use to thrive.
Bitters for digestion
The roots also have some bitter properties and bitters stimulate digestion. Using bitters can help when you have bloating, acid reflux or stomach pain. Here’s how it works: when you eat a bitter food or take a bitter tincture, it hits the bitter receptors on your tongue. They alert the brain: something bitter is coming! The brain then sends a signal to your stomach, pancreas and gallbladder to start producing more saliva, stomach acid, pancreatic juices and bile. More of those means better digestion!
Make your own tincture!
Dandelions grow everywhere, so go outside with your spade, fork or trowel and dig up a few. Give them a rinse and a brush. And make them into a tincture!
Here’s how that works. After cleaning the roots, you cut them into small pieces and put them in a clean jam jar. Then you add vodka, enough to completely cover the root peices. Because everything that is not covered in alcohol, can get moldy.
Leave the tincture in the house, away from direct sunlight. Give it a swirl every day for the first week, send it some love and then leave it alone for about four weeks.
It’s now time to separate the roots from the alcohol. I use a sieve and a clean piece of cloth. Old cotton sheets work great for that. I use a glass measuring jug, so I can see what the tincture looks like and how much I have. The procedure is very simple: I just empty the jar in the sieve and see the tincture running! Try to press out as much of the good stuff as possible.
I then pour the tincture into a clean jar and label it with name and date. And some of it I pour into a dropper bottle so it’s ready to use! Dandelion root is generally considered safe, but be sensible and stop using it when something doesn’t feel right. 10 drops 3 times a day is a good dosage to start with.
Tinctures keep quite well (most of them at least three years) but not forever. I always keep them in a dark place, away from sunlight.
If you feel you have some longer standing issues with your liver, gallbladder or digestion taking a herbal remedy can be supportive but is probably not enough. If you’re ready to get to the bottom of those, let’s talk!
Schedule a free 30 minute call with me here so we can explore how we could work together.