Despite claims that we are living longer and have a higher quality of life, it doesn't take a study to tell us we are chronically sicker than ever. Childhood diseases that were a rarity even two generations ago have now become not just common, but epidemic: Asthma, allergies, Autism spectrum, ADHD, anxiety - and those are just the A's!
In my search for therapies that offer hope for these and other modern diseases related to overconsumption, malnourishment, and toxicity, I've come to respect herbal medicine for its simplicity and power. If you want to start to appreciate what I'm talking about here, I have a suggestion.
Instead of coffee or tea or some other hip-whip-drip in your mug, go dig up some of those pesky dandelions in your front lawn by the root (easiest when soil is moist and you use a tool or screwdriver inserted alongside the root to pop it out as you pull gently but firmly with the other hand) and take that beauty to the kitchen sink and wash it off and trim all the damaged parts away. You may need a scrubber. Now chop it up fine, root, top and all and put it in a pot and bring to a boil. If you want a nice flavour here you add in hibiscus tea bags. If you have rose hips from last year or clove or cinnamon or anise, you could add one of those in, too. Let it simmer for 5 and remove to cool. You have just made your first medical decoction. Yay you! Before I tell you what you are about to sip and the unbelievable medicinal benefits, let me first add a caveat.
If you spray your lawn with pesticides, sorry, this isn't for you. Not only have you poisoned our collective water table with known carcinogens that water treatment doesn't effectively remove - for all the neighbourhood to enjoy - but you've contaminated some of the best medicine you could have found for a myriad of health conditions. However, be consoled that if I identify you and you live near to me, I will make sure my natural lawn - which is replete with a host of natural, indigenous, hardy specimens - reseeds yours with beneficial species to get you started back on the right path. Also, if ever I get to add my two cents to the DSM, obsessive compulsive lawn disorder will be identified as a pathology, as it rightly should be, so you can get the 'treatment' you need.
Back to the benefits of dandelion tea...
Dandelion is an incredible herb. It's a liver tonic, as well as being a powerful diuretic. This means anyone with fatty liver or other liver complaints like gallstones or poor digestion or toxicity can benefit from it. As well, when you are combating a flu or cold, it can boost your strength. If you are holding water weight or have high blood pressure, or your kidneys are weak, it can help boost kidney function and get that excess water out of the body. And, it's highly nutritive. But don't take my word for it; try it for yourself!
Then get ready to try a herb walk. These are long walks in local nature paths to help a group identify some of Ontario's medicinal plants. I do them several times a year, usually in harvest season. All participants receive notes on what we learn for a refresher after the course is done. Interested people can sign up for my newsletter on the main page (footer).