How & Why to Put Dandelion Greens in Your Smoothie

by Rebecca Potter on April 23, 2014

           By Rebecca Potter

dandelion picture 300x300 How & Why to Put Dandelion Greens in Your Smoothie

When was the last time you put weeds in your smoothie? We put all kinds of greens in our smoothies, but have you ever thought of dandelion greens? Before dandelions got labeled as a “weed”, for centuries it was a treasured plant and natural remedy for everything from liver ailments to wart removal. First mentioned by Arabian physicians in the 10th Century, dandelion, or Taraxacum officinale was the “Official Remedy for Disorders”, which what it Latin name means. The common name of ‘dandelion’ comes from the French dent de lion, meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the edges of the leaves. Dandelions were brought to America from France, but its fame is now worldwide, being, among other things, one of the top 6 herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine chest.

Health Benefits of Dandelion Greens

So why would you want to put dandelion greens in your smoothie? Well, for one reason, dandelion is a powerhouse of nutrition! According to the USDA Bulletin #8, Composition of Foods (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Jerry Minnich, in Gardening for Better Nutrition ranks dandelions tied for 9th best out of all vegetables, grains, seeds and greens.

Dandelion leaves, flowers, and roots are all edible, and can be used in all herbal preparations. Dandelions leaves and roots are extremely high in antioxidants and nutrients, and have a high beta-carotene, protein and calcium content. Dandelion also has organic sodium, and inulin, an insoluble fiber which is very beneficial for diabetics.  It also is rich in Vitamin C, D and B complex vitamins, copper, cobalt, zinc, boron, fiber, potassium, iron,  magnesium, and phosphorus. It is an ingredient in many Dr. Christopher’s formulas, such as Vitalerbs, because of the rich nutrient composition.

Even with those glowing stats, what do we do to the dandelions in our yard? We dig them up, mow them down, and kill them off with chemicals, when we could be reaping the health benefits of this mighty plant! Did you know that dandelions actually improve soil, not degrade it? Maybe it’s time we look at the dandelion plant a little differently. (By all means, keep making wishes on the dandelion seed puffs!)

So instead of getting rid of those wonder weeds in your yard, why not throw some dandelion greens into your smoothie? Of course look for dandelions elsewhere if your lawn has been treated with chemicals in any way whatsoever. Sure, dandelion greens are bitter, but bitter foods are sadly lacking in the American diet and they are vital for good overall digestive health. Bitters have been used for centuries in many countries before meals as a digestive stimulant.  So if you’re not brave enough to make dandelion greens the main ingredient of your salad, mixing them with some fruit and raw honey in the blender might sound like a better idea to you.

Besides all the wonderful nutrients present in this fantastic plant, dandelion is one of the best natural remedies for liver detoxification and health. We are bombarded daily with toxic chemicals and substances that the liver must process. We really make it work hard for us! The liver must filter impurities from the bloodstream such as car exhaust, paints, cleaners, solvents,  pesticides, drugs, alcohol, and toxins from our diet. All of these things really tax our livers, but dandelion can help with the damage control. Dandelion improves liver function by removing toxins and excess water, reestablishing hydration and electrolyte balance, and promoting bile formation. Because dandelion helps the liver, it also helps with hepatitis, cirrhosis and jaundice. Any herb which acts beneficially upon the liver has good effect on the rest of the system. And because dandelion helps cleanse the liver, it therefore helps with weight loss, the skin and especially acne.

Some other ways dandelion is a star natural remedy are with: anemia, stimulating the appetite, balancing the friendly flora, constipation, diarrhea, acid indigestion, kidney issues and stones, gallbladder issues and stones, diabetes and regulating blood sugar and insulin levels, high blood pressure, purifying the blood, lowering cholesterol, and boosting the immune system.

Making a Dandelion Smoothie

Let’s have some fun with those dandelion greens and make a super-charged health drink! This is my own recipe, but naturally there are so many variations you could make to individualize it to your tastes.

1. Gather your ingredients

1 gather ingredients 300x300 How & Why to Put Dandelion Greens in Your Smoothie

What I chose to use:

A handful of organic dandelion greens
About 3/4 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 Tbsp beet root powder
1 Tbsp wheat grass powder
1/2 cup organic frozen strawberries
A little distilled water

2. Put all of the ingredients in the blender

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3. Blend all ingredients. I used a Vitamix, and about 30 seconds on high works nicely.

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4. Enjoy your super healthy dandelion smoothie!

dandelion smoothie edit How & Why to Put Dandelion Greens in Your Smoothie

A word to the wise- it will be bitter, so if you need your smoothie to be sweeter, add more honey or other fruit. But I promise you that your body, especially your liver, will be loving those dandelion greens! Typically the greens are less bitter in spring than fall, and the roots are better suited for medicinal use in the fall rather than spring.

Try other preparations with dandelion by making a tincture, tea with dried dandelion, dandelion juice, dandelion beer, or dandelion wine, all of which are just as healthy and fantastic!

- Rebecca

P.S. Stay tuned for Monday’s new Essential Survival TV episode where I share my Top 10 Favorite Uses for Dandelion!

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 Rebecca Potter Master Herbalist 270x300 How & Why to Put Dandelion Greens in Your Smoothie Rebecca Potter is a lifelong student of herbalism, a lover of herbs and natural healing. She feels passionately about sharing her knowledge and experience with herbs to empower all to achieve the greatest possible health potential. She received her Master Herbalist degree from The School of Natural Healing, and teaches herbal classes in her local area of Salt Lake City. She is a co-author along with Julie Behling-Hovdal and Col. Edward Behling of The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness. In addition to her herbal classes, Rebecca enjoys doing personalized herbal consultations and performs a variety of key functions at Essential Survival, LLC. Follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/iheartherbs for tips and ideas on herbal healing and nutrition.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.

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Have you ever struggled with a chronic health problem?  Do you have a loved one with a chronic health concern that doesn’t seem to ever get resolved?

In today’s new episode of Essential Survival TV I share from my heart on how I truly believe just about anybody can heal from just about any illness!  I know there are cases where there may be few answers for some people, but the vast majority of us are far more capable than we know to find true healing for what ails us.

View Video HERE

If you have ever felt helpless, hopeless, or powerless to resolve an ongoing health problem, I hope you will watch this episode and take heart from my experience of healing from two “incurable” autoimmune illnesses and also the experiences of many, many others who have successfully healed themselves from the inside out from any number of issues!

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P.S. For more ideas on healing, take a look at my previous videos on the 3 Pillars of Health (here, here, and here).

P.P.S. Please let me know if I can help you through my Membership Program.  Also, my book The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness was written as a home reference on how to use essential oils, herbs, reflexology, acupressure, and more to help with hundreds of different health concerns.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.

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