The seasons are changing here in Ireland, all be it a very reluctant and fickle change from winter to spring. I’ve always enjoyed tapping into nature to help support my health and this time of year is no exception. Emerging from the dormancy of winter, it’s time to gently detox and reawaken the bodies systems. Nature provides this for you on a plate. Bursting forth from the ground everywhere I look are dandelions. Despite peoples best efforts to rid them from lawns and gardens the dandelion perseveres, broadcasting it’s arrival with an explosion of magnificent prolific sunshine yellow flowers surrounded by whirls of green leaves.
As I understand it, the leaves and flowers offer a gentle stimulation of the liver, inducing a respectful detox of the system, aided by the alkaline nature of the plant. The detox includes a diuretic effect, that doesn’t cause imbalances of the bodies electrolytes, thus avoiding side affects.
As a green herb the easiest way to incorporate this plant into your diet is to chop the leaves nice and thinly and add 3 or 4 to your green salad. Sprinkle the yellow petals on it too. As your taste and appreciation for it develops you can add more.
For me living a yoga life is not only about getting on my mat for asana (posture) and pranayama (breathing techniques). In fact, sometimes as a busy Mum and business owner I often don’t get to practice these things. However I do always try and live yoga off the mat and tuning into the rhythem of the seasons and nature, where we belong, is one way to do this.
Always forage in an area you are sure has not been sprayed with chemicals. Forage with an experienced friend until you are certain of your plants as some out there are poisonous. Wash your leaves before eating. If you’re pregnant read up on the dangers of toxoplasmosis and make an informed decision.
By the way I’m not a trained herbalist but I did learn about plant identification during my Environmental Science University degree. I have a personal interest in living lightly in tune with my environment and I’ve learned plant identification over the years from family, friends and other courses. If you’re interested in foraging I recommended checking out events and courses like The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co Leitrim, or The Mushroom Festival for starters.
Enjoy your greens