at first a weed, and then a wish
When I was a much younger man, trying to grow a pristine lawn, the last thing I wanted in my garden was dandelions. These damn weeds are incredibly pernicious and damn difficult to get rid of. But back then I didn’t understand anything at all about herbalism, and the almost magical medicinal, therapeutic, and health benefits we can get from the common dandelion, or Taraxacum officinale. (to give it its proper name). The common dandelion is a real superfood.
Officially, this wild plant is a weed and usually very unwelcome in lawns, (or anywhere else come to that), because it will choke other plants and its silver tufted seeds will get everywhere when blown in the wind. The easiest and best way to get rid of unwanted dandelions is with a herbicide, but these days none of us approves of herbicides at all. If you just dig up a dandelion then you have to make certain to get every last bit of the tap-root.
But, unless it really is in the wrong place, why try to eradicate a dandelion at all? For a start, dandelion leaves are a great addition to a summer salad, and it is said that eating dandelion salad will help women to lose weight, and is why French women don’t get fat.
Collected in the autumn, the most medicinally efficacious part of the dandelion is the tap root which can be juiced, dried and used as a coffee substitute, turned into tea, or in all of the other complex preparations such as tincture and homeopathic dynamizations. For those biochemically inclined who may be interested dandelion root contains; taraxacin, choline, inulin, phytosterol, tannin, and mucilage. The major properties of the dandelion are as a cholagogue, laxative, depurative, and as a tonic. If you want to do a liver detox, forget celery juice and turn instead to the humble dandelion.
Dandelion sap will remove warts, corns, verrucae, dark spots on the skin, and lighten freckles.
However, like many medicinal plants the common dandelion is an exceedingly powerful collection of chemical compounds, so care should be taken when using it medicinally.
Broadly speaking, your common or garden dandelion leaf is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and other great stuff, so add some leaves to your salads. There are a stack of dandelion recipes, a salad might even stop you getting fat or help you to lose weight, especially as part of a Mediterranean Diet. Anything made from dandelion is damn good for your liver, and might just be the best way ever to do a liver detox.
Take Good Care Of Yourself.
It turns out that the urban myth of red meat being bad for you is true after all. Which is sad, because I do enjoy a good steak.
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. ~ Julia Child
Eating a lot of steak, or roast beef, or burgers, or lamb, or pork increases your chances of dying from 9 major diseases by 26%, according to the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. Red meat raises the risk of death from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, a stroke, various infections, and kidney, liver, and lung diseases. (You can die from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.)
Processed red meat such as corned beef is even worse for you, as is eating offal, liver, kidneys, pate…
There is a lot of ‘bad’ stuff in red meat, including cholesterol, (although there is a lot of ‘bad’ cholesterol in other popular foods such as macaroni and cheese). As well as the fat in red meat having too much of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, (Low Density Lipoprotein), red meat also contains a lot of heme iron, and too much of that is very bad for you as well. Too much heme iron increases your chances of dying from cancer, a stroke, liver failure, or heart disease.
At the moment I am taking a daily iron supplement, because I was diagnosed with a low red blood cell count, (anemia), but when my blood count returns to normal I will stop taking iron supplements. Too much heme iron can result in haemochromatosis, which is a particularly nasty illness causing things like fatty liver, cirrhosis, and liver failure.
Luckily, regularly eating white meat, (chicken breast), and oily fish may reverse the damage caused by eating steaks. Just don’t eat the chicken skin, or processed white meat, or processed fish. In fact don’t ever eat processed meat or canned meat ~ canned food is generally very bad for your health.
We are what we eat. Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es. ~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
It is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our health. I know that if my diet is bad ~ if I drink too much booze, have too much sugar, eat processed foods, eat out, eat ready-meals, eat too much fatty meat, then I feel bloated, lacking in energy, and I gain weight. It is also a scientifically proven fact that an unhealthy diet will significantly shorten my life.
Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’. ~ Jostein Gaarder
Like everything else in life, our diet should be moderation in all things. When it comes to my diet, I have tried various fads, including eating only one meal a day, being vegan, and never eating carbohydrates. Now I believe that a mixture of the Paleo Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet is right for me.
Some things I try not to eat include wheat, (bread, pasta, cookies), and some other grains, (white rice), processed food, canned food, and dairy products.
I need to eat more oily fish, such as salmon. Looks like I also need to cut down on steak too. Shame, especially as I like my steak well-done, and that is really bad for my health…