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I love working with the local herbs I find on my plant walk, a daily ritual for me, foraging in the neighbourhood. And some of my favourite medicines are crafted from what some consider weeds, such as the dandelion and the plantain.

I collect dandelion roots in both Spring and Autumn — always ethically and asking permission of the plant first — then clean and dry them for use in tinctures and herbal bitters…. a great tonic for the digestive system.

It may be easier to purchase dandelion root from your local herb shop but I do love getting out there and collecting in the wild. The energetic properties of the roots differ in Spring (more bitter, good for calming the liver) and Autumn (more stored nutrients, good for supporting the digestion) which is why I collect twice a year. If I purchase from a herb shop, I may not know when the roots were collected. The roots pictured were collected on Spring.

There are many uses for dandelion (including the leaves and flowers, which are delightful in infusions, salads, soups or lightly sautéed as a side veggie dish).

Dandelions are abundant and sustainable, but be very careful and aware of where you are foraging. Because dandelions are considered invasive by many (if they only knew how important dandelions are to us and to the soil!), they are often sprayed with pesticides.

DO NOT FORAGE if you are not sure about pesticide usage.

The Dandelion plant is mineral (potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus) and vitamin rich (A, B, C) and also contains protein.

Dandelion also has diuretic properties so be sure to check all its properties thoroughly — as you would with any medication taken internally — to ensure there are no contraindications with your health or prescription drug regimen.

UPDATE: I had originally shared this post a couple of days ago on Instagram, and a friend subsequently shared a fascinating article on the cancer-fighting prooerties of dandelion. Click here to read the article.