DANDELION ROOT

healing-dandelion.jpg

Taste (Rasa): Bitter
Energetics (Virya): Cooling
Doshic Effects: Balancing for Pitta and Kapha (slightly increasing for Vata)

Benefits & Use: Dandelion has been eaten for thousands of years as a food and as medicine to treat anemia, scurvy, skin problems, blood disorders, and depression. It is a very rich source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, Vitamin D, and essential minerals (potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc,phosphorus). Dandelion also acts as a mild laxative that promotes digestion, stimulates appetite, and balances the natural and beneficial bacteria in the intestines. It can increase the release of stomach acid and bile to aid digestion, especially of fats.

Additional Uses: Diabetes; skin infections; urinary tract infections; liver cleanse

In the Kitchen: Dandelion leaves, flowers, and roots are all edible. They have a slightly bitter flavor that can be minimized by harvesting them in the fall or spring. The young leaves are tenderer and less bitter, making a great addition to raw salads. Cooking dandelion cuts the bitter flavor of both the leaves and the roots. Note: Some people may have allergic reactions to dandelion. Anyone with an allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, or daisy should avoid dandelion.

Recipe: Dandelion Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted hulled (green) pumpkin seeds
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens (about 2 cups, loosely packed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the pumpkin seeds onto a shallow-rimmed baking sheet and roast until just fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  2. Pulse the garlic and pumpkin seeds together in the bowl of a food processor until very finely chopped.

  3. Add parmesan cheese, dandelion greens, and lemon juice and process continuously until combined. Stop the processor every now and again to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The pesto will be very thick and difficult to process after awhile — that's ok.

  4. With the blade running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.