Natural Health
Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.


How to Float in a Sensory-Deprivation Tank

floating-in-tank
Photo by Adobe Stock/vlorzor

Life is so busy, I often feel overstimulated. This past weekend was no exception, and I felt pulled in many different directions, with loads of stimulation. I worked at Ogden Publications’ annual Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania. We brought in thousands of people ready to hear speakers, and see our vendors and hands-on classes.

I arrived home sore, super tired, overstimulated, and in need of some TLC, — I was zapped. I thought about what I could do to make a comeback. I have been in a sensory deprivation tank once before but I wasn’t sold, ergo the owner gave me a free visit. If I had time, I would have walked off the plane and into a tank but, alas, family comes first. I knew if there was ever a time I’d see results it’d be now, so I set an appointment for the next day.

Yes, You Really Float!

The tank is filled with 800-plus pounds of magnesium sulfate, which is just a fancy way to say it is filled with a lot of pharmaceutical-grade Epson salt. All the salt makes the water denser than your body, allowing you to float and reap the benefits of an Epson salt soak. If you listen close enough, you can hear the salt crystals crackling when you move.

I was super self-conscience the first visit and somewhat uncomfortable in a new place, not to mention buck naked to boot! I chose a pod and my first question was, “How do I breathe in there?” I was told there is a vent at the back of the unit to let air in and if I needed I could leave the lid open for my comfort. I’m not a super claustrophobic person; however, I indeed did feel a little air on my face.

float-tank-air-vent

I removed jewelry, covered a small scratch with petroleum jelly (for a natural alternative, you could use a beeswax jelly), and inserted molded earplugs before showering excluding conditioner. I prefer to wear ear plugs instead of drying out my ears super well after. They are great for sound reduction; on the other hand, you will need to listen up when the voice calmly instructs you to lie down and clear your mind. I grabbed the head floater as a crutch and draped the dry washcloth as instructed over the inside arm of the tank just in case I had to itch my face.

Inside a Sensory-Deprivation Tank

I hear saltwater stings if it gets in your eye or an open wound, and you will want to avoid shaving 12 to 24 hours before. For five minutes, I felt a tingling sensation on a small blemish I didn’t know was there. The head floater is not necessary, but nice to have for the first float. Some spas keep a spray bottle with water close for you to rinse saltwater out of your eye.

The pod has soft meditation music with controls and soft blue light on at the beginning and end of the float. I focused mostly on my breathing during my float; I believe I reached a meditative state. The temperature of the water is around 93.5 degrees Fahrenheit, about the same as our skin. It’s easy to stop feeling your body, which makes it much easier to reach your relaxed state. The best way to describe this feeling is that, if I didn’t know any better, I’d almost think it was just my brain floating in the water. I’m guessing this is the feeling of an altered state some people report.

I was ready to get out after my thoughts started to bounce around at the end of the float. I didn’t focus on my breathing the second time around. There was no rhyme or reason to my thoughts; I wanted to stay longer. Most pods offer a 60 minutes or a 90-minute option. Next time I’ll try the 90 minutes.

float-tank

I walked into the tank with the thought that I might fall asleep; I do not fall asleep just anywhere. If you are the type to fall asleep in the theater, dentist, or car at a drop of a hat — there's a chance you might fall asleep while floating. I know some will question, what if. Floating takes away all pressure points off the body so you will have no reflex to flip over. However, most locations will have you sign a waiver covering several things, including recently dyed hair. Even as worn out as I was, I still did not fall asleep. Perhaps that’s just the magic of the float.

Keep in mind, very salty water can cause a lot of damage to everything it repeatedly comes in contact with. Go directly to the shower after stepping out of the tank. Take a thorough shower to wash off all salt. All the salt in my hair made it feel like I had used a whole bottle of hairspray. However, my hair was so soft after washing it.

The pod will start its recirculation routine after you exit, making it pass through the tank’s filtration and the UV disinfection system. After dressing, find a place to relax and acclimate yourself to the world around you. This is a good time to rehydrate, because the salty water will make you thirsty. You may notice an inner calm, which some call the afterglow. Enjoy!

Benefits of Saltwater Immersion Therapy

  • Reduced pain relief
  • Aids chronic fatigue
  • Helps PTSD
  • Increases dopamine and endorphin levels
  • Aids anxiety and depression
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Helps fibromyalgia
  • Aids hypertension
  • Helps arthritis
  • Helps athletes relax sore muscles to aid recovery
  • Improved learning
  • Enhanced creativity

Floating is not recommended for people with kidney disease, low blood pressure, epilepsy, any contagious diseases, open wounds, skin ulcers, or severe skin conditions. Unplug from technology, silence your phone and avoid drinking caffeine before for maximum benefit. If your hair is dyed, the water should run clear during washing before floating.

Tonya Olson is a digital content manager for Ogden Publications' magazine titles. She was born and raised in Northeast Kansas swimming in corn, jumping hay bales, and driving go-carts as a child. College took her to Arizona, life moved her to North Idaho, and her heart brought her back home. She’s an artist by nature, her usual outlet is her eye behind the lens of a camera. You can find her on Instagram. Outside the office, Tonya enjoys kayaking local waters, digging in the dirt and wrangling kiddos. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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Natural Beauty Routine + Lip Balm Recipe

Sage in the garden

Natural Beauty Products Should Be Ubiquitous

I used to be a make-up consultant when I was very young and naive. After a few years of selling products that I realized were full of toxic chemicals I had an awakening. I couldn’t sell them anymore. I wanted to give the gift of confidence and natural beauty, not the gift of future cancer. So I took a financial hit and threw all of my inventory away. And I started looking up every ingredient that was listed on beauty products. It was an education in complex sounding ingredients like parabens, and I’m happy that nowadays most educated women are very wary of mainstream beauty products and their toxic ingredients. It’s not worth the risk of long-term health damage to have the latest beauty product on your skin. 

Glowing, Colorful Natural Look

In my opinion, the most beautiful women have a clean, fresh face that glows with health and a bright smile. My mother also believes that wearing lots of color helps your natural beauty shine through, and I have to agree with her. After looking at my closet, I find that I own a lot of brown, grey, and black clothes. Now that I am in my mid-thirties, I think that beautiful colors and patterns in clothing are a nice addition to my natural beauty routine. Luckily, there are also lots of lovely patterns out there even in eco-friendly clothing and organic fabrics. 

I’ve made a short video showing my simple daily beauty routine. Let me know what you think!

Which Skincare Brands Are Pure & Natural?

How does someone learn which companies make pure healthy beauty products? It can be daunting and confusing, especially with an already busy life. 

Start simple and buy only 100% Certified Organic products. Beyond that, try to get to know the beauty company, where  the products are made, and what standards they have. There are many local make-up and beauty small businesses popping up. Even Amazon sells some handmade products. But it’s best to check in your local health food store and ask if there are any local beauty companies selling there. 

In my e-book, Rosemary’s All-Natural Cosmetics Guide, I share with readers all of the natural beauty products that meet my high purity standards. I am not an affiliate of any of the companies. I also used EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) rating system as a reference point. EWG is a non-profit organization that tests thousands of products for all types of chemicals and ranks them in terms of toxicity. Use their database to look up the products that you normally use, if you're curious. My beauty guide is complete and simple, and will take all of the guesswork out of which products are pure and which are not. As an added bonus, I tried to pick products that were in the mid price range, so that it can be affordable for most people. Most people cannot afford to spend $50 on a daily moisturizer or cleanser!  Some of my tips that are spread throughout the guide are intended for you to simplify your beauty routine. It will also lower your risk of overloading your body with toxins and cancer-causing chemicals. 

Homemade Lip Balm

Make Your Own Homemade Lip Balm

On our homestead, my eight year-old and I make lip balm and fill up our old lip balm containers with pure, wholesome salve for lips! It is a really fun activity for older kids (who can be trusted to be patient and very careful pouring), and the result is your family gets many months of natural lip balm. It is full of organic essential oils and beeswax. Here is my recipe and it has totally simple and pure ingredients. Certified organic lip balm can cost as much as $8 for a small tube, so it can save you a surprising amount of money! Play around with it and try mixing a small bit of lipstick in there for a colorful lip balm. 

Rosemary’s Natural Lip Balm Recipe

Ingredients

5 tbsp Cocoa butter or Shea butter 
1 tbsp Beeswax/beeswax pellets
2 tsp honey
20 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops tea tree essential oil (optional – will help heal cracks)
5 drops Tamanu nut oil (optional)
A pea-sized amount of lipstick of your favorite color (optional)    

Directions:

1. Melt butter (cocoa or shea) with beeswax in a double boiler on low. 

2. Stir with a popsicle stick or silicone spatula.

3. Turn off the heat and add honey, EOs, and optional lipstick.

4. Stir again.

5. Then immediately pour into lip balm pots or sticks.

6. Each time you fill a lip balm pot immediately cool in the fridge so that the ingredients don’t separate. Enjoy your lip balm!

Rosemary Hansen is an author, homesteading Mama, and a chef. She has spent the last 10 years “homesteading” in the city. She and her family have just started their off-grid homestead in rural British Columbia, Canada. Her books, Grow a Salad In Your City Apartment and Rosemary’s Natural Cosmetic Guide are a great way to ease into a healthy, pure lifestyle. You can connect with Rosemary at her website, www.RosemaryPureLiving.com or on her YouTube channel. Read all of Rosemary's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Lemon Balm for Loss and Grief Herbal Healing

Lemon Balm Garden Patch 

When I finally got around to checking the gardens, the Lemon Balm had grown unruly, specifically the greenhouse plot. Unclipped, it continued to rise toward the plastic roof, sprouting seed heads along the way. The base had started to coil, almost snake-like, until the plant was unusable for tea. But I couldn’t bring myself to care about that, or any of the many plants I was responsible for that needed attention and love.

The Mugwort was suddenly taller than I was, the St. Johnswort had been overtaken by weeds, and the hyssop had gone and dried up. It had really only been a few days, but as I’ve quickly learned in this field, plants don’t abide by our sense of time.

Healing from Loss

I recently lost my brother unexpectedly, and as many who have grieved can attest to, felt utterly alone in my pain. Chores seemed meaningless and unnecessary. I couldn’t muster the love I’d previously had for Anise Hyssop and Feverfew, even as they stood vibrant before me. Though surrounded by family, I felt as if sharing my thoughts and feelings would be a burden to them.

So I stayed quiet, alone. But Lemon Balm doesn’t grow alone. Lemon Balm may start as a small thing, but make the mistake of blinking and it will spread across an entire garden plot. The plant called to me, telling me in the ways only pants can, that everything would be alright. And I listened.

While too grown for tea, the stems could be tied and dried for smudging. When combined with a few sprigs each of sage, rosemary, and lavender, I’ve found the smudge has the potential to clear a space, person or thing of negative or stagnant energy, and encourages positive growth through calming and clarifying scents. The plant had not left us, it had simply changed.

Lemon Balm for Healing Tea

Lemon Balm Tea Infusion Colors

 The second patch of Lemon Balm was still usable for teas and when collected, I stuck a few leaves right into my water bottle. My mom had taught me to do this a few summers ago when I was having stress-related stomach problems. I blamed it on school, work, and the woes of socializing, but it was really from not listening. Not listening to my body when it said “slow down and deal with it”.

As I came to learn, Lemon Balm is calming, both physically and emotionally. In the book Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs, Gail Edwards notes that it acts as an antidepressant and helps to alleviate stomach cramps. I have personally found that Lemon Balm helps me to direct my focus on and complete one task before another, helping me feel less overwhelmed.

I like to make a big pot of “house tea” when it’s time to wind down, or when I have company and want to offer them something. The blend is multiple mints (apple mint, peppermint and spearmint), as well as Lemon Balm and nettles. The ratio is 2:2:1, respectively. The tea is nutritive and lively, while also working to soothe any worries, internal or mental.

Over the course of a few weeks with smudging and tea time, my house began to feel like home again. There was more laughter and teasing. More planning and movement. More life in general. I’ve come to love Lemon Balm this season, for all its taught me and all it has yet to teach me. How I’ve been able to misstep in my care and yet it still stood, ready to be harvested and used for an alternative purpose. The lessons of Lemon Balm are not lost on me, though I’m sure I’ll need a reminder every now and then; we need to stop and we need to listen.

While I know we will always miss him, the plants are happy, and we are healing. Perhaps, as my mother always says, there is a lesson in this after all.

Mackenzie Varney is an apprentice herbalist on Nezinscot Farm in Maine. She has degrees in biology and health and has lived and worked on farms all her life. Connect with her on Instagram, and read all of Mackenzie’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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Get Your Glow On: Stephanie’s Original All-Purpose Scrub Recipe

 

As a licensed esthetician (skin care specialist), my clients often ask me about what they can do to improve the texture and radiance of their skin. In addition to my customary sage advice that includes observing good lifestyle habits, drinking plenty of water and eating a whole foods diet, minimizing stress, living in joy, and avoiding excess sun exposure, I always ask if they use a gentle exfoliating facial scrub on a regular basis. Why? Well, allow me to impart a bit of educational "skinformation."

The epidermis, the thin outer layer of the skin that is visible to the eye and protects the body, renews and replaces itself completely every 30 to 60 days or so. This timetable varies with age, health, lifestyle habits, skin care regimen, and environmental factors. The younger you are, the more rapid the cellular turnover and natural sloughing of spent epidermal cells. As you age, the skin’s metabolism naturally slows, resulting in slower cell turnover and a potential buildup of surface dead skin cells. Gentle, consistent exfoliation is essential to aid in the removal of this dry, scaly, lackluster layer, revealing a fresher, smoother complexion that will more readily accept beneficial hydration from a toner, astringent, facial steam, mask, or moisturizer.

I practice holistic skin care, meaning I eschew products containing unnecessary synthetics, irritants, and useless fillers, as well as modern exfoliating treatments such as harsh chemical peels and microdermabrasion that can compromise the long-term health of the skin and its protective microbiome. I prefer instead to use products based on organic plant ingredients and extracts that nourish and support the functioning of the skin, including facial exfoliants that are uber gentle, yet effective, and I incorporate plenty of facial massage during my treatment sessions to stimulate circulation, tighten muscles, and boost product penetration. Yep, I give great facials that leave your skin smiling!

The recipe below is unlike most commercial facial scrub products that contain rough bits of gritty pumice, ground apricot kernels, walnut hulls, or plastic beads (an environmental no-no) - which serve to mechanically exfoliate your skin. Instead, my formula contains softer, soothing, mildly abrasive ingredients that accomplish the same goal while being much easier on your delicate skin.

Stephanie’s Original All-Purpose Scrub Recipe

This recipe will definitely do that for you if used several days per week. It’s actually the very first skin care product that I ever made! I was about 15 at the time, and I’ve used and loved it ever since. It leaves your skin feeling very smooth and satiny and, as a bonus, it doubles as a facial mask: after cleansing your skin, simply apply a thin layer, let dry for 20 minutes, and then rinse.

Note: This recipe calls for oatmeal, almonds, and sunflower seeds processed or ground into “meals”. You can easily grind these ingredients by using a clean coffee grinder (in which you don’t grind coffee) or use a small food processor. Or, you can purchase pre-made oat flour and almond meal. I rarely find sunflower seed meal, though, so this ingredient will probably have to make from scratch.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground oatmeal or oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal (use raw almonds, not roasted)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed meal (use raw seeds, not roasted)
  • 1 teaspoon ground, dried peppermint, rosemary, or spearmint leaves
  • Dash of cinnamon powder (optional, but it adds a pleasant hint of spicy fragrance)
Yield: 1 cup dry ingredients

Liquid additives:

For dry skin: Approx. 2-3 teaspoons full-fat coconut milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half

For normal skin: Approx. 2-3 teaspoons coconut water, almond milk, or low-fat or whole dairy milk

For oily skin: Approx. 2-3 teaspoons distilled or purified water or aloe vera juice

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly blend all the dry ingredient in a small bowl using a spoon or small whisk, or shake them in a ziplock plastic bag.
  2. Pour the mixture into an airtight storage container. Label and date.

To Store: No refrigeration is required for the dry scrub mixture, but for maximum freshness and potency, please use within 6 months. Store in a dark, cool cabinet.

To Apply: In a very small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the dry scrub mixture with enough of the appropriate liquid to form a spreadable paste. Allow the paste to thicken for 1 minute. Now, cleanse your face and throat with your usual cleanser, pat dry. Next, using your fingers, gently massage the scrub onto your face and throat for 1 minute. Rinse well with warm water. This scrub is so gentle that you can use it daily, if you wish. Otherwise, please use at least twice per week. Follow with moisturizer.

Recipe excerpted from Pure Skin Care: Nourishing Recipes for Vibrant Skin & Natural Beauty © 2018 by Stephanie Tourles, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Stephanie Tourles is a licensed holistic aesthetician, certified aromatherapist, and gardener with training in Western and Ayurvedic herbalism. She has also written many other books, including her best-selling, Organic Body Care RecipesHands-On Healing RemediesRaw Energy In a GlassRaw Energy; Pure Skin Care; and Naturally Bug-Free (all available in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Store). Visit her website www.StephanieTourles.com to learn more, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


 

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Herb Infused Waters for Summer Hydration

Hydration is key when summer hits, and while I love ice water, sometimes a hint of flavor can make water feel a bit more special. Plus, herb infused water is an easy upgrade when entertaining, your guests will be impressed!

You can use any combo of herbs, fruits, and edible flowers that you like, here are some of my favorite combos:

1. Lemon Balm and Mint: lemon balm has a sweet lemony flavor that add brightness while mint will add that refreshing cooling effect. Lemon balm is known to relieve digestive problems, anxiety, lower blood pressure, aid in concentration and is antiviral (1). Mint is known to also relieve digestive bloat, upset stomach and vomiting (1). A lemon balm and mint water infusion would be great on a hot day, when you might need a mood lift or feel extra stressed.

2. Watermelon and Basil: cubed watermelon adds a touch of sweetness while basil pairs well with summer fruit. Basil improves circulation and soothes headaches while being antimicrobial (1). The contrast of pink plus green makes a great spring and summer refresher. Watermelon can also be substituted with strawberries for a fun twist.

3.Mint and Cucumber: cucumber water is classic ‘spa water’. Add sliced cucumbers to impart a touch of flavor and add mint, which can relieve upset stomach and cools you down at the same time.

4. Chamomile: alone, chamomile has a sweet apple flavor, pair it with lavender, lemon balm or stevia leaves for a sweeter twist on herb water. Chamomile is known to promote relaxation and relieve stress, ease stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea (1) and is also loved by children. The cute white flowers will give this infusion a feminine look, great for a girls day or night.

5. Strawberry and thyme: strawberries add vitamins, sweetness and a pale pink hue. Thyme adds a distinct herbal flavor and brings benefits such as soothing sore throats, stimulating the immune system and can help fight urinary infections (1). Together they make a tasty pairing fit for any summer entertaining, or as a treat after an afternoon working in the garden.

Water infused with herbs is a healthy, sugar free alternative for any time of the year, but especially refreshing during the warm months. When infusing waters, roughly chop, tear or bruise the herbs to release their oils and scent. In a pitcher or large mason jar, infuse water and herbs for a least 2-4 hours before serving for the best flavor. Throw in a few edible flowers such as calendula, pansies, borage, rose petals or chamomile for an extra layer of color and interest. There is no wrong or right combination when it comes to infusing water with herbs- use the flavors you like and use the herbs you have on hand!

(1) Chown, Vicky; Walker, Kim. The Handmade Apothecary. Sterling Ethos, 2017.

Nicole Wilkey transitioned from a corporate job to small-scale farmer in 2015. Since then she has run California based Flicker Farm to accommodate meat pigs, mini Juliana pigs, pasture based poultry and sells goats milk soap and lotion on Etsy. Connect with Nicole on Instagram and Facebook


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Growing, Propagating and Using Aloe Vera

aloe vera plant

If you only have a little space in your garden, or perhaps even just a balcony or a sunny windowsill, you should definitely try growing some Aloe vera. Easy to care for, aesthetically pleasing, and very useful, these plants have been a fixture in hot climate gardens for a long time. 

Aloe vera is a succulent perennial evergreen plant that originates in the arid, hot climate of the Arabian Peninsula, which means it is ideally suited for dry, semi-desert conditions, and does very well with frugal watering. Keep your plant in well-drained soil and allow it to drain thoroughly between waterings. Aloe vera does great as a potted plant or planted directly in the soil. You will probably need to water more often if you keep your plant in a pot, though.

Most gardening guides say that aloe vera does best in full sun, but I have found that in a very hot climate such as ours, with many hours of glaring sunlight each day, my aloe plants get burned in full sun and the tips of their leaves dry up. I keep mine in dappled shade underneath a large mango tree, and they thrive that way.

Aloe propagates by offshoots, which means that once your mother plant is big enough, you will have new little plants growing from the bottom. Make sure you have enough room for them all, as they can multiply really fast once they get going! To separate the young plants, dig gently around the roots, reach down and, moving the roots around, disengage the offshoot from the mother plant. If you grow your aloe in a pot and the offshoots are close to the pot’s sides, you might have to remove the whole cluster of plants, separate the young ones, and put the mother plant back in.

You can also try collecting aloe vera seeds. The plant has tall, impressive flower stalks with multiple yellow-orange blossoms. Once the flowers dry up completely, you can collect and germinate the seeds, but I have never bothered, because offshoots are by far the easiest way to get more plants.

A small pot with a young aloe vera plant can be a great gift to neighbors and friends. I like to give mine away to whoever happens to stop by, and always have plants to spare. 

Aloe vera gel has wonderful cooling and soothing properties. Use it on burns or insect bites to reduce itching and swelling. I like to keep a few aloe vera leaves in the freezer and use them as needed. The gel quickly defrosts when applied to the bite or burn, providing the additional soothing comfort of cold. 

Image source: Creative Commons

Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna, her husband, and their four children live on the outskirts of a small town in northern Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna's books are on her Amazon.com Author PageConnect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blogRead all Anna's Mother Earth News posts here.


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Dandelion Benefits Biodiversity, Soil and Your Health

Dandelion Field With Blue Sky

Photo by pixel2013

Did you know there are tons of amazing and medicinal actions dandelions can perform for both your health and the earth? Just to confirm, yes you read that correctly: We are absolutely talking about those yellow flower bearing “weeds” that seem to grow just about anywhere and everywhere.

To many people, these highly prolific plants, are often thought of as a nuisance or an eyesore amongst a garden or well-kept lawn. However, if more people knew about some of the incredible actions dandelions can perform, they would likely be welcomed in any garden, lawn, or pathway.

Dandelion’s Benefits to Biodiversity and Soils

Dandelions play a very important role in the livelihood of many ecosystems, as they are one of the first blooming plants in springtime. This makes dandelion an essential food for bees and other pollinating insects in the early spring months, when most varieties of flowers have not yet bloomed. Getting some fuel from dandelions, bees and other insects then go on to do the important job of pollinating numerous plants and crops. In fact, the Urban Pollinators Project housed at the University of Bristol, found that dandelions are the most visited urban plant by important pollinators out of all plants growing in urban settings.

Not only do dandelions help support the pollinator populations, they are also extremely helpful in facilitating healthy soils. One of the ways they do so is by restoring soil mineral content. This in turn produces more nutrient dense fruits, vegetables, and other crops. This is especially important in areas where soil has been degraded of essential minerals from industrial farming practices.

Dandelions have also been found to help create drainage pathways in compact soils. This can prevent the stagnation of ground water and potential puddling in a garden or flooding in an ecosystem. Because of this, dandelions can be highly beneficial to your garden, especially if you’re growing root vegetables (beets, carrots, potatoes, etc.) in dense soil.

Health Benefits of Dandelion

Inflammation. Incorporating Dandelions into your day-to-day can be very beneficial for your health as the functions they can perform when ingested are vast and varying. For starters, this yellow “super plant” is very anti-inflammatory which is extremely important for overall vitality. A 2006 Harvard Health study has stated that chronic inflammation can be thought of as the common factor in causing most illnesses.

Digestion. Dandelions have been seen to help with a variety of digestive disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, heartburn, and constipation. When taken prior to a meal, they can increase your body’s natural production of hydrochloric acid, which in turn aids with protein digestion.

Kidney support. Dandelions are also considered a “diuretic” and support the kidneys in reducing water retention. Believe it or not, dandelions can also help with detoxification and support the liver with the numerous actions it performs to rid our bodies of toxins.

Skin. Just in case you aren’t convinced of dandelions super powers; you should know that even its stem can be useful! Dandelion stems are filled with a substance that can be used topically on unwanted skin conditions such as warts.

So now that you know some of the many ways dandelions are incredibly helpful for both human health and the earth, the next time you see one you might choose to marvel at it, honor it for its amazingness, or pick it to use it. Stay tuned for Part 2 to learn how to incorporate dandelions into your diet in a variety of unique ways such as, your salads, stirfrys, teas, and even baked goods!

Meghan De Jong is the founder of Meg De Jong Nutrition, her personal nutrition platform, which offers tons of seasonal recipes, food growing tips, and nutrition education. She works with clients one on one to provide “garden-to-kitchen” nutrition support, and is the author of e-book entitled Eat to Nourish. She currently is creating a 4-part guide to seasonal eating. Check out the spring edition, then connect with Meg on Facebook and Instagram.


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