Although major chemical companies, like Monsanto, would have us believe that weeds are merely an annoyance – they can actually be quite effective at helping to heal the body – in juice form. In fact, these powerhouse weeds are far more valuable in antioxidants, phytochemicals and hard to find nutrients when compared to the average vegetable found in grocery store.
Weeds also are not hybridized, so they can work exceptionally well to boost immune function. Here’s a list of my favorite 5 ‘super weeds’:
1. Dandelion – great for liver cleansing and blood building.
2. Stinging Nettles – which can help heal bladder infections and kidney stones.
3. Birdock – good for reducing hypertension.
4. Chickweed – helps to eliminate eczema and psoriasis.
5. Red Clover – can be used to reduce troubling menopausal/premenstrual symptoms.
The health benefits of dandelion greens
Dandelions are technically called a weed, but in our industry we call them ‘dandelion greens’. We juice the entire leaf and, if you like, you can also juice the beautiful yellow flower that stems out from the greens.
Where can you find these magically delicious greens? Obviously you can pick them right out of your backyard or by the roadside, but we don’t recommend doing that! Keep in mind, the ‘general public’ tends to use Roundup – a highly-toxic herbicide – in their yards and around corporate properties throughout most major cities. The only place we would recommend you pick dandelions would be in nature – if there’s a forest area near you.
I live a block away from a huge forest that was designed for walking and biking. The dandelions grow like crazy all over the sides of these forest parks. If you don’t have access to these kinds of forests, we recommend you buy your dandelion greens from a health food store. Most have them and/or your local food co-ops, plus they are quite reasonable in price. (just a few dollars for 20 leaves or so)
Why should I juice dandelion greens?
Dandelions are one of the most potent and powerful greens (‘weeds’) we can juice to help rehabilitate and detoxify the liver. In addition, dandelion greens have been shown to help keep our vision healthy and strong. And, finally, if you want to improve the health of your kidneys or urogenital canal – juicing dandelion greens is a wise choice.
Coming from a juice therapy background, I have learned to combine certain greens with other vegetables to make powerfully healing combinations for certain organs within the body. For instance, beets go exceptionally well with dandelion greens, as well as lemons to make a delicious juice tonic. (Check out my recipe below)
The health benefit of dandelion greens
1. A safe (healthy) amount of usable calcium – in its natural state.
2. Rich in iron.
3. Low in calories.
4. High in antioxidants.
5. High in minerals – essential and non-essential.
6. High in protein – more than spinach.
7. Naturally high in B vitamins.
Try this ‘super weed power tonic’ – which makes more than 1 quart, and is for 2 people.
2 cups fresh dandelion greens or 6 large leaves
5 ribs celery
1 cup spinach
2 large English cucumbers
1 large lemons
A bit of fresh ginger root (1 inch)
Juicing this tonic is your best bet, but blending is an option – it just won’t be as easy to drink because of the fiber, which can cause a bit of unhappiness in the mouth.
Weed warning: If you feel motivated to pick nettles – in the wild – don’t ever touch these with bare hands. Be sure to use gloves – as they will truly sting you and it can hurt for up to 24 hours or more.