Dandelion Tinctures: A Spring Superfood
Indigenous herbalist teaches the health benefits of dandelions at a tincture workshop.
Residents in South Vancouver are learning to create tinctures from dandelions, the superfood of the spring, according to an Indigenous herbalist.
At an herbal medicine workshop last Sunday at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, students foraged and curated their own dandelion tinctures while learning about the medicinal properties of local flora and fauna.
Host Lori Snyder showed her class how different parts of the dandelion plant can be beneficial in different ways. The root is high in iron so is good for the liver, the leaves contain potassium which is good for the kidneys, the flower is rich in vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin and you can add the stem to salads for some extra crunch.
Snyder does warn that dandelion contains small amounts of latex so should be avoided by anyone with a latex allergy.
Different perspectives on a common plant
For SFU student Rebekah Stevens, attending the seminar was a way to gain perspective during a tough semester.
“I’ve been really stressed with school, so I figured it would be good to do something like this,” Stevens said. “[It’s about] always appreciating what’s in front of us.”
Snyder’s connection with the Earth comes from her Indigenous heritage. She appreciates the plants that the Earth gives.
“So obviously, the dandelion speaks to you,” Snyder said. “And dandelion, they’re an amazing plant. I’m really super grateful.”
Local food sourcing
Registered herbal therapist, Moira Wyrd said herbal tinctures are beneficial to milder stomach issues.
“Holistic medicine is very good for prevention,” she said. “We’re looking at things that even are more subtle, things that aren’t enough of an issue to even be diagnosed as an issue.”
For Snyder, personal nutrition is about interacting with local food sources.
“When you start to find a taste for wild plants, our bodies will start to crave more,” Snyder said. “Know your history, keep those stories alive… and learn your plants.”