Deeper Than Plants: Alteratives & Blood Purifiers

Alteratives are herbs known wayyyy  back in the day as a "blood cleanser." Alteratives are herbs that alter the body's metabolism of wastes, so that it functions more efficiently. Alteratives work through the lymphatic, glandular and mucous membrane systems. Working to cleans the lymph, skin, kidneys, and colon. Good news: it's safe and effective. Don't believe me? Do your Googles. How do they work? They simply (Ha! I def downplayed the process) alter an unhealthy state in the body to make it healthier and normalize the metabolism. The result? The body is more effective at working on the cellular level. Alteratives are a very important part of herbal medicine.  

The primary action of alterative herbs is their ability to maximize metabolic and catabolic activities to balance and normalize the general physiological chemistry of the body, thus restoring and sustaining vital health processes. 
When you're taking alteratives, it's best to go with using them as a water infusion, to support hydration. Alteratives with green leaves are actually more gentle than root alteratives. Root alteratives (like Burdock and Dandelion) work best for the liver and the skin. 
So, let's bring it alllllll home and talk Dandelion root.
Dandelion, Taraxacum officinalis
Dandelion is scientifically called Taraxacum officinalis, and medicinally, we use both the roots and the leaves. Dandelion comes from the Asteraceae family (you know you want this info).
Dandelion roots: They're cool, moist, and bitter
Dandelion leaves: They're cool, drying, and bitter
When would I use Dandelion?
Dandelion root is an alterative for chronic toxic conditions. The symptoms of these conditions might be eczema, acne, arthritis, or chronic gastritis. 
Dandelion leaves are good for treating the kidneys. They're a diuretic that don't drain your body of its potassium. A major key.
Why would I use Dandelion?
  1. When you're too dry and have heat trapped in your body
  2. When you've got sepsis (a deep infection down to the bone)
  3. Pain and tension in the sides of the neck and jaw (called the sternomastoid muscle - we stay droppin that knowledge, what's today's math?)
  4. You've got a mapped tongue
  5. You've had congestive heart failure 
  6. You've got boggy breast tissues
Yo! You speakin to my struggle right now. How should I use Dandelion?
I'm glad you asked.
  1. Add chopped dandelion root to your food processor. Spread em on a tray and slow roast them in the oven for 2-3 hours. Once the roots turn a chocolate brown color, you can then brew them with hot water. Then you'll have a great coffee substitute that's actually very good for you.
  2. Make a tincture. 
  3. Use the dried plant leaves to make a tea.
  4. Find dandelion at your farmer's market (get to know your farmer) and use cooked dandelion as a substitute for spinach.


1 comment

  • I think I learned a new word today… at first reading this I was like “Did she misspell alternative a bunch of times here?”. Nope… totally different word confirmed by Thanks for schooling us AND for the fab teas; WIN-WIN. And yeah, dandelion is pretty awesome in several ways (and just pretty in general seeing it’s flowers pop up all over now). It makes a nice wine as well.


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