Flavor inspiration from Founder, Aneta
It is that time of the year when eight months of hard work comes to fruition. The long-awaited new flavor is about to hit grocery stores, and this time, I wanted to give you something truly remarkable! I drew inspiration from Mexican cuisine and culture with an added (healthy) twist, and my homeland, Poland.
Mango + Dandelion kombucha has a sweet, ripe mango flavor with a hint of spice and mellow notes of dandelion flowers and leaves.
While everyone is familiar with a mangos’ delicious taste and velvety texture, not many recognize the mighty dandelion. So, let me tell you a few things about this super-herb.
It is normal to think of dandelions as nothing more than stubborn weeds. While it is true that dandelions can be a nuisance to landscapers, in ancient times, dandelions were known as a beautiful, brightly yellow botanical and praised for their many health benefits.
I grew up in Poland, where dandelions are applauded and used for medicinal purposes. I remember how during dandelion season the fields, meadows, and city lawns turned into the most beautiful yellow landscape covering Poland like a yellow fluffy blanket.
April and May were both dandelion harvest months. Dandelion flowers open with the sun in the morning and close in the evening, or during gloomy weather. Often people were able to predict the weather just by looking at dandelions.
I remember splitting flower heads from the stems, and grandma’s gentle voice teaching me how to separate them without extracting too much of the bitter plant milk.
My grandmother was one of the greatest native herbalists I have ever known. She explained that dandelion flower tea is a brew that has a sweet and slightly botanical finish and it’s best to drink it daily, especially after a large meal, for better assimilation and overall body wellness. On the contrary, the roots give us a potent and somewhat bitter medicinal elixir to support digestive health, mainly the detoxification of the liver.
The way we harvested and dried dandelions is a tradition passed down from my ancestors for many generations.
First, we harvested flowering heads, then leaves, and dug out some roots. Rinsing was essential, and we placed dandelions in large vats of water and vinegar mix to give them a long bath.
Then we laid them out on blankets and let them dry for several hours before tying them into small stacks. Finally, the herbal bundles were moved to be dried in the barns or other places with good airflow.
The drying process took one to two weeks. When dandelions were crisp to the touch, they stored dry flowers, leaves, and roots in a glass jar to enjoy all the benefits of the dandelion teas, tinctures, and balms through the rest of the year and until the next harvest.
We usually dried and stored more dandelions than we could ever use. At the end of the spring season, we gathered and dried more dandelions than we could ever use.
As you can see the process is a bit time-consuming and requires a lot of skills and some herbal knowledge, but back then everything took more time (in a good way). We lived “slow,” but happy lives following the seasons and nature.
If you are not ready to embrace herbalism yourself but would love to enjoy a cup of dandelion tea daily, there are great options for you. Today you can purchase ready-to-brew dandelion tea bags or even better, our Mango Dandelion kombucha at your local grocery store and skip the hard work.
A few well-known benefits of dandelions include:
- Highly nutritious. From the roots to the flower, dandelions are a highly nutritious plant loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
- Contain potent antioxidants. Dandelion is full of antioxidants which may explain many of its medicinal benefits. Beta carotene and other polyphenols compounds are to name a few.
- May promote liver health, liver detox, and ease an upset stomach.
- Support healthy digestion. Dandelion is often used in traditional medicine to improve digestive health. The root of dandelion contains fibers called prebiotics that can promote the movement of food through the digestive tract.
- May aid in weight loss. Some research suggests that compounds found in dandelions may support weight control.
- May be used as a skin care treatment. Dandelion may reduce skin inflammation and irritation while increasing hydration and collagen production.
There are many more potential benefits of dandelion that we will not address, but I strongly encourage you to do your research. My story above is meant for informational purposes only.
The other names for dandelion are:
*Milk-witch or yellow-gowan
*Chinese called it the “earth-nail” of its sturdy taproot