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The time between late spring and summer is an excellent time for growing and gathering herbs that can be used in a home care for skin problems. Also fresh seasonal vegetables have their own medicinal value and can be made into therapeutic dishes.
Dandelion leaves appear in the spring, and the jagged, slightly bitter leaves make a delicious salad when young. Older leaves should be blanched to tenderize before serving. The root is used as a coffee substitute. The leaves are a powerful diuretic without leaching potassium from the body like conventional drugs. Dandelion cleanses the blood and tissues and is useful in the treatment of skin diseases.
Nettles are invaluable as a food, rich in vitamins and minerals. Only the young, tender tips are suitable for cooking, the stalks and lower leaves are not edible. They can be cooked then pureed for soup or vegetable accompaniment. Nettles make a valuable tonic after the winter and are an excellent remedy for anaemia, their vitamin C content ensures that the iron they contain is properly absorbed. Nettles increase the quality of the blood helping to give a healthy glow to the skin.
Burdock root purifies and cleanses the tissues and blood. The whole plant has a mild diuretic, sweat-inducing, and laxative properties. It has a reputation for treating skin eruptions such as boils and acne. The bitter taste of burdock is tonic to the digestive system and the leaves stimulate the secretion of bile. Burdock leaves are used as a poultice for skin problems and bruises. Burdock helps to dispel heat from the body.
Foods for Acne and Rosacea that have a cool or cold nature can clear heat in exactly the same way that herbs act. Some of the foods that are cooling in nature include cucumber, mung beans, bean curd (tofu), lettuce, pears, mushrooms, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes.
In a stockpot, combine the shallots and butter and cook over a low heat until soft for 5 minutes. Stir in the nettles and cook for a further minute. Add the diced potato and 1 litre of cold water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree in a food processor until smooth and season. Stir in the cream, yoghurt or crƒ¨me fraiche and serve.
Dandelion and Bacon Salad
Wash the leaves and place in a salad bowl. In a frying pan cook the diced bacon with a little olive oil until brown. Pour the bacon and oil over the dandelion leaves. Deglaze the pan by adding a small amount of balsamic vinegar and using a wooden spoon scrap the bottom of the pan over a high heat until it is clean. Add the cooked vinegar to the salad. (do not use the pan for deglazing if any burning occurs while cooking the bacon as the taste will be bitter)