Common Dandelion or Hand

Taraxacum officinale, commonly known as dandelion is a stubborn weed that grows in and around gardens all around the world. Within Kashmir, widely known as Hând, it is part of traditional herbal medicine and general flora. It has been used over centuries to treat myriads of ailments including cancer, acne, liver diseases and digestive problems. Grown in parts of Gurez, Tilel, Dachigam and Sonamarg, it is a weed of croplands, accompanied by a strong bitter taste. Hând belongs to the family of greens which are infused in the vernacular cuisine of Kashmir. Lisse (amaranth), sostal (lily pads), wasste-haaq , are different varieties of the winter palette learned through generations of local medicinal studies. A substitute for spinach, the herb smells of a long forgotten past, enamored by the sour yet effective taste of our traditional medicine.

Hayan Naim – 12th

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