Dandelions — Food and Medicine

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I don’t think of them as weeds. The young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, with a mild flavor akin to spinach (leaves develop a bitter taste as they mature). The root, which has a sharp, bitter taste may be brewed into an infusion after washing and drying. This infusion promotes bile secretion, and is often used as an herbal remedy for liver and gallbladder function. (Do not consume dandelion tea or infusions if you are pregnant or nursing.) The root may also be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. The plant can be brewed into beer, and the flowers into wine. The whole plant is edible !

The yellow flowers attract bees as well, making it a great plant to have around your garden.

The dandelion is a perennial herb with a thick, fleshy, deep tap root and a rosette of coarsely serrated leaves. From the leaves emerge several flower stalks each with double golden yellow flowers. Once the flowers have bloomed, they produce spherical seed balls or “clocks,” which are dispersed by the wind. These seeds land on soil and within weeks produce the young and tender dandelion “greens.”

Dandelions thrive in full sun and good soil. An indication of an acid soil are smaller than usual pale green leaves with no stalks. If you wish to grow dandelions for herbal tinctures, infusions and salves, cut the plants evenly with the soil, and sprinkle one cup of dolomitic, pelletized lime evenly over the plants. Late August is the best time for liming and re-generating the dandelion patch. Water the plants weekly, especially during the winter months. The following spring harvest should be double in size.

Dandelion is well known for its therapeutic effects on the liver and kidneys. The leaves when boiled into a tea may exert a diuretic action on the urinary system. Because dandelions contain high levels of potassium it helps to replenish potassium that would be lost in frequent urination. Dandelion tea will also help replenish minerals that are lost after a bout with a cold or flu. This herb is rich in Vitamin A, and is also is a source of vitamins B, C, and E

Dandelion leaves can be used fresh in spring salads or cooked as you would spinach. Organic dandelion seeds may be ordered from the larger seeds companies which cater to organic growers of herbs.

Common names for dandelions include “clocks and watches”, and “fairy clocks”.

–Azul

Disclaimer: The treatment options mentioned above are only meant as guidelines and in no way replace the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.

Image courtesy of wikipedia.org.

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6 Comments on Dandelions — Food and Medicine

  1. Lady Beltane // May 14, 2015 at 7:59 pm // Reply

    I have eaten and drank Dandelion for years. Then my husband had our yard treated two summers as ago and there went my fresh supply. I had even gotten my doctor’s ok to switch from man made diuretic to using dandelion tea in place of it. When she saw how well it worked she started telling other patients to find an herbalist for correct dosages for themselves. My neighbor told me Monday t o help myself in her yard bUT the landscape people mowed before I could harvest. Just have wait for new b growth.

  2. Jack R. Sherman // May 15, 2015 at 2:58 am // Reply

    Azul,

    As a child growing up next to a field abundant with dandelion, the bright yellow flower attracted my attention. In the Fall of the year, the flower turned into a puff of seeds.to be blown after making a wish. The wish would come true if you could blow all the seeds away with one puff.

    Jack

  3. Lady Beltane, How are you sister? Well, I hope.

    Bummer about the dandelions in the yard ! Ever thought about growing them in planters? One of the most prolific dandelions I ever saw was growing in a big container with other spring vegetables. You could always order the seeds online. Check Amazon. com. I believe they sell Organic Russian Dandelion Seeds. Kazakh – Dandelion/ Rubber Root[Taraxacum- kok-saghyz ] I think these are non-GMO, certified Organic Heirloom seed. I’m sure you can find other sources of dandelion seeds. The larger International seed companies should be able to fill an order for the seed. Grow them in rich potting soil amended with sea kelp or compost. Make sure the planters are at least 12 inches deep to accommodate the long dandelion tap root. Full sun, moist soil. Blessings to you.

    Meadow

  4. Azul,

    If I might add to my previous note about the dandelion plant; apart from blowing the puff of seeds, as a child I enjoyed pressing the hollow stemb with the tip of my tongue to make curls.The slightly bitter taste of the milky sap seemed rather pleasant..

  5. Reblogged this on The Swamp Wytch and commented:
    Dandelions are common in South Florida. Native originally to Europe and Asia they’ve made their jolly way here and now pop up first in freshly disturbed soils and found between sidewalk cracks in the cities. This is an excellent blog post about them as Food and Medicine. When you’re done check out this page too (lovely dandelion wine recipe): http://www.eattheweeds.com/dandelions-hear-them-roar/

  6. Reblogged this on Coven Life.

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