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Using Dandelions for Food and Medicine

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Dandelions are one of those things on this earth that people either love or hate, it seems. I happen to love them, I never see them as something that ruins a lawn, but rather I see it as a field of sunny yellow wildflowers. I see them as beautiful and full purpose. This spring begin using dandelions for food and medicine from their flowers to their roots. 

Lawn full of dandelions.

 

Using Dandelions as Food

The flowers, leaves, and roots of dandelion are completely edible. Dandelions are a great way to begin foraging and eating wild foods. Most everyone can easily identify dandelions and unless allergic they are safe to ingest.

Eating the Flowers:

The sunny yellow petals have a mild, honey-like flavor that is delicious in a number of applications.

Eating the Leaves: 

The young spring leaves of the dandelion are tender and delicious. As the greens get older through the summer season, they tend to get bitter. While still fine to eat most of us find the bitterness level objectionable, for that reason eat the leaves in the early spring and leave them be later in the year.

Eating the Roots:

Dandelion roots are most often roasted have a flavor that is very similar to coffee.

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Using Dandelions as Medicine

Dandelions are full of healing properties from their roots to their flowers. Gather the flowers and leaves in spring, the roots in fall. 

Dandelion Flower & Leaf Remedies:

Make the most of common 'weeds' by foraging and using dandelions for food and medicine with these easy recipes and home remedies.

Dandelion Root Remedies:

The roots should be harvested in the fall. They are full of liver cleansing properties that can help flush toxins and inflammation from the body. The roots can also tame indigestion and the bloat that comes from overeating at that holiday feast.

  • Infuse the roots into honey for a sweet remedy for upset stomachs.
  • Make a tincture of the roots to help flush the liver.
  • Drink a cup of dandelion root tea to help flush toxins and ease indigestion.
  • There is some evidence that dandelion root helps flush uric acid from the body making it a good treatment option for gout.

Dandelions & The Bees

Dandelions are often the first source of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects in the early spring. As dandelions tend to be very productive plants, the chances of over-harvesting is pretty small. Still, responsible harvesting is always a good practice and that applies to dandelions as well. Take only what you need and leave the rest.

Don’t let the fear of harming the bees prevent you from foraging for dandelions. There’s enough to go around.

Dandelions are often one of the first things we can forage in the spring so get out there and make the most of them for food and medicine in your home.

How will you be using dandelions for food and medicine this year? 

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B in N.FL

Thursday 22nd of March 2018

Hi Kathie, You posted about regional edible weed books to aid in identifying the correct edibles. Since I have stopped having my large yard sprayed I now have a myriad of weeds (including stinging nettles) but I do not want to harvest and eat the wrong weed and suffer for it or worse. Can you (or one of your followers) give us an idea what to look for when buying a book on edible weeds, and do you know if there is a good one for the North Florida Zone 9? In 2017 I actually harvested what I hoped was Dandelion and made a tea and added it to a salad. Glad I found the right edible, and didn't poison myself. :-) Thanks for your help for those of us who are just getting started.

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 22nd of March 2018

Look for a Peterson Field Guide to Wild Edible Plants. They usually have several based on location throughout the country. Also check to see if your state park agency has a guide or suggestion. I know we have locally published books in Montana, I bet you do in Florida too.

Thomas Matthews

Tuesday 30th of May 2017

love the flowers breaded and fried

Linda

Monday 29th of May 2017

Please help me with distinguishing between real dandelions and the look alike. I was going to infuse what I thought was dandelion and was told it wasn't.

Homespun Seasonal Living

Wednesday 31st of May 2017

I'm not sure which plant you're confusing Dandelion with - there could be several. My suggestion is to find a really good guidebook for your area of the world and use that to identify. This post here contains some great information: http://www.ediblewildfood.com/dandelion.aspx

alena

Sunday 28th of May 2017

I picked so many dandelions roots today. I wonder if I need to wash them and then dry or we do need some dirt on them too.

Homespun Seasonal Living

Monday 29th of May 2017

Scrub those roots well, just like you would any root vegetable: https://homespunseasonalliving.com/harvest-medicinal-roots-dandelion-valerian/

Darla Sue Dollman

Friday 3rd of March 2017

Great topic! Too many people underestimate the value of this medicinal wildflowers. It was my granddaughter's favorite flower when she was younger, then one of her neighbors berated her for blowing on the seeds and told her it was a weed. It took awhile for me to convince her it actually has more benefits than all the plants combined in her neighbor's yard!

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