It is weed picking time, today we will be picking Dandelions!
Dandelion,: Taraxacum officinale Other Names Common Dandelion, Lion’s Tooth, Priest’s Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Swine’s Snout, Dent de Lion.
I had this post planned way back in the spring, but for some reason our normal bumper crop of dandelions were just not showing up yet. So I decided to wait a bit longer because I wanted pictures I took myself of the plants, leaves, roots flowers & pictures of the process of making the things with the dandelions. Well Spring turned into summer & now late summer & we had 1 little dandelion plant that had not even bloomed, then I saw 2 more little plants. So I did a post on my Facebook page on the subject & almost all the responses were they had noticed far less to no dandelions in so many states.
To pin this blog post on Pinterest
What about where you live, are you noticing less dandelions this year?
But my fans encouraged me to proceed with the blog post with the info on dandelions even if I could not include the pictures I wanted, my fans say they prefer the info without photos to not having the info at all. So a couple of weeks ago I started the draft for this blog while watching 3 dandelions in my yard (yes just those same 3) finally one bloomed & I got a picture & with the 3 dandelions I have gotten some of the pictures I wanted along with some pictures I took a few years ago. So are you ready, here we go!
Did you know that a common weed could be a great medicine?
Instead of digging up or spraying this weed to kill it, why not utilize this amazing medicinal herb that’s in your yard?
First and foremost you need to properly identify a dandelion plant, so again let’s get our crazy foraging hat on & get picking & let the neighbors look on in wonder of just how crazy we are. Check out the pictures I have posted & read the info copied below for identification.
Common Dandelion / Taraxacum officinale: Dandelion is arguably the most common turfgrass weed. (Article here)
Dandelion is a perennial
Lets get Picking those Dandelions!
The whole plant can be used as a medicinal herb internally & externally so it is a great weed to have around.
First never pick dandelions to eat or use for health that have been sprayed with any chemicals, pesticides & herbicides, so picking them off the sides of roads or from anywhere you suspect they got sprayed is a bad idea. And if friends let you forage in their yards or fields or bring you dandelions double-check they have not been sprayed.
Next even if the plants & flowers have not been sprayed washing them well is still a must, fill a sink with cool water add a couple of capfuls of vinegar & or several TBS of baking soda or salt, add your dandelions, & if you have it add some colloidal silver. swish the plants around & let sit 10 to 20 minutes swishing them a few times. drain & lightly rinse.
External uses: Applied externally to fight bacteria & help heal wounds.
Internal uses: Dandelion is also used for the treatment of the gall bladder, kidney, urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, edema, chronic joint, gout, eczema, acne.
Dandelion tea:, which can be made from either the flower, root or the greens (leaves), is an old herbal remedy with several uses. It has been used for detoxification, as a diuretic, and to treat a number of digestive complaints. In modern times, it has also become a staple in several weight loss programs. Dandelion not only has valuable medical properties, the roots also have a rich coffee flavor. Brewing dandelion tea, whether for health or for pleasure, is a relatively simple task. (info here)
Harvest The new fresh leaves/greens in early spring for eating. The larger leaves can be harvested for tea, dried or used fresh. The flowers can be eaten used for teas, recipes such as jellies. The root is also great for tea dried or fresh. Dandelion is a herb that is beneficial from root to blossom. The white sap is used as a wart remover.
Dandelion(Poultice):, Can be used in a poultice to treat many skin issues, including acne, pimples, blackheads, impetigo, hives, eczema, itching, psoriasis, rashes, poison ivy, bites & stings.
Nuisance? (info here)
Dandelion root is well-known as a coffee substitute
As a reminder all my pictures are of tiny batches due to only having 1 flower & 3 small plants to photograph. 🙂
To make Dandelion tea from the flowers: Collect & wash about 8 to 12 blooming yellow flowers. Now pull the petals off the base of the flower, add a couple of TBS of petals for each cup of tea, pour boiling water over the petals & let steep 3 to 5 minutes. Strain out petals or leave them in for a bigger health kick to your immune system, sweeten with raw honey to taste, you can also add the petals to other herbal teas like green tea.
To make Dandelion tea from fresh leaves: Chop up fresh washed dandelion leaves add 1 or 2 TBS to a cup & pour boiling water over the leaves, allow to step 3 to 5 minutes. Scoop out leaves with a spoon (or leave them in) & sweeten with raw honey to taste, again this can be combined with other herbal teas if desired.
To make Dandelion tea from dried leaves: Take your washed leaves, pat dry, & remove the stem, let dry in a warm room, sunny window or in a dehydrator. Then simply crumble them & save in a glass jar in a dry cool spot. Add 1 teaspoon of dried leaves per cup of tea, pour boiling water over the dried leaf powder, let tea steep 5 to 7 minutes, Sweeten with raw honey to taste, great added with other teas or made into ice tea with fresh lemon.
Fresh Dandelion root tea: Dig or pull dandelion roots (do not waste the rest of the plant) After they have been washed & cut away from the stems, Cut the root into little pieces about the size of a pea or smaller. Add approximately 1 TBS of roots per cup of tea, pour boiling water over the roots, Steep for 5 or 10 minutes, sweeten with raw honey to taste. Again great combined with other teas.
Dried Dandelion root tea. Gather roots just like for the fresh root tea, then use a dehydrator or the oven method here. Then to use dried roots add 1 TBS per cup & pour boiling water over the roots, steep 10 minutes, sweeten with raw honey & enjoy.
Dandelion Poultice: Take your fresh green leaves & either chew it & apply for fast relief of issues such as bites & stings. Or simply grind with a food processor etc. Apply to problem area. Can be mixed with vinegar, baking soda, raw honey, raw coconut oil, real olive oil, colloidal silver etc.
To learn how to make Dandelion Jelly go here
To learn how to make infused oil with your dandelion, flowers, leaves roots or all 3 together check out my blog post on infused oils here
Check out my Pinterest board with lots of info on using Dandelions & other plants here
Check out this great article 40+ Things to do with Dandelions here
Make sure to search the web for lots of great Dandelion recipes as well.
To make Dandelion greens: Pick the tender newer leaves enough to fill your pot, I have also used older leaves, but the newer ones taste best. After washing cut the leaves in 1/2 to 1 inch chunks making sure to remove stems, add to pot & cover with water (note many say to only pick greens that are young & tender from plants that have not yet bloomed for less bitter greens) Bring to boil & boil for 3 to 4 minutes, making sure to use a spoon to keep the greens submerged. Taste & see if they are bitter, if they seem bitter to you boil another 5 or so minutes & taste again, repeat if needed. After they are done to your liking separate out the greens to eat just like you would spinach. Do not discard the water. (I found this tip interesting though I have not tried it: To dilute the bitterness, you can also add dandelion bloom buds to the pot the second time around. The bloom bud is the round, center part of the dandelion plant that grows to turn into the flower, info here)
Using the water from your greens: You could simply drink the water like hot tea, you could save it to add to iced tea, or other hot beverages or drink cold, also makes a great plant food & is great to use in no poo for your hair (the Dandelion flower water might be better for your hair type but the leaves water works for many) & awesome to wash face & skin.
Dandelion & Plantain salad: use fresh picked young dandelion leaves & flowers & plantain leaves after washing & cutting in a great tossed salad.
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