Herbal Spotlight: Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), stubborn weed or powerhouse plant?
Updated: Jun 7, 2022
It's easy to say that we all know the Dandelion. We've made wishes, cursed her long roots and enjoyed the bees finding her bright yellow blooms in spring. She has adapted to grow in many soil conditions, out-growing grass and pervasively growing where she will. Maybe because of the stubbornness of this plant we often miss are her benefits. If we stopped to make more wishes we might be able to hear what she's trying to teach us.
Harvesting the pants: Find a spot away from cars and foot traffic to harvest this helpful herb. It is edible from root to flower and helps with liver function, digestion, immune function, inflammation, blood sugar regulation and blood pressure. Here are some possible uses:
1.) Salad greens:
Harvest young leaves for all types of salads. Pair with roasted beets, goat cheese, garlic, eggs, and nuts. The only limitation here is your imagination.
2.) Sautéed greens: Sautéed your greens and eat them like chard in a side dish.
3.) Immunity boosting smoothy:
Use the greens in an immunity boosting, detoxifying smoothy. Add other ingredients like berries and oranges for added boost and flavor.
Use the greens like basil and make a pesto to put on pasta.
5.) Dandelion chips:
Do you like kale chips? Try making dandelion chips instead.
Use like arugula or spinach and add them to homemade soups, pizza or quesadillas.
7.) Dandelion root tea/coffee:
If you like an earthy tasting tea you can dig the roots and make tea. Here's a recipe with chicory root and cinnamon.
Cook the roots like carrots or beets and serve them as a side.
9.) Dandelion microgreens:
If you enjoy microgreens your can grown your own using dandelions.
10.) Dandelion cookies:
Yes, you can even make cookies from dandelion flowers. Here is a recipe from The splendid table.
11.) Dandelion Syrup:
Perfect your pancakes by adding dandelion syrup.
12.) Dandelion jelly:
Want to getting creative with jelly this spring and summer? Give this recipe a try.
Dandelion tincture has been used by herbalist for centuries as a liver cleanser and diuretic.
If you don't want to make the tincture yourself, we have some available. Click the link for our shop. *As with any herb or supplement please ask your doctor before use.
I might be tempted to think that the dandelion is both helpful and stubborn and that might be why I like her so much. I get along with stubborn people - maybe because I'm prone to stubbornness myself. Even in her stubbornness she has a whimsical streak. You can see that in her seeds and the way they float through the air.