|We eat dandelion greens and make root tea year around. Plants can be brought indoors for the winter. Even late season bitter leaves can be chopped and added to salads. Not too much, but enough to give you all the wonders of nutrition this plant affords.|
| Flower petals may be sprinkled over salads, rice
dishes, vegetable dishes. Tulip petals are edible as are the
violet blossoms and violet leaves.
The root is used medicinally to stimulate digestion and as a bitter liver cleanser good for skin conditions. (more)
Below dandelions on a German horse ranch, near Traben Trabach. Europeans make fine wine with the spring bounty of yellow flowers.
More as an edible wild plant
SPANISH MEDICINE: Spanish:
diente de leon; Catalan: dent de lleo; Basque: sorgin-belar.
Leaves and flowers
are eaten but the principle part used is the root. Specifically, as a liver stimulant (cholagogue), mild laxative, tonic
and to aid in the expulsion of toxins from the body. It is available in many forms: tinctures, homeopathic preparations
fluid extracts, juice. Typically, home practitioners make an infusion from the chopped root and drink it. The latex of
the leaves is applied directly to warts and calluses to expedite their removal.
(Taraxacum officinale G.H. Weber ex Wiggers.)
Description: Basal whorl of toothed leaves ans yellow composite flower with numerous rays. Torn leaf and/or flower stem will exude white colored latex.
Location: Common yard bounty. Found in temperate regions worldwide.
Food: A vitamin, mineral rich salad green. Tear it into small pieces (leave out tough veins) for salad and mix with thyme and fennel, nasturtiums, along with other salad greens. Thyme and fennel balance the bitterness from dandelions. Make a mineral rich tea from roots and leaves. Gently simmer chopped fresh roots for a stomach bitters. Cook fresh leaves early in season with olive oil, bacon and lemon juice. As season progresses leaves become more bitter: Pour copious amount of water on the late summer plants, the morning harvest will be sweeter. Even when bitter leaves are a healthy addition to stir fry. Try with tofu. Cook in oyster oil, with cayenne, garlic and beef strips.
Traditional Uses: The root decoction is a liver-cleansing tonic that aids digestion, and helps cleanse the blood. It is also diuretic, and traditionally used to treat PMS. It has a mild laxative effect and may relieve inflammation and congestion of gall bladder and liver. Native Americans applied steamed leaves (poultice) to stomachaches. Greens considered a tonic blood purifier. Root decoction imbibed to increase lactation. Also root decoction used as mild laxative and for dyspepsia.
Modern Uses: Commission E approved for treating dyspeptic complaints, urinary infections, liver and gallbladder complaints and appetite loss. Root extract may lower cholesterol and blood pressure (hypotensive). Dandelion is one of the most potent diuretics, performance equal to prescription pharmaceutical Furosemide in animal studies. Dandelions are a stimulating tonic and mild laxative with blood glucose regulating capacity. The bitter taste of dandelion is an appetite stimulant and stimulates the entire digestive system (cholagogue) improving appetite and may be helpful treating anorexia. It raises HCL in stomach, improving calcium breakdown and absorption and it also spurs bile production.
Cholesterol Lowering Ability: Dandelion and other bitter high fiber greens can theoretically lower cholesterol in three ways: 1. They stimulate the secretion of bile requiring more production of bile from cholesterol. 2. Fiber in the plants locks up bile in the digestive tract preventing cholesterol emulsification, thus it cannot be absorbed. 3. Fiber removes bile from body, requiring the liver to break down more cholesterol to make more bile. These factors help prevent atherosclerosis, reduce stroke, and lower blood pressure.
Notes: Eight plants under lights or in a window provide ample edible leaves for two people. We eat dandelion greens and make root tea year around. Bring plants indoors for the winter. Late season bitter leaves can be chopped and added to salads. Flower petals may be sprinkled over salads, rice dishes, vegetable dishes.
Wildlife/Veterinarian: Goldfinch eat the seeds, another great reason to grow this in your lawn. Dried dandelion root and dandelion tea is an integral constituent of my pigeon racing formulas. A fertility improving herbal supplement for horses called Fertility Boost contains dandelion. Another horse product uses dandelion as part of a formula for improving, strengthening and relieving problems with a horse’s feet. Brain Cool, a horse product, is combined with many herbs as a supplement for working animals.