Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are thought of by many as nasty weeds or lawn/garden intruders and it's truly time to re-think that image. These heralds of Springtime not only protect, aerate, and condition soils, they bring beneficial insects to the garden and provide incredibly nutrition rich food and medicine for us. Also, they were almost made for fun - Making dandelion crowns and wishing on the puffy seed-heads is a fond memory for many of us when we were but wee ones!
Dandelion as a medicinal herb is bitter, cooling and dry. It has diuretic properties (particularly the leaf) and shows great affect in liver cleansing leading to benefits for the skin and many other body systems. Topically the oil made from the flowers helps relieve tension, swelling and excessive heat conditions along with being quite moisturizing for the skin. Dandelion is used for arthritis, gout, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, edema and abnormal blood sugar levels. It is indicated for many female problems and skin diseases due to its action on the liver. The whole plant, especially the root, is beneficial to the liver but is slow in producing the desired action. Autumn roots are roasted and used as a coffee substitute. - Sharol Tilgner, N.D.
That all said, here are a few ways you may want to work with sweet Dandelion!
-Glass Jar with lid
-Fresh dandelion flowers (allow to wilt 1 – 3 days but not fully dry)
-Oil of your choosing (Olive, Peanut, Sesame, Almond, Grapeseed, Castor, etc)
Place dandelion flowers in the jar and cover with oil (at least an inch over the flowers. Stir gently to dissipate any air bubbles. Cover with wax paper and put on lid. Place in a sunny window for 2 – 4 weeks. Check regularly to insure no mold or rancidity in the oil is occuring. For straining, I like to work with the Moon cycle and strain my oil on or near the full moon, but that’s entirely up to you! Once strained, store in a dark glass bottle or jar.
Rosemary Gladstar's Creamed Dandelion Greens
Wild Spring Greens Pizza by Perennial Plate:
This delicious and fun homemade recipe combines the vibrant fresh flavors of dandelion greens, nettles and ramp leaves for a wild foods take on pizza! You can substitute scallion greens or chives for the ramp leaves if desired.
*Photo by Perennial Plate
We have several great tea blends here at Moonrise that contain Dandelion!
Radiant Skin Tea contains Burdock, Dandelion root, Licorice, Sarsaparilla, Calendula, Chickweed, Rosehips, Cinnamon, & Orange peel
Our Diet Tea has Elderberries, Chickweed, Burdock Root, Dandelion Root, Sencha Green Tea, Chia Seeds, Orange Peel, Fenugreek, Fennel, Ginger
And for those for whom Spring brings the dreaded pollen, we have our new AllerEase Tea containing Nettle leaf, Eyebright leaf, Dandelion leaf, Peppermint, Goldenrod and Ginger
So love your Dandelions because they will surely love you back!
What are your Dandy favorites?
*Double Dandy Lions picture by iguanamouth