Dandelions- More Than Weeds

EnjoyHerbalGardeningMay 24, 2011

Right now it is raining. After the rain, the dandelions will be sure to pop up. While the majority of people are thinking, "I know, dandelions, I have tried everything to get them out of my lawn�" I, on the other-hand am pretty excited! Why? Dandelions are more than just a weed, after reading this hopefully you�ll understand exactly what I mean.

It is funny, I was in a local store the other day and a customer was buying a weed-killer. I thought to myself, I wonder how much money a year does a company like that make selling weed-killer? Then I thought, I wonder if they know exactly what they can do with the "weeds" they are actually spending money on the kill. This is what led me to write this article.

Dandelions have Vitamins A, B complex, C, and D

Dandelions have minerals -iron -potassium -zinc

Bees use this flowers for nectar, naturally these plants bloom and are ready for the bees just about when the fruit nectar for the bees has ended

Roots are the Dandelion are used in medicine

Can be used in teas

Helps children suffering from jaundice

Used for Gall Stone treatments

Promotes for a healthier liver and kidneys

Used to treat skin conditions

Makes for a great wine

So now that there is a little information on the subject of these "dreaded weeds", maybe you�ll find that just killing the dandelions is not the only option.

Here is one of a few GREAT Recipes to use Dandelions

Ingredients Needed to Make Dandelion Wine

3 quarts dandelion flowers (just the yellow petals)

� pounds of raisins

3.5 pounds of sugar

1 gallon water

3 lemons - you will be using the peels first (make sure to get all the white off the lemon peels)

Yeast nutrients

Instructions to Make Dandelion Wine

Put the petals (only the petals) in a pantyhose or mesh bag and tie

Put the petals into the boiling water

After placing the petals in the water, turn the water down to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid

Simmer the petals for about fifteen minutes

After simmering, turn off heat and let cool down

When cooled, drain your petals (squeezing lightly) and remove the petal bag from the water

Start heating up your mixture again (without the bag of petals in it) on a low boil

Add sugar and your lemon peels to the water

Simmer this mixture for one hour

Now let cool to room temperature

After mixture has cooled down add the rest of your lemons and add the yeast nutrients to the mixture

Cover and leave in a dark place (maybe pantry for example) for three days- be patience, leave it alone for the three days

After the three days have expired, strain mixture into a jug (something airtight)

Every 60 days you will want to strain into another container (airtight container) until the wine stops having sediments in it

After your last strain, put the jug/bottle away for about one year

The longer you wait, the better it will taste!

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Culinary Uses: Leaves are used as a vegetable or raw in salads. Flowers used to make wine, buds are pickled, or boiled and served with butter, or battered and fried. Roots are peeled, boiled and sauteed as a vegetable, or roasted and ground as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses: Leaves are a powerful diuretic and are also used for the treatment of acne and eczema. They are an excellent detoxifier and a tonic for the liver, gallbladder and kidneys. They treat urinary infections, prostate enlargement, rheumatism, gout, diabetes. Good for food allergy sufferers. White sap treats warts, corns. Dandelion root helps both the kidneys and the liver to improve elimination. Root reduces blood pressure and inflammation and is a liver stimulant. Frequently used in the treatment of diabetes, water retention, poor digestion and liver problems, including hepatitis.

Dandelion Coffee
Gather dandelion roots in autumn. Cut into rings about 2cm thick. Dry in the sun on trays during the day, but bring them indoors during the night. When completely dry, roast in a hot oven (200�C) for 20 minutes. Put through a coffee bean grinder or in a blender and store in an airtight jar. Use the same way as instant coffee.

Dandelion leaves can become tough and bitter when old. To keep them sweeter for salads and teas, remove the older leaves, then cover the plants with a box to keep out the light for several days before using the fresh young leaves.

Warning: May cause bed wetting in children from excessive handling. (One of its common names is 'Pis-en-lit/Wet-the-Bed.) Use with caution, and under medicinal supervision, if suffering from gallstones, stomach ulcer or gastritis. The milky latex in the stem and leaves of fresh dandelion may cause an allergic rash in some individuals. May cause heartburn or diarrhoea in some people.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:23PM
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Dandelion blossoms also make wonderful syrup. It tastes just like honey.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:26PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

The blossoms are a sweet munchable. Even kids like the taste of the pollenly sweet blossoms (minus the green sepals).

I must admit that most of my dandelion root is harvested in the spring. Dandelions are a mostly tolerated "weed" in my veggie garden beds. Come spring and right before tilling more compost into my garden, I dig the dandelions. I collect both leaf and root. Not the optimal season for root, but I have a waste-not-want-not approach to herbs. I get buckets full of root and leaf. Something to keep in mind while weeding your organically grown garden beds.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:18AM
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