Dandelion, that sunny weed that is the bane of any perfect lawn seeking homeowner is so much more than something to be eradicated. In fact, dandelion is an herb with so much potential that it should be revered by the DIY homemaker. This amazing wildflower has tremendous medicinal, nutritive, and creative uses.
Get started using every part of this ‘weed’ for body, home, and in food with our ultimate guide for how to use dandelion!
Dandelion for the Body
The entire dandelion plant from the blossom all the way down to the roots are useful to the body. Don’t be shy in harvesting it (from unsprayed areas) and putting it to use with all these simple tips:
Moisturize: Keep those lips soft and supple with some dandelion lip balm.
Detox: Dandelion greens help detox the liver. Eat them raw in salads or toss them into tasty smoothies.
Ease Joint Pain: Dandelions are known for fighting inflammation. Infuse the blossoms into oil for a soothing oil to rub into arthritic joints.
Digestion: Take some dandelion root tincture to help the body digest large meals and fight the sluggish feeling that often follows holiday feasts. Learn how to make a tincture here.
Dandelion for the Home
Dandelion isn’t used for cleaning products or as an essential oil like many other multi-tasking herbs. However; it has many uses in the home for children and adults alike.
Compost: Dandelion helps put natural copper in the soil (book source), making it an ideal addition to compost and compost teas.
Dye: The flowers make a delightful dye for yarn and cloth.
Toys: Weave the flowers together for crowns and even garland for creative play.
Wish Jar: Collect the dandelion seed heads in a jar and use them for wishes on a bad day.
Dandelion as Food
Every part of the dandelion is entirely edible. It’s also fairly easy for most of to identify making it the perfect plant to begin foraging and wild edible adventures. Nutritionally speaking, dandelions contain Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and much more making them a healthy addition to the meal plan. The greens can be used almost in the exact same way as spinach – so raw, steamed, sautéed, etc.
Cordial: Infuse dandelion blossoms into brandy for a delightfully flavored adult beverage perfect over ice or even mixed with tea.
Coffee Substitute: Roasted dandelion root can taste a bit like coffee and is a completely delightful hot beverage on all its own and is without the caffeine or crash that comes later. Check out how Scratch Mommy Founder Jess uses roasted dandelion root in her morning cup of ‘coffee’.
Cookies: The flowers make a delightful and flavorful addition to cookies.
Salad: The greens make for a tasty and nutritious salads. Pick the younger, smaller leaves for a more tender, less bitter flavor.
Detox Smoothie: Check out five tips for excellent kidney health and grab this tasty dandelion smoothie recipe.
With all these amazing and creative uses, it’s no wonder dandelions seemingly cover the earth each spring and summer. Be sure to take advantage of this free natural resource and put it to use for body care, medicine, food, and imaginative play.
Please, make sure that you are harvesting your own dandelion (not sprayed with toxic chemicals!) or purchase quality organic dandelion. We support Mountain Rose Herbs, where you can find the following dandelion selections…
- Organic Dandelion Leaf
- Organic Dandelion Root
- Organic Dandelion Root Powder
- Organic Roasted Dandelion Root
A Few Precautions: Dandelion is generally considered a safe herb but as with anything it isn’t for everyone. Pregnant and nurse feeding women should seek the advice of a doctor or herbalist before using it medicinally. Folks with kidney stones and gallbladder problems should avoid dandelion. As always double check with a doctor or pharmacist to be sure dandelion won’t interfere with any prescription medications. Completely avoid it if anyone is allergic and seek advice from trained professionals if you have any concerns.
Check out the other posts in our series for how to use our favorite multipurpose herbs for home, body, AND food…