With spring’s (late) arrival, the dandelions have been popping up everywhere. You may have seen my Instagram story from last week of my dandelion foraging expedition. I wondered to myself what passersby were thinking of Brad and I hunched over in the grass picking dandelions. Why would anyone want to pick dandelions? Well, let me tell you. Here are the benefits of dandelions plus nine ways to start using them.
Benefits of Dandelions
A few years back I learned that early settlers used to actually pull up grass in order to have more space for dandelions. Isn’t that crazy? But grass really is pretty useless (other than looking nice and being soft on the toes I guess), whereas it turns out that dandelions are quite beneficial to your health. Plus you can use all the parts of dandelions – the roots, the greens, and the flowers!
- have been used across the world in cooking and as a herbal remedy for centuries
- are a source of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals
- may help fight inflammation
- act as a gentle diuretic and laxative which helps with UTIs, intestinal gas, and constipation
- clear skin when taken as a tea or applied topically
Also, dandelions are one of the first food sources for bees as they wake up for the year – and we all know how much humanity relies on bees.
9 Ways to Use Dandelions
1. Dandelion Fritters from Red and Honey – made these while camping, so fun
2. Dandelion Greens and Citrus Salad from A Thought for Food
3. Dandelion Tea (3 Ways) from Medicinal Plants Zone
4. Dandelion Greens Smoothie Cubes from Tody in Dietzville
5. Sauteed Dandelion Greens from Philos Kitchen
6. Dandelion Pesto from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
7. Dandelion “Coffee” from Living Lovely Autoimmune
8. Dandelion Wine from Morning Chores
9. Dandelion Salve from Fresh Bites Daily
Note: If you have a ragweed (or other related plants) allergy, you are likely to be allergic to dandelion as well. Don’t eat it or put it on your skin.
My foraged dandelion flowers are currently drying on a screen, so you will have to wait and see what I get up to with them.
Have you ever used dandelion plants for food or medicine? How?