My Herbs Blog
Are dandelions really humble? I think so. They are not flashy and temperamental like Roses. They are low to the earth, and unapologetic. They do not mind growing in the most lowly places, and are never the center piece of any bouquet. They lack the delicious fragrance of Honeysuckle or the gorgeous purple Wisteria. In fact they have very little scent at all. Dandelions are accused of being weeds, and sprayed and pulled up in force. Yet they keep growing, reseeding and beautifying any space where they are allowed to grow.
I love the Dandelion- Taraxacum officinale. All parts of the plant are used. I even pick the flower tops and dry them to add to my tea blends in the winter. It adds a bit of Spring sunshine to a wintery day. The leaves are delicious in salad greens, and high in Vitamins A, as well as Iron. The roots are where the real magic happens. Dandelion root is very tonifying and strengthening to the liver. After a long, and perhaps sluggish winter, I find it so delightful that God has given us Dandelion to lighten our steps, and spring us into spring. Just as you clean your house and air it out after months of indoor heat, the dandelion leaves and roots will clean up your own "house,"- your physical body.
My favorite method of utilizing the roots, is to dig them up from the garden. If you let your dandelions seed naturally, you will find them in the garden, which is the best place to find them. You should have rich, nourished soil, to produce the best dandelions. I wash the roots, and let them air dry for an hour or two. Then I cut the roots into small pieces, about 1/2 inch long. They can be dried even further by placing them in paper bags for at least 2 weeks, or you can make tea with them right away.
To make dandelion tea, you will place all of your root pieces in a large pot. (Assuming you have collected a lot). So for numerical purposes, for every 1/2 cup of root pieces, use 2 cups water in a pot. Turn your burner on low/ medium heat and bring to a simmer. Keep the temperature at a simmer for 30 minutes. The water should turn a brown color as the properties of the dandelion roots are pulled into the water.
You can add other roots if you have them. I like burdock root especially with dandelion root. Or make it just as it is- the unapologetic dandelion. After the roots have finished simmering. Put a lid on your pot and steep for 15-30 more minutes. Serve in ceramic mugs with a little milk and honey. Delicious!
**From The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies p. 69
"Dandelion contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, and essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the body. This relieves swelling and related pain in the body. Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases, suich as arthritis."
See my video below on harvesting Dandelion roots:
Jenel Schaffer Videos on YouTube