Taraxacum (/təˈræksəkʊm/) is a large genus of flowering plants which belong to the Asteraceae family, that consists of species all known as dandelions.
These plants are native to Eurasia and North America, but they have been introduced from Europe. Like all other members of the family, dandelions very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head.
People have been aware of the countless benefits of dandelion for centuries, and it has been commonly used as a natural remedy for the treatment of kidney disease, heartburn, appendicitis, and liver issues.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:
“In the past, roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.”
Dandelion, which literally translates into “lion’s tooth” in French, is abundant in numerous vitamins and minerals, which explains its common inclusion in medicines.
What’s interesting is the fact that the entire plant of dandelion is edible, and it is a rich source of potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamins like A, B, C, and D.
The consumption of dandelion will provide the following benefits:
- Dandelion leaves and root regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Dandelion extract strengthens the immune system
- The leaves are extremely rich in beta-carotene which improves eyesight
- Its high antioxidant content prevents cancer and premature aging
- The dandelion root might induce leukemia cells to die
- Helps weight loss
- Maintains skin and bone health
- The greens also provide 535% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which prevents cognitive decline and boosts bone health
- The diuretic properties boost the production of urine and help the function of the kidneys
- Dandelion stimulates appetite, helps digestion, and the roots have mild laxative properties
- Dandelion treats urinary disorders
- Fights jaundice
- Treats anemia
- Treats constipation
Now, we suggest 29 ways and recipes in which you can use this remarkable plant:
- Herbal Vinegar
To prepare this beneficial herbal vinegar, just infuse dandelion flowers in apple cider vinegar for a month, strain, and store the vinegar in a dark place for up to twelve months.
2.Natural Yellow Dye
To make your homemade yellow dye, cook some dandelion heads.
- Pain Relieving Salve
Create a double boiler and blend beeswax with dandelion infused oil. Leave the mixture to cool before use, and then apply it on the affected areas.
4.Floating Table Centerpiece
Just assemble a box from reclaimed wood, hammer small finishing nails through the underside, and slide handpicked dandelions on top to make a floating table centerpiece.
Brew up some deep-rooted dandelions and pour or spray the fertilizer onto flower beds and vegetable gardens.
6.Feed Your Goats
Leave several dandelions for your goats to feed them and enrich their vegetarian diet.
- Sautéed Greens and Garlic
Blanch dandelion greens them by immersing them in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds, and sauté them with garlic.
- Tempura Blossoms
Dip dandelion flowers in seasoned batter and then fry them to make a tasty side dish.
- Vegetarian Risotto
Cook the flowers together with some wine, onion, stock, creamy yogurt and parmesan to get a delicious risotto.
- Dandelion Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Combine it with parmesan, lemon juice, and toasted pumpkin seeds to make a delicious pasta, sandwich spread or veggie dip.
Prepare dandelion greens kimchi that will improve your gut health.
- Savory Muffins
The recipe contains whole wheat flour, oatmeal, honey and dandelion petals, and goes well with green pea and asparagus.
You can use the dandelion jelly on top of crumpets and toasts.
Blend infused dandelion oil with shea butter, beeswax, and lavender essential oil to prepare a silky, smooth healing bar, and use it to calm and hydrate the dry skin and fight inflammation and soreness.
Apply the white sticky resin from the stems, roots, and leaves of the plant onto warts a couple of times daily to get rid of them.
- Iced Lime and Dandelion Tea
Blend a quart of dandelion flowers with fresh lime juice, stevia leaves or other sweetener, and dried red raspberry leaf, and drink this lime and dandelion tea during the entire day.
- Dandelion Wine
Ferment dandelion flowers with water, raisins, and lemon zest, and you will make a medium sweet, and strong country wine.
- Dandelion Cookies
Another sweet dandelion based treat, these healthy lemony cookies include organic local honey and oats.
- Dandelion Root Coffee
Roast the roots, and then grind them, and you can brew a caffeine-free alternative to coffee.
- Danish Schnapps
Use the dandelion flower heads to get a fresh, aromatic and mildly sweet Schnapps.
Use dandelion with coconut oil to make a moisturizing lotion that will soothe aches and muscle pain, and treat the dry elbows and feet.
- Petal Sorbet
Make a delicious iced treat Mix freshly picked dandelion blossoms, sugar, honey and lemon juice, and prepare a tasty iced treat.
- Pain Relieving Oil
Dandelions are one of the most useful plants to reduce joint pain and aching muscles. Infuse the flowers of dandelion in oil and rub onto sore muscles and joints, to soothe the discomfort and pain.
- Pancake and Waffle Syrup
You need dandelions, honey and lemon only, and you will get a beneficial, natural pancake and waffle syrup.
- Dandelion Blossom Cake
Use dandelion syrup, blossom petals, coconut, walnuts, cinnamon, crushed pineapple, and make this tropical cake that will soon become the favorite one in the home.
- Dandelion Root Herbal Tea— Roast the roots of the dandelion first to add greater depth of flavor of this beneficial drink.
- Creamy Quesadillas with Fresh Greens— use the fresh dandelion greens to make this tasty quesadillas.
- Dandelion Greens Salad— To get a delicious and nutritious salad twist, mix dandelion greens in with other spring greens.
- Dandelion Green and Red Potato Salad— Mix the greens with some red potato and you will enjoy this amazing recipe.
Word of Caution:
Note that since this herb lowers blood sugar, it can lead to hypoglycemia in patients who already take blood-sugar modulators. Moreover, the milk sap of dandelions might lead to itchiness, irritation, or allergic reactions on the skin, while the inulin it contains, a rare type of fiber, might cause allergies and sensitivities.
Other than that, pick some dandelion greens and choose a way to use them! Enjoy!