Many people call them weeds but dandelions are actually a valuable herb to have around. People have relied on the powers of dandelions for eons as many find out exactly what these little yellow blooms and their foliage have to offer. If you want to use dandelions for good purposes instead of treating them as trash, take a look below at these 10 fabulous uses for dandelions. You will find that dandelions are worth their weight in gold and can be a valuable asset to your household.
10 Fabulous Uses for Dandelions
Here is what you need to know about dandelions:
Dandelions are thought to have evolved about 30 million years ago in Europe and Asia. They have been used by humans for food and as an herb for much of recorded history. Dandelions are now found worldwide. Dandelions are perennial plants.
It should be noted that dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions in some people when eaten or adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Consult your doctor or health care provider before embarking on a course of using dandelions as medical plants.
All parts of the dandelion plant can be useful for specific purposes. Harvest the new dandelion greens in early spring to eat. If you use dandelion greens after the flower stalk grows tall and the flower opens they will be quite bitter. Larger leaves can be harvested late in the season. The dandelion blossoms are eaten as fully opened or green buds. The dandelion root is ready to use once a hard frost has killed off the green parts.
Only use fresh dandelions that are untreated and in their natural state and have not been touched by weed killers or pesticides. The dandelion is a diuretic that also contains potassium. Regular harvesting will keep the dandelion from going to seed and sowing itself. This will keep the spread of cultivated dandelions out of your lawn. No matter what use you want dandelion for, this easy-growing plant can be a wonderful addition to your herbal garden.
There are many potential health benefits to dandelions including providing antioxidants, reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure, and aiding digestion.
1. Eat dandelions in a tasty salad.
Foragers know that dandelion greens are actually quite tasty! As long as your dandelions have not been treated with any chemicals or fertilizers, they can be eaten as salad greens. Just wash well to remove all dirt and debris and use a vinaigrette of your choice for more flavor. Some people even like cooking dandelion greens like you would cook spinach greens, which is also tasty. Dandelions are a bitter green, but if you love strong flavor you might very well enjoy them.
Dandelion greens are a good source of calcium, iron, and potassium. Dandelion nutritional facts.
2. Make your own muscle rub using dandelions.
The oils in dandelions can be quite effective at helping soothe sore muscles.
● Use your dandelion oil as you would any massage oil for amazing, muscle soothing results.
3. Steep dandelion blooms for tea.
When harvesting the dandelion flowers to eat, simply pop the bloom off of the stalk. To use as a herbal remedy you want to remove the flowers from the green base. You can get nutrients and flavor from dandelion blooms, which is why many people like steeping them for tea. Dandelions are considered diuretic, and so many people use dandelion tea to help rid the body of excess fluids. You can also dry the dandelion blooms and add them to your tea blends for extra flavor.
4. Make dandelion jelly!
I have a glass jar of dandelion jelly in my pantry right now. Dandelion jellies can range from bitter greens to sweet flowers in flavor. There are a plethora of dandelion jelly recipes on the internet! Here are several dandelion recipes that looked really interesting:
● Sweet Dandelion Jelly – a popular sweet dandelion jelly recipe
● How to make dandelion jelly – Do you know that you can make a lovely jelly from dandelion flowers? Yes really you can and it’s so easy to make dandelion jelly too!
5. Make dandelion wine:
I have a feeling that dandelion wine was the original herb wine. Dandelion wine can be made using the entire flower or just the yellow part for a less bitter flavor. Store it in a Mason jar as moonshine, give it to friends and relatives as a unique gift.
Here are a few dandelion wine recipes to try:
● Dandelion Mead Recipe (Dandelion Wine Made With Honey) – Dandelion wine is an old-school recipe that has been around for centuries. The yellow petals have a honey-like flavor and they make a delicious wine! I prefer to make dandelion mead, as I feel like it is even more flavorful that way.
● Dandelion Wine Recipe – Get out there and pick some so you can get started on fermenting a batch of flower wine. This drink is not only tasty but is said to have liver-cleansing properties as well!
6. Make dandelion syrup for your pancakes and waffles!
The process to make dandelion syrup is time-consuming, but not difficult. For a unique syrup for your next breakfast, try one of these dandelion syrup recipes:
● Dandelion Syrup – It is very easy to make, but a little time-consuming. You need to put at least 12 hours aside to let the dandelion tops steep and then need 2 hours to simmer the syrup. This is a perfect activity for a chilly and rainy spring day.
● Dandelion Syrup Recipe – One of my favorite syrups is dandelion syrup, but you cannot find it in shops. This is an old family dandelion recipe handed down from generation to generation.
7. Dandelion root can be roasted as a coffee substitute.
How to make dandelion root coffee:
● Clean the dandelion roots well.
● Cut roots into small pieces.
● Process cut roots in a food processor or mini food processor.
● Spread out the roots on a jelly roll pan (no more than ¼” deep)
● Roast at 250°F for several hours until dry, stir, or move the dandelion roots around several times.
● Cool, grind to a powder using a coffee grinder.
● Store in an airtight container.
8. Make dandelion soap!
In folk medicine, dried dandelion root is often ground into a paste and mixed with water to create a dandelion root tincture; a soothing paste for skin disorders. It stands to reason that people would find dandelion soaps and lotions soothing.
Dandelion oil is considered effective in helping rough, dry skin. Considered a skin soother, there are a lot of dandelion soap recipes out there!
● Dandelion Lotion Bars – This combination in this soap helps cracked, dry skin, while dandelion oil is particularly useful for alleviating the chapped skin and soreness that comes along with manual labor.
● Easy Dandelion Soap – a melt and pour recipe using foraged dandelions.
9. Use dandelions for crafts.
You can press dandelions for crafts with the use of a flower press. Or, you can make your own flower press out of a heavy book and some parchment paper. They will retain their color nicely and can make a nice addition to the DIY projects you are working on. You can also tie the stems together to make flower chains, flower crowns, and more.
10. Add dandelions to your compost.
Do not toss those dandelions out after you pick them. Add them to your compost pile where they will break down and help enrich your soil. The foliage of dandelions is nutrient-rich and can give your soil a boost. So do not toss it, instead put any dandelions and their foliage in your compost for a vitamin boost for free.
Remember, only try the above suggestions with dandelions that have not been treated with any chemicals or fertilizers. Even after washing, traces of these chemicals can stay present. Only use fresh dandelions that are untreated and in their natural state.
Amazing how much use you can get out of that “weed”! Do you have any suggestions or uses for dandelions?
Note: None of this is meant as professional medical advice. I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet. Please consult a physician if you have any questions about using dandelions so your doctor can better explain to you the benefits, possible side effects, and any warnings of using dandelions.
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