top of page

DANDELION- not just a weed!

Updated: Mar 23

How do you feel about dandelions?

Do you eliminate them from your property?

  • The flowers, leaves and roots can all be harvested for medicinal or culinary use.

  • The root has a deep nutty flavour, it is bitter like coffee and tastes especially delightful roasted.

  • The leaves are bitter, they make a nice tea and I use them in my salads to offset a sweet flavour like raspberry.

  • The flower can be steeped into a tea or added as a garnish to a salad.

  • BITTERS. Dandelion is known as a bitter. In particular it contains a bitter compound called lactucopicrin -which has an analgesic effect (analgesic means pain killer).

Does yard work leave you with aches and pains? Use those weeds you picked to soothe your muscles! :)

  • MINERALS. The root of the dandelion plant plunges deep into the Earth absorbing minerals from the soil. Minerals balance the body for all of its daily processes.

  • POTASSIUM. Potassium aids our body in detoxification and fuels the sodium-potassium pump of the cell wall. This pump manages the health of the cell.

  • MAGNESIUM. Magnesium relaxes us, and benefits muscle recovery.

  • BETA-CAROTENE. Beta-carotene maintains the health of the eyes and skin and balances hormones in the body- this nutrient is especially found in the beautiful yellow flower.

What do BITTERS do for us?
  1. (1) Stimulate bile production in the liver.

  2. (2) Stimulate secretion of bile from the bile storage unit- the gallbladder. Bile is used to help digest fat, protein, balance cholesterol and detoxify the body.

  • Stomach indigestion and to boost digestion before/after meals.

  • Support efficient fat digestion.

  • Strengthen spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, bladder and kidneys.

  • Liver purification/detox.

  • Hydration, when consumed as a tea.

  • Can be used as a tonic, to aid weight loss and support overall health.

How I use my dandelion:

  • FLOWERS. I harvest young flowers since they are less bitter to eat raw, such as adding into a salad- try a salad that has a sweet aspect to it to offset the somewhat bitter tang of the flower. Mature flowers rinse and dry in the sun, or at a low temperature in the oven. Once they are dehydrated you can add them into tea.

  • LEAVES. Harvest young leaves if you want a milder taste. Mature leaves will have a deep bitter taste, and because of this will have the more medicinal benefit. Leaves can be dried and then added to a tea, eaten raw in a salad or sautéd.

  • ROOT. Best dug up at the end of the year, once it has had a chance to be nourished all summer long, or early before the plant begins to rise in the spring. Rinse well and then toast in the oven. Blend or chop into small chunks and try mixing it with your coffee!


DISCLAIMER: Please note the NIH herbal encyclopedia is created to share the herbal benefits and notes through personal experience working with plants in the NIH garden and in the wild. Herbal knowledge shared here is referenced by various herbal texts in the NIH library. Any information gathered from our herbal blog posts should be utilized at your own risk. If you have medical conditions, are taking medication or are unsure of your health diagnosis, please speak with a physician or medical professional about the use of herbs.


bottom of page