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Thread: Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale

  1. #1

    Default Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale

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    Identifying characteristics:
    A perennial herbaceous weed which is the bane of lawncare nuts throughout the United States. Their deeply toothed leaves form a basal rosette. the leaves and flower arise from a deep taproot, up to 3' in length. The yellow ray flowers are borne atop a single hollow stem. When the flower goes to seed it produces a round white seed cluster which readily release under a gentle breeze. Just about every kids has, at one time or another, picked a dandelion flower in seed, and watched the seeds scatter as they blew them free of the flower head.

    Lawns and waste areas all over North America

    Parts Used:
    Leaves, Flowers, Roots

    Wild Food Uses:
    In the early spring, before the plant flowers, the tender young leaves can be added to salads, or used as a cooked vegetable. Once the plant flowers, most people find the leaves are too bitter to eat. I however, still like the flavor they bring to salads, I have also used the leaves from spring through autumn as a cooked vegetable. The leaves are very high in Vitamin A & C. A tea made from the leaves is used as a tonic to promote general health. When dry roasted, and ground, the root is supposed to make a good coffee substitute, although I have not personally tried it. The flowers can be dipped in a batter and fried to make a tasty fritter. The flower tops can also be made into a wonderfully delicate wine. It is important to note that you must not use any of the green underside part of the flower (the sepals), as this will impart an unpleasant bitterness to your wine. It takes a while to gather enough flowers to make wine, but your work will be rewarded, as this is one of the best wines I have ever tasted.

    Medicinal Uses:
    It is important to note that like with many other plants, just by eating dandelion, you will reap numerous health benefits. The leaves and roots have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Root tea has been used as a diuretic, and to treat ailments of the liver, gall bladder, kidney, and bladder. Dandelion has been shown effective at dissolving and eliminating urinary and biliary stones and gravel. A tea or decoction made from the leaves has also been used as a tonic to treat the liver, weak or impaired digestion, and constipation.

    Medicinal Actions:
    Alterative, Antacid, Antihydropic, Antilithic, Antiscorbutic, Aperient, Astringent, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Galactagogue, Hepatic, Lithotriptic, Lymphatic, Tonic.
    Happy Foraging

    Kirk - Information Concerning Edible And Medicinal Uses For Common Great Lakes Area Plants, As Well As Information On Numerous Aspects Of Outdoor Living And Survival.

  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Central Indiana


    Another one we have several threads on. From a coffee substitute to salads to wine.

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