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Dandelions: More Than A Pesky Weed and Choking Hazard


Welcome to all of you who have hopped on over from Metro Morning!  Here are some delicious ideas on what to do with all those pesky dandelions that seem to take over the garden.

What is it about dandelion’s that make us think of our childhood. I remember putting dandelions under each others chins in the school yard to determine who liked butter (random). And who hasn’t made a wish on the white puff ball dandelion seeds? Well- I haven’t in years ever since I went to make a wish on one, accidentally inhaled,  and found myself choking which culminated in me tossing my cookies in  Heather Lawrence’s driveway when we were about six years old. We all have our dandelion memories…

All that just to tell you that they are more than a garden pest and a children’s choking hazard. Dandelions are pure medicine!

There are five main actions of dandelion that include:

  • Detoxifier: Helps body shed waste, toxins and heavy metals
  • Diuretic: Helping the body release excess water retention
  • Cholegogue: Stimulates bile flow which makes it great as a digestive aid
  • Laxative: We know what that means
  • Digestive Bitter: Helps stimulate digestive juice production

Now because of all those actions, dandelion root and dandelion greens (less concentrated effect) can be used to help with issue associated with high toxic load, swelling, and indigestion. Makes sense does it? You want names on those conditions? Here you go:

  • Constipation
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Edema (swollen ankles)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Gallstones
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestion problems

That’s me up there, harvesting a supply of dandelion greens and roots. You want to make sure you are getting yours from a chemical and pet-pee free zone too. The cleaner the better so avoid parks where pesticides or road sides that have a heavy flow of traffic. Though these plants are pretty viscous power-house detoxers, you still want to start with the cleanest source you can find.

Now here are my fave ways to enjoy the Dandelion

Dandelion Greens

  • Use young greens in a mixed salad
  • Dry out the greens and powder to add to soups and smoothies
  • Saute with olive oil, garlic, and sea salt.

Dandelion Root
Dig up the root, scrub, slice in half vertically and lay out to dry

Dandelion Root Tea

  • Simmer  1/4 cup  of dandelion root in 1 L of water until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • Strain out the root
  • This same recipe can also be used with the flowers as well if you want something lighter.

Dandelion Tincture

Detailed directions on tincture making are provided here.

Dandelion Flowers

Dandelion Oil
he dandelion oil ca be a remedy for joint and muscle pain and also alleviate various skin problems.

  • Harvest a jar full of freshly picked flower heads and cover with almond or olive oil.
  • Use a chopstick to press out any air bubbles
  • Cover the jar with a piece of cheesecloth.
  • Keep in a warm, sunny place to steep for about 4 weeks

(flowers and leaves)
For cooking, salad dressing, astringent/toner or tonic (drink 1-2 oz  before meals to promote digestion)

  • Chop leaves and remove flowers from the stems
  • Place in a jar and cover with apple  cider vinegar. Secure lid
  • Shake the bottle twice/day for three-four weeks.

Dandelion Honey

4 cups dandelion petals
4 cups water
3 (1/4-inch) thick lemon slices
½ vanilla bean, split in half
2 cups sucanat

  • Select flower in full bloom during mid-day when the sun is brightest.
  • Remove petals from the green bottoms
  • Place petals in a pot along with water, lemon slices, and vanilla bean.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for 6 hours.
  • Strain the dandelion mix through cheese cloth or sieve
  • Pour into a very heat stable pot and bring to a low boil.
  • Slowly add the sucanut while stirring until dissolved.
  • Lower heat and let simmer to desired consistency (may take up to 4 hours).


14 Responses to “Dandelions: More Than A Pesky Weed and Choking Hazard”

  1. Natalia said…
    Hi Meghan, do you know where I can buy or pick fresh dandelion flowers in Toronto?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hmmm... Can't think of anywhere that would for sure be spray or dog=pee free in the city. I am not sure if I've seen anyone selling them at the markets, either. I am not personally a big fan of eating wild foods harvested in the city due to the air quality. You might want to pop by a local market and ask around. Sorry. I can't be of more help.
  2. Lela Gary said…
    Hi Meghan, I am long ago familiar with wild dandelions, unable to locate them here in the GTA. Can you tell me where to pick them?

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