Healing Weeds - Getting a closer contact with the healing world of herbs and wild plants.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Taraxacum officinale
NL: Paardenbloem - F: Pissenlit

Well known for its long list of medicinal properties, this beautiful and powerful plant is also loaded with essential nutrients, which makes it a top plant in any survival situation.

It grows in most countries around the world, particularly in the temperate zones of the Northern hemisphere and withstands a wide array of soil types and weather conditions. It does not need any special care.  Dandelions are among the most nutritious greens that one can eat. Some raw foodists claim one could survive only eating dandelions if needed.

As food, it is very rich in vitamin A and C, calcium and iron. With only 55g of dandelions one meets 112% of his daily needs for vitamin A, 32% of the daily needs for vitamin C, 535% of the daily needs of vitamin K and about 10% of one’s daily needs for calcium and iron. It is also a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.

young leaves are less bitter
Leaves and flowers can be used fresh, in salads, green juices, in vegetable pies, pancakes, with mashed potatoes, in soups, bread, etc. It has a bitter taste, being less strongly bitter when harvested before blooming.

The roots can also be eaten raw or can be dried to be used in herbal teas. they can still be roasted to make a tasty and rich dandelion coffee.

Its most well studied applications in herbal medicine are as liver and gall bladder tonic and cleanser, diuretic and depurative. As diuretic it adds potassium to the body, as opposed to most diuretics, helping to balance the mineral content in the blood, and it can also help bring blood pressure to normal levels.

Seeds ready to fly high and conquer the world

Dandelions also favors digestion and general metabolism, include glucose metabolism, so it can help with diabetes, as well as with weight loss. It has some antibacterial and anti-yeast action. Also a great herb to relieve PMS symptoms.

bees love it!

Here is a very good video on dandelions:

 Dandelions - Edible and medicinal uses

And here you can learn how and why to use dandelion greens in your smoothies:

10 Reasons to use Dandelion greens

More recipes with dandelions (I prefer to leave the flowers to the bees, who are facing lately a "food shortage", but the rest of the recipes seem great):

Eat the Weeds: Dandelions Hear Them Roar

More on how to preserve its roots:

Harvesting and preserving dandelion roots

And here two more extensive articles from other dandelion passionates:

The Health Benefits of the Humble Dandelion

Dandelion, my favorite spring herb - by Lesley Tierra

In the link below you will find an extensive description of dandelion and learn how to distinguish it from its look-alikes:

Survival Plants Memory Course: Taraxacum officinale

Here is a 20 minutes long video where Cascade Anderson Geller shares her knowledge on identifying, harvesting and using dandelions:

Dandelion, by HerbMentor

And last but not least, a video on how important dandelions are for healthy soils:

Dandelions on permaculture - Paul Wheaton

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