The Dandelion, not just a simple, unwanted weed; but, an herb rich in Vitamins A, B, C and K, fiber, calcium, magnesium and antioxidants! While dandelion greens are bitter, they aid in digestion and liver health and can be eaten on salads.
Dandelion flowers are edible and you can pick and eat them right away, just be sure you’re in an area that hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals. In fact, this is a great fun and educational activity for kids in the Spring: foraging dandelions. Dandelion wine and dandelion jelly can also be made from the flowers, as well as dandelion bread.
Personally, I have made dandelion jelly and it is delicious, has a very similar taste to honey. I have also infused kitchen oils with dried dandelion blooms to use in soaps and salves because the herb is known to alleviate muscle aches and pains and helps dry skin become moisturized. A Dandelion Salve is also good for cuts, scrapes and burns.
The dandelion root is excellent as a coffee, tea or tincture and those can be used to level off heartburn post meals. The roots are also used to treat constipation, liver and skin problems.
In order to use the dandelion root in tea, cut the roots in into half inch sections and let dry. When the root is completely dry, put a tablespoon of it in a cup and pour boiling water over the root. Let infuse 10-15 minutes.
For a tincture, cut and dry the roots same as above and fill a jar 2/3 full with the dried root. Pour vodka over the roots, within an inch of the top, and let infuse in a cool, dry place 2-3 months, shaking every few days.
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