Dandelion - Not a Weed but a Wonder Tonic

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Add the garlic and onion. Add the dandelion greens, red wine, salt and pepper. Cover the skillet for about 7 minutes, or until the greens have softened. Blanch the greens, by placing the dandelion greens and parsley in the pot, making sure everything is fully submerged. Only cook for 1 minute. Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and producing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine.

Nick's current role as executive producer of "Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness" and founder of The Sacred Science stems from a calling to honor, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and healing technologies of the ancient world.

A science blog exploring the wonderful world of plants and microbes

Facebook Email. That is so true Donna! I remember as a child watching the Greek women digging up dandelion plants in our yard. Of course, they always knocked on the door and asked permission to dig them up. This is so funny!

Which I love…because I know that my body is ridding itself of toxins…but now I try and eat them earlier in the day! Although this pesto recipe may be making itself into my dinner tonight…on a mixture of brown rice, some bits of pasta with milkweed buds and some chanterelle mushrooms I foraged from my backyard!

My mother used to make dandelion greens salad but she always sdaid they needed to be young leaves … better in the spring of course this was in Mass that he older leave were bitter? Thanks for the recipes! I have been curious about this my whole life. Americans are so ridiculous; we ignore the medicinal powerhouses that live among us. Thanks for openng some eyes to the benefits of Dandelions…Cheers! My kids love to saute the unopened flower buds in a little olive oil and salt; we like them very dark. The flowers are delicious in soups, and dipped in batter then fried like tempura.

The unopened buds are the best for this, and they can burst into bloom while cooking sometimes. Also if you just pull the yellow part of the flower and leave the green part behind then they are not bitter anymore and can be put in salad or to top a dish to look pretty. My grandmother fixed dandelion salad when I was a child.

I can remember in the spring my grandmother would make us dandilion tea to drink. She told us it would thin down our blood for the summer. He was a very smart man. I enjoy your posts. Thank you for these recipies. Dear Nick, I absolutely LOVE your work — just watched your interview on the Future of Healing online conference and so enjoy everything you are sharing.

It is great how you remind us about the plants that grow near us too… I am having my dandelions in a green smoothie, together with some plantain. Thank you for everything! Thank you so much Nick. I saw the Italian grandmothers out by the roads picking dandelions, when I was a kid. They still do here in Australia. We use dandelion leaves in our Nutri-blast smoothies, along with chard, apples, blueberries, figs etc. I cut the medium sized leaves, leaving the smaller ones to grow, and cutting the great big floppy guys back to make more energy available.

Over here! Wanted to leave yo a suggestion but cannot as this message format erases the message of you leavexxxxxxxtry to edit or use punctuation…. Thank you so much. I love Dandelion plants, I used to eat a lot of it in France. A good reminder to look for it here in Florida. Thank you for this post! Is it possible to follow this blog and be notified of new posts? I had no idea dandelions were so useful as a medicine. Thank you, again, for sharing that information.

I regret that I am allergic to this wonderful plant! Nonetheless, I enjoy all the informational posts. Very interesting and inviting! Curious … pick dandelions anytime? Even if in flower or seeding? Thank you for sharing Nick. Great eye opener. Super insight no more weed business all plants have a purpose by encroaching into our gardens-God sent.

Thank you for this awesome article. I was fortunate in that the Universe led me to discover the anti-inflammatory benefits of dandelion leaf tea…. No more ache-y joints!

13 Unexpected Ways to DIY with Dandelions - Organic Authority

PLUS — and this is huge for all who love their cuppa — it provides a healthy alternative to regular tea for those who cannot be without. Eventually one loses, at least I did, my desire for sweeteners in my hot drink of choice. Too late — I did! Why do you blanch both the dandelion and parsley in the pesto recipe? I have always done my variations of pesto with raw greens.

I noticed that the shallots were not mentioned in the list but were in the body of the recipe. Can you explain more about the shallots? My mother used to make dandelion honey with the flowers. We also had dandelion salad in the spring with hard boiled egg and bacon bits, however I find that later the dandelion is too bitter to eat. Dandelions are a miraculous herbs and work wonders. Wonderful recipes.

Grandparents would make dandelion wine every mid to late spring back in southern Illinois long ago. Whole Foods usually has organic bunches year round. Do pick my own when available in the yard. I find that if I eat too much bad food and get an upset stomach, eating a few raw dandelion greens fixes the problem like nothing else. The more bitter, the better.

I learned about this wonderful herb last year on a foraging walk. You are right God does give us what we need. A couple of plants found their way into my vegetable bed and a couple of flower pots. I harvest them like greens. Greetings from France. Greetings to you, Lyn! Thanks Nick for all your useful information. I now truly understand how my grandfather lived a long healthy life.

He lived to 98 yrs old. Growing up I would watch him garden as well as enjoying all the delights from it. Dandelion was one of them.

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A Peek Inside: Dandelion Leaf & Root

So much of what he ate is advised by you. He was a farm-to-table master. Grew up in Sicily on a farm. I apply it daily in our lives as well. I miss him dearly. What a wise man he was!! What lovely memories of your Nonno! Those traditions from the Old Country no matter where that country is , are so remarkable.

Living close to the land, so to speak. I love making Golden Syrup from dandelion flowers. So delicious on pancakes or in tea. I should add that when picking hundreds of dandelions, drying and then processing it can present a pollen overload. I make it a habit to pick a leaf or two from the dandelion and chew it whilest in the garden.

I consider that my daily prebiotic. Thanks for this! I put a ring of stones around it to keep it safe from trampling feet and I also kept it watered. It grew up to my waist. The leaves were huge. I love wild plants! Choose your setting wisely. The wilder the better. If near roadways, be at least feet away, if not further. You may harvest only the flowers or leaves, the plant shall remain. You may also harvest the whole plant including the roots. Thank you so much…. We have a special spot in our garden where we cultivate the dandelions to put in salads and smoothies.

The yellow of the flower is the first in the spring for our pollinators! Love you Nick and your awesome team. Excellent question, Debbie! Please click here for some ideas, some mentions are Red Wine Vinegar, Juice Grape, Pomegranate, or Cranberry , or Stock Chicken, Beef, et cetera — of course, the amounts used shall change. The wine is for flavor, as the alcohol ought to be cooked out. Hope this helps! Enjoyed learning about the uses, and benefits of the Dandelion, will try some in a salad, and a pesto, thanks for the information.

But it still has benefits and is SO good. An approximate weight of volume would be helpful. I have not tried the greens yet, though my parents talked about eating them. However I have fried the blossoms like okra. The roots can be scrubbed and diced up to use in soups and pan-fries. Dandelion roots are often recommended as a caffeine free coffee substitute, the roots are dried and roasted for this. I imagine it could also make a nice blend to lower your caffeine intake but still have some real coffee in it, similar to the way chicory is used in the South.

I like my coffee and have no ill-will against caffeine. Another tasty dandelion beverage is the wine from the flowers. To make a nice golden wine, remove all traces of green bits to prevent bitter flavors. A historical wine recipe can be found in A Modern Herbal. The dried leaves can be fermented in beers, and the roots can be used in root beer recipes. Dandelion beer often has burdock root as well.

79 Best Dandelion plant images in | Dandelion plant, Taraxacum officinale, Baking center

Personally, I have three gallon glass jugs and three airlocks for them. I have knowledge of how to encourage local yeast, the yeast on grapes, sourdough, and the yeast in ginger. That seems like a lot of brewing, but I do plan on playing with it over the course of a couple of years, I hear that this wine is best served aged, at least through to the winter.

Actually, that means I might think of a wintery spiced dandelion mead for Yule. Foraging Basics. Identification : This plant loves open areas, which is why it is so fond of lawns, so look for it in grassy fields. This is one of the first plants to show in disturbed ground, so look for it in cultivated fields as well. The leaves can be as small as 3 inches or as long as 12 inches, growing in a basal rosette around the flowers. The leaves have alternating large teeth, and can be so deeply toothed that they almost touch the central vein, or can be a little more curvy and wavy while still coming to a point at the serrations.

The leaves are hairless. If there is hair on the leaves, it is not a dandelion. It flowers from April to May, going to seed in May to June. The yellow composite flowers are inches across. It is a composite flower, but it is composed only of ray flowers with no central disk flowers. Flower stalks are hollow and emit a milky sap when broken. The flower has two sets of sepals, with one set curling down. This double set of sepals can help distinguish it among similar looking flowers, as they do not have this.

Gather the seeds when you can. Rub gently between your palms to remove the fluff, then scatter on organic soil to make trays of baby dandelion microgreens. Some say the roots are best harvested in the fall, being plump with starches stored for the winter. Others say fall roots are bitter, to gather around February, and that even March may be too late. The deep tap root can reach ten to twelve inches long, so bring a good spade for digging. If the root is broken, a new plant will grow from it. Lookalikes : There are actually quite a few of them.

Thankfully, none of them are toxic though some are bitter. Dandelions always grow on a single, unbranching hollow stem around a basal rosette. If the basal rosette has branching leaves coming out of it, it is not a dandelion. In the early spring, chicory and wild lettuce may resemble dandelion, but they may also have some hair on their leaves while dandelion never does.

I ride on the bus and my bike. These are sometimes areas infested with weeds.


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This gives an hour for the water to absorb contaminants from the seeds and allows the seeds to soak in cleaner water with those contaminants thinned. Right now at this very second, dandelions have still not flowered in my area this year. But I have a small pouch in my wallet to gather and store foraged seeds of anything I wish to grow as microgreens. I can imagine that sometime you may find yourself with time to kill during lunch, or before an appointment, or maybe you frequently go to a park with your kids.

Take a pouch in your pocket, you never know what you may find. This plant is super hardy, as long as you have enough light. I have mine in a southern window with a supplemental light nearby that I move around between 6 and 12 inches away. The flowers are hermaphroditic, self-fertile, and can be self-pollinating though they are also pollinated by insects. The seed can be sown in a cold frame and only lightly covered by soil. Water with filtered water in a spray bottle to prevent disturbing the soil. When they have sprouted and the leaves appear sturdy, boost nutrition by spritzing with homemade organic fertilizers once a week.

Focus on high vitamins rather than nitrogen, unless the soil they are in is old and poor.


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When potting seedlings, remember to use deep pots for the taproot. Divide in early spring and plant outdoors in early summer. If you are growing for the root, the harvest is usually done in the fall of the second year. Maturity is between 85 to 95 days, though sometimes root crops may be harvested in their second fall. Microgreens seem a good way to grow these plants, as they avoid any bitterness.

In more shallow trays, sprinkle the seeds on organic compost with only a light sprinkling of soil on them and mist to water. When thinning trays to select the strongest plants, harvest the thinned greens to sprinkle in sprout salads and recipes. A tray can provide you with a few harvests at different stages, as you thin down to select for the hardiest plants. Grow the strongest ones to maturity for the next generation of seeds. Prevent bitterness by growing at cooler temperatures, and prevent drying out.

Dandelion: a useful weed?

If using supplemental lighting, CFL bulbs give off less heat. Experiment with distance for good growth without drying the plants out too quickly. If moving outdoors, consider where dandelions already grow. These are areas that are likely to be fertile to them. On the other hand, if they do like your lawn, this is a plant that can not be contained. Even if you keep them in a container, if they flower they turn from flower to seed quickly and easily spread through the air.

Moving your plants outdoors means you will have them wherever they wish to grow, unless you harvest the flowers before they go to seed. If you are trying to harvest less bitter plants, use the ones in cool, moist shade and use the ones in other areas for mulch and compost. Because dandelion roots are so deep, they are a nutrient accumulator.

When the rain pushes nutrients down into the earth, dandelion grabs them and pulls them up to the surface. Then, when the plant dies back in the winter, the decaying leaves release their nutrients back into the soil. Especially when the soil in the area is dry, this would send the roots even deeper in search of moisture, meaning more nutrients would be found at those lower levels to store in the leaves.

If you have pet birds, my cockatiels love dandelions. They also make good food for breeding and lactating mammals. The plant itself simply incorporated into the diet is supposed to improve skin, so why not try it that way instead and try other preparations like honey externally? Dandelion can be used to dye wool green with the leaves, brown with the roots, and yellow with the flowers.

Food grade alum can be used as a mordant. Some reports of obtaining a pink or magenta color with the roots have reached a legendary status. I want this like mad, even though I tend to use metal-free environmentally friendly acid dyes if I play with painting my own wool these days. I would so start a magenta yarn factory in my back yard if I found that elusive, magical species. Green Deane has put together an impressive list of dandelion recipes , from cornbread and vinaigrette to baklava. I mean, I expected to see dandelion wine, but was surprised to see dandelion chai as well.

Twin Eagles also has a good collection of recipes I really am starting to dig these folks, I loved their discussion of what poison ivy teaches us.