“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her
And whispered to
“Winter is dead.”
I have always loved dandelions. Blowing the seeds was a wonderful pastime when I was a child. Little did I know that I was spreading the love- dandelion love.
Now I love dandelions for a whole different reason. It is such a joy to see their little sunny faces shinning in the sun. This always signals that the deep of winter is over. But the real beauty of the dandelion is in the healing properties that the plant possesses. Even without reported healing properties, the dandelion has a high amount of vitamins and minerals. The University of Maryland Medical Center has this to say:
While many people think of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a pesky weed, it is chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals, such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines.
Herbalists recommend dandelion for liver cleansing and ridding the body of toxins. You can drink tea made from dandelion leaves and blossoms, take a tincture made from the plant and roots, or you can take supplements found in your local health food store.
If your looking for dandelions in your own gardens, look for the yellow blossoms suspended on a single stem, the yellow blossoms on branching stems are not true dandelions. They are actually called “false dandelions”- how creative.
In the photo above you can see the single stem with one flower. When I harvest dandelions I want to get as much of the root as possible. To do this, I use an old finished weed popper.
Once the plants are harvested, I wash the soil away and let them air dry. Once dry, the plants are then chopped and covered with vodka or brandy. The mixture will steep for six weeks and then be strained. After the liquid is strained it is now a finished tincture. I use this for my family anytime our immune system needs a boost. This post is not intended to be medical advice, just for information- you do your own research and then make your own health decisions.
Even if you don’t choose to use dandelion for your own benefit- leave them for the bees. Dandelions are one of the first sources of pollen and nectar for the bees in the spring.