Most people view dandelions as a pretty, but pesky and useless weed and go to great lengths to keep their gardens and lawns clear of them. It’s a common and understandable misconception, but in reality dandelions are a powerhouse of nutrients. Our ancestors consumed and used all parts of the plant in a verity of ways.
Dandelions contain important minerals such as zinc, potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. They are also full of Vitamins C, A, K, and B vitamins.
Traditionally, dandelions were often used for:
Balancing blood sugar
A poultice or salve for cuts and sores
Aiding the digestive system
Liver detox – which leads to clearer skin
A remedy for urinary tract infections
To harvest your dandelions find a patch that is away from the road and has never been sprayed with chemical fertilizers or weed controls. Pinch the yellow petals between your fingers and cut directly below them with a pair of scissors, at the very top of the green base of the flower head. There is no need to even pick the flowers, but if it’s easer for you, go right ahead pick it before you cut it. Just grasp the yellow flower itself and cut. Gather the petals in a fine mesh strainer or bowl. Rinse the flower petals under running water and drain.
6 cups of dandelion flower heads, rinsed and drained
8 cups of water
Add the flowers and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for one hour. The liquid will turn a warm yellow color. After one hour turn off the heat, but keep the lid on. Let the liquid come to room temperature. (Trapping the steam keeps all the wonderful medicinal oils from escaping.) Strain the dandelion flowers through a layer of cheesecloth into a clean bowl. Squeeze the cloth to remove the rest of the liquid. Your tea is now ready to drink! Mix in desired sweetener or leave it plain. Store any remaining tea in a glass jar in the fridge. Dandelion Tea has a very mild, somewhat “green” taste. It has a tendency to take on the flavor of whatever sweetener you use. If you sweeten with honey, its almost like drinking Honey Tea!
Here are a couple dandelion recipes that feature this tea as a base: