Those Glorious Dandelions! This Common Weed is a Wonderful Spring Tonic

dandelions in meadow with white wild flowers All parts of the dandelion plants are usable, but they have different properties and should be harvested at the appropriate times.

Young Leaves have tonic properties and are picked in the spring and eaten raw in salads. If you find the taste too bitter try chopping them as fine as possible and mixing them with other raw greens.

Mature Leaves have powerful diuretic properties. They are picked in early summer before the plant blooms. These are the leaves I harvest and dry for tea. They can also be made into tinctures.
These gorgeous, dark green leaves are loaded with minerals and vitamins!

When picking dandelion leaves, look for dark green, smoothe leaves (dandelion leaves are not fuzzy.) Try to avoid picking under powerlines or close to roads.

Here's my favorite thing to do with the summer dandelion leaves:

Dandelion Juice!

Pick a colander full of dandelion leaves and rinse them really well under cool water. Run them through the juicer with 1/2 an apple. This will make a nice shot glass full of delicious, nutritious juice. You will feel a nice little zing with this lovely tonic!

Dandelion Roots Dandelion roots act as a blood purifier that helps the kidneys and liver to remove toxins and poisons from the blood. They act as a mild laxative and help improve digestion. The roots are also beneficial for skin conditions such as boils, abscesses and eczema. They have been used for centuries to improve jaundice. Ideally, you want to use the roots of 2 year old plants. In the late fall the roots will contain the highest concentration of inulin. Dig the whole plant up and hang upside down to dry in a cool, dark place. The roots grow quite long, so dig deep! The dried or fresh roots can be used to make dandelion tinctures. Dried roots can be powdered for capsules or used in infusions.

Dandelion Flowers

For a tasty, easy-to-make tonic wine try this:

Pick dandelion flowers on a warm, dry day.

Macerate 1 cup (60 g) flowers and steep in 4 cups (1 liter) white wine for 1 month in an airtight container. Strain out the flowers and sweeten to taste with a little bit of honey if desired.

This a nice tonic for the gallbladder. [PART ONE]


©2005 Cori Young is a writer and herbalist. Visit her websiteHerbalRemediesInfo.com