It’s a bit strange, isn’t it? Maybe even a bit ironic – that we’d rather poison the dandelions in our backyard than reap the nourishing, healing, and purifying benefits from these prolific wild edibles.
Dandelions are edible in their entirety – from the sweet golden petals to the vibrant green leaves down to their deep bitter roots. Any part of the plant can be harvested and consumed at any point during the growing season, however, the greens are usually the most mild and palatable before flowering in early spring. If the beneficial bitter property is what you’re looking for, no worries, the spring greens still have a wee bit of “bite” to them!
It’s the bitter properties of the dandelion that offer the most valued benefits. The bitter compounds helps assist digestion by increasing bile and prepping the body for food. Dandelions are known for reducing inflammation and assisting the liver in detoxifying the body. The greens are high in antioxidants and are a source of wild nutrition we may never find in supermarket greens. The substantial amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, many vitamins, and nutritive salts make dandelion greens an excellent addition to smoothies, soups, and salads that can be consumed on a regular basis.
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It is important to note that the leaves are the most diuretic part of the plant, commonly used by herbalists to support kidney and urinary health. Dandelions are a powerful, yet safe diuretic. They are very high in potassium and, according to Rosemary Gladstar, replenish, rather than deplete potassium, as a synthetic diuretic may do.
Although they have been by our side, trying so eagerly and tenaciously to be invited into our lives, we have over looked them and even cursed them! We try pulling them and poisoning them to eradicate them… But maybe it’s time we embrace them, love them, and thank them for all they have to offer!
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 small onion – chopped
- 1 inch ginger – minced
- 2 garlic cloves – minced
- 4 cups cooked and diced potatoes
- 2 cups dandelion greens – lightly rinsed and chopped
- several dandelion flowers
- 1/4 cup fresh chives
- 1 tsp sea salt
- oil for sautéing – avocado, olive, coconut, etc
- Saute the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger with a drizzle of oil until the onion has softened.
- Pour in the broth and add 2 cups of the cooked potatoes.
- Puree the potatoes with an immersion blender (this one is my favorite!). Pureeing the potatoes creates a creamy, thick soup and also eliminates any little chunks ginger that may be a little spicy if bitten into.
- Add the remaining potatoes, dandelion greens, chives, and salt. Simmer for a few minutes – until the greens have softened.
- Turn off the heat and sprinkle with dandelion flower petals.
Enjoy your wild and weedy soup!
- Gladstar, Rosemary (2012). MEDICINAL HERBS: A Beginner’s Guide, North Adams, MA: Story Publishing
- The Herbarium
- Mase, Guido. The Wild Medicine Solution. Rochester: Healing Arts Press, 2013. Print.
All information from Life Infused is meant for educational purposes only. The methods on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Please conduct your own research and make decisions in partnership with your health care provider – especially if you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition, or are taking any medication.