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The yellow herbs of summer: Dandelion.

Preparations:

The second in a series of yellow-flowering herbs - although it's the first you get to pick, of a summer.

Picking

Pick the flowers at the beginning of summer (or whenever you find enough of them), the leaves while they're healthy, and the roots in fall (when they're plump and sweetish) or in spring (they're bitter and skinny then, but the picking is so much nicer in spring than in fall). Wash the roots, remove dirt, earthworms, and small stones - but don't bother trying to get the skin off. The skin is as useful as the rest of the root: removing the skin means extra work for less root, which is silly.

Uses

Oil: Make an oil from the fresh flowers (including the green bits of the flowers), see instructions under SJW. It's a very nice muscle relaxant, used externally.

Internal uses: Dandelion leaf and root are excellent for people with an iron digestion and high blood pressure. The roots and leaves are also very good for those who work with solvents (car mechanics, hairdressers, aromatherapists, painters, furniture makers, etc.) and of course for alcoholics (alcohol is a solvent, too). Dandy also helps those who have hepatitis A, B, C, D, etc., up to whatever letter they've gotten to by now.

In foods: Add the fresh leaves to salads, eat the roots fried or boiled, and use the flowers to decorate various foods. Dandy leaves and roots work as well as foods as they do as teas or other herbal preparations.

Tea, dried root: Make a tea from the leaves (for instructions, see SJW).
Dry the roots to matchstick size: cut'em up to 5 mm * 5 mm * 5 cm (0.2 * 0.2 * 2") and dry them on an old bedsheet or in your dehydrator (40 deg. C., or about 104 deg. F.). Store the roots in a tight glass jar when they dry: they snap when you try to bend them, they're not soft anymore. Soft and bendy roots aren't dry, and they'll go moldy in no time at all if you put them in their glass jar. Eat 1-2 pieces of this a day.

Dandelion coffee: roast almost-dried root bits (nevermind coins, roughly chopped, or matchsticks) in your frying pan (no fat) or in a coffee roaster (over here those are found in old ladies' attics, and at flea markets) until they're nicely brown but not burnt. Finish drying the roots (if necessary) and run through a coffee mill. Make your cuppa exactly like you would make a cup of coffee. Dandy coffee works pretty much like any other dandelion root preparation, herbally. Chicory coffee works the same - chicory and dandelion are pretty much the same, herbally.

Warnings

Dandelion and chicory aren't good for people who have low blood pressure, as they're strong diuretics. If you use them regularly you'll have even less water in your body, and you'll feel faint and dizzy. If you have low blood pressure and you feel you have to use dandelion (or chicory), add lots of normal table salt (natrium chloride) to your diet; it'll help keep more water in your body, and you need the natrium anyway.

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Related entries: Troubleshooting herbal oils - Rose salve - Hot vs. cold liver - Bitters - Bitters again - Yellow herbs: SJW - Goldenrod - Yellow bedstraw - Elecampane - Mullein - Calendula - California poppy

Comments

I've always understood the leaf is more diuretic, but with lots of potassium and sodium to avoid depleting, and the root not so much, being more active on the digestive organs. Would you agree with that, or do you find the root quite diuretic also?

the leaf is way more diuretic than the root, but the root is still diuretic enough that people with low blood pressure should avoid it.
Ditto for burdock leaf / root.



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