Healers have known for centuries what many are coming to believe today about dandelions.

While many find dandelions to be a nuisance, healers have known for centuries the health benefits of dandelions. Because it’s Spring and dandelions are plentiful less the chemicals many put on their lawns, I thought I share some great things about dandelions as well as some tea ideas.

Health Benefits: 

  • purifies blood
  • settles digestion 
  • prevents gall stones
  •  anti-oxidant 
  • lower blood sugar 
  • may help fight off cancer 
  • help with leukemia 
  • limits neuron damage in brain 
  • more iron and protein than spinach 
  • contains 535% of USDA recommended Vitamin K
According to the USDA Bulletin #8, “Composition of Foods” (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Minnich, in “Gardening for Better Nutrition” ranks them, out of all vegetables, including grains, seeds and greens, as tied for 9th best. According to these data, dandelions are nature’s richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods, after cod-liver oil and beef liver! They also are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of protein. Read more
  • The roots are wonderful as a liver cleanser, but we’re not talking about the roots today.

    Dandelion Tea-Yummy Hot or Cold

    • Pick dandelion leaves from the base of the leaf. Make sure to find a place where there is little to no vehicles usage; plants do take in the CO (Carbon Monoxide) vehicles put out. 
    • You can choose to use the flowers as well, with or without the leaves.
    • You can use them fresh or dry them. If I want to save some for later, I either stick them in the dehydrator or just leave them out. It’s dry enough in Utah that within a couple of hours they are ready to place in an air tight container. Make sure they are completely dry or they will mold.
    •  If I’m using fresh greens, I put a handful in a mug (after cleaning and chopping them), pour in some hot water and let steep for 15-20 minutes. Drink hot or cold.
    •  If using dried leaves, I use a tablespoon or so and follow the same procedure.
    •  Most of the time, I drink it as it is. Sometimes I add a bit of honey and lemon.
    • Don’t let it steep too long. It will be bitter.   
    • I also use dandelion leaves in salads, soups, smoothies and any other place I use greens. You may want to blanch them in boiling water for 10 seconds before adding them to a salad to get rid of the strong bitter flavor especially if the leaves are bigger and older. 

     Please share any exciting recipes or benefits that I missed!!