This post was prompted by Colleen Brigg’s post on the flower she found growing in her yard which I believe might be a dandelion. However, I have since learned that there are some look-a-likes. Here is a way to tell the difference: The leaves grow from the crown of the root or sometimes as leafless stalks that have individual flowers on top but if the stalk has branches then it isn’t a dandelion.
Dandelion leaves are smooth not fuzzy or spiny . The leaf resembles a lion’s tooth and the word dandelion comes from the French dent de lion.
The flowers are bright yellow until they turn to white fluffy heads of seed.
There are many nutritional benefits that we can get from dandelions. Dandelions are edible but if you accidentally pick one of the counterfeits, it won’t cause you any harm. Some nutritional benefits are:
- Vitamins A, B, C, and D
- minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon.
- purifies the blood
- mild laxative
- prevention of urinary tract infections
- promotes liver and gallbladder health
- great help for hepatitis
- promotes energy and endurance
- great for various skin conditions
Some warnings: Dandelions may decrease antibiotics and interact with lithium, liver medication and water pills
Dandelion is classified as an herb-yes, an herb! Not a weed! The roots are typically roasted to make a coffee substitute. The leaves are dried to make tea and the flowers are used in dandelion wine. You can also put the leaves and flowers in salads as well as make dandelion flower fritters (removing much of the green part as possible as it is bitter). Below are links for more information on the dandelion as well as some dandelion recipes!