Tuesday, September 20, 2011


*Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

*Most Americans consider dandelion a pesty weed. What they don't realize is that dandelion is one of the BEST nutritional and medicinal plants!
*best in zones 3-9

Parts Used:
*whole plant, fresh or dried (flower does not dry well)

*full sun to partial shade
*no special soil needs

*easy to grow from seed, will germinate with no special treatment, but if you do cold stratification first, there is almost a 90% success rate
*you can sow directly into the garden

*if self sows vigorously, so keep it in check: harvest before it self seeds for best results

*You can harvest the whole plant at once, or if interested in only the roots (the strongest medicinal part), use a garden fork to gently pry the plant from the ground. The roots are best harvested in early spring or late fall
*If you are harvesting the whole plant, you can harvest at any time (you do not have to wait until early spring or late fall for the roots)
*Harvest the leaves and flowers at any time
*It is easiest to dig up the whole plant in spring

*restorative and rejuvenating, a whole body tonic
*medicinal value for almost every body system, especially the liver, urinary tract, and skin
*it is highly effective and very safe to use
*good for constipation, kidney problems, treating warts, and coughs
*it is a blood cleanser, high in vitamins A,B,C, and D, removes toxins from the body, high levels of potassium, good for gallbladder conditions, and digestion

*both the leaves and roots have long been eaten as a highly nutritious salad.
*the roots, when dried, chopped and roasted, is an excellent substitute for coffee
*the flowers make a famous and delicious dandelion wine

For additional information, see: references and warnings

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