When dandelions make their appearance in the Spring, we should take notice.
Not only are dandelions a first food for tired, winter weary bees, but the bright yellow flowers have so much to offer us. The roots can be carefully harvested, rinsed, dried, and made into a wonderful tea. Dandelion is also known by it’s Latin name, Taraxacum officinale. They are diuretic, laxative, nutritive, and even function as an alkalinizer and digestive stimulant.
To get the roots, you can forage. Dandelions are often as close as your back door. You will know one by it’s easily recognized yellow flower and distinctive green leaves surrounding it. Carefully dig around the plant, down into the dirt about 1 inch. You will want to make a circle about 1/2 inch from the base of the plant. GENTLY pull the plant from it’s roots, and shake the dirt off.
Save the flower heads and make infused oil, and save the greens for a delicious salad.
Two noteworthy things to remember when digging up dandelions:
- Do not take ALL your dandelions from the yard. Leave some for the bees. You also want to leave some behind to allow the plants to regrow and spread again. Remember as a kid when you’d make a “wish” from the dried out dandelion head? Those are the seeds. If you take the whole plant, root and all, that doesn’t leave anything to regrow.
- You can easily move the dandelions in your yard to a special spot in your garden by using this method. Just be careful with the roots!
Now that you have your dandelion roots, lets get to the fun part. There are many ways you can use them. Drinking the dandelion roots in an infused herbal tea is a great way to get some of those benefits I described above. I like to dry mine first, to avoid possibly losing any to mold, which can result from being left to set out too long.
To dry them, carefully wash off the dirt. Then, using a sharp knife, slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Lay them on a dehydrator sheet (this is what I use) or in a 200º oven. Leave for 6-8 hours to allow them to fully dry. Store in a covered container in a cool, dry place. Now you are ready to make your tea.
To make a delicious tea, simply blend these herbs together.
This herbal concoction will help to balance you when life gets crazy. It’s the perfect tonic to support you when you get stressed or overwhelmed. Since dandelions are diuretic, this blend can also assist with keeping that monthly “bloat” down.
- 1 ounce dried dandelions Get them here
- 1 ounce dried nettle leaf Get them here
- 1 ounce peppermint Get them here
- 1/2 ounce calendula flowers Get them here
- 1/2 ounce dried rose hips Get them here
Simply blend these dried herbs in a jar and cover tightly. Use 2 Tablespoons per quart of boiling water and allow to steep for 5-8 minutes before drinking. Sweeten as desired.
Do you save your dandelions and their roots? Do you want to try this tea blend? Be sure to pin this for later!!