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I have saved this addition to my herb profiles until the hint of spring is in the air. No, it’s not warm yet, but the plants and trees are showing hints of awakening along the warm rock gardens against the greenhouse, and the buds starting to swell along the pasture. Dandelion is the true announcement that spring has arrived, and I am so ready for it!

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), is known in traditional and modern herbal medicine for its nutritional content and health benefits. Although there is an entire industry devoted to destroying these beautiful and useful plants, their bright cheerful blooms endure. Dandelion has so many uses that anyone with a clean patch available to them should take notice.

Here’s how different parts of the dandelion are used:


  • Diuretic Properties: Dandelion leaves are often used as a diuretic, helping the body get rid of excess fluid. What makes dandelion especially interesting as a diuretic is that this potassium-rich herb will not cause a potassium imbalance as a standard diuretic would.
  • Salad Greens: Young dandelion leaves can be eaten raw in salads. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Celebrate spring by eating your bitter greens!
  • Tea: Leaves can be dried and used to make herbal tea. I love the gently bitter flavor as an addition to many tea blends.


  • Make infused oil: This is the first thing I would suggest when you have an abundance of flowers blooming. It’s really simple; flowers + oil=infused oil. I let mine sit out of the sun so it doesn’t build up condensation. I also use a coffee filter as a lid to allow moisture from the fresh petals to escape.
    If you are just working with petals, be sure to gently stir your infused oil to break up the layer of petals and release any moisture/air that can become trapped.


  • Digestive Aid: The root of the dandelion plant is often used as a digestive aid. It stimulates digestion and relieves mild digestive ailments. How about my Herbal Bitters recipe?
  • Coffee Substitute: Dandelion root can be roasted and ground to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute. Try Dandy Blend if you are looking for a pre-made that tastes amazing.
  • Dandelion Beer: Has both leaves and root, but tastes amazing and you have to try it!
  • Liver Health: Support liver health and detoxification. I refuse the idea of detoxification as an artificial thing we do to ourselves. We can support our body with healthy living and allow it to detox naturally. Stop the detox lies, sheesh.

General Health Benefits

  • Antioxidant Properties: Dandelions contain antioxidants, which can help prevent the damage to your cells caused by free radicals.
  • Supports Liver Health: Dandelion has been traditionally used to support liver function and health.
  • Anti-inflammatory Effects: Some compounds in dandelion have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Use

  • Tea: You can make tea from the leaves or root by steeping them in hot water.
  • Tinctures: Both the root and leaves can be used to make tinctures.
  • Salads: Young leaves can be added directly to salads.


Dandelion is generally considered safe for use, but there are a couple of things to consider. Caution should be taken if someone is on blood thinning medication, has low blood sugar, or within two weeks of surgery. This reference is to medicinal application, not the amount that would be ingested in a dish or a cup of tea, for example. If there are any concerns, the advice of an herbalist is advised.

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