The Incredible Edible Dandelion: Using This Weed to the Fullest
By Jeremiah Johnson
We’re going to give you guys and gals a bit of information pertaining to Taraxacum officinale, also known as the Dandelion.
Last year I conducted a book review on the work “Eat the Weeds,” and out of the edible weeds, none exemplifies quality vs. misunderstanding as the common dandelion. Most consider them a nuisance; however, they really are a treasure-trove if you know how to use them.
The dandelion is a perennial, and it contains a wealth of vitamins and nutrients, as well as naturopathic applications that are astounding. The dandelion is edible in its entirety, which is really good to know from a survival perspective.
They also grow upon a taproot, an important consideration as they will grow back if harvested from the surface and the root is left alone.
From a naturopathic perspective, dandelion tinctures and teas can be used to help the liver and gall bladder, and the root can be tinctured and used as a diuretic, especially good for women with excessive water weight caused during the normal course of menses.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Taken from USDA SR-21
Here are just a few segments of the breakdown (nutritionally) from dandelion.
Dandelion, 1 cup, chopped (55g)
Protein 1.5 g
Vitamin A 5588 IU (112%RDA)
Vitamin C 19.3 mg (32%RDA)
Vitamin E 1.9 mg (9%RDA)
Vitamin K 428 mcg (535%RDA)
Other ingredients include Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc. All from the dandelion! When you’re tincturing, you should try to harvest the roots in October/November. This period of time is when the concentration of its natural constituents is at its height. Dandelion is an excellent diuretic and is good to take when sweating and flushing the system are needed, such as during the time of fever or cold. Just remember to replace the fluid taken out of your system by the dandelion.
The herb can also be dried and preserved, reconstituted in soups, stews, or salads with minimal losses of its vitamins and nutrients. Concentration and focus should be placed on gathering it, as it provides vitamin C and A in large quantities, and these vitamins will be scarce in times of collapse or shortage.
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After rinsing the dandelion off in cold water, you can chop them up and eat them in your salads. There is also another way that I personally prefer to eat them. Parboil them lightly, just to take out the crisp without making them go completely limp or wilted. Then drain them off in a colander. Next, throw them in a frying pan with about ¼ cup of olive oil, and sauté, adding fresh chopped cloves of garlic. It comes out with the taste and consistency of spinach. Throw a little bit of butter and salt on it, and it is delicious.
Ben Charles Harris’ book mentioned earlier gives more weeds and “nuisance” plants for you to cook and make salads from. Why not supplement your diet with quality food while cutting your grocery bill for fresh vegetables at the same time? Dandelions actually help the soil by aerating it and allowing some space between for the growth of helpful microorganisms and other “helpers” such as worms and beetles that help to condition the soil.....More Here