- By Lynn Shead
- April 5, 2023
Dandelion is one of my favourite plants for a plethora of reasons and they are a herbalist and foragers best friend.
It’s Latin name, Taraxacum Officinale literally means the remedy for disorders!
They are packed with vitamins and minerals and grow everywhere, loosening compact soil and allowing air and worms to move through and nourish it.
One of the first signs of spring their cheerful yellow flowers bring us visions of the sunshine to come.
It personally appeals to me on a few different levels.
Its stages of flowering beautifully represents The Sun, The Moon and The Stars.
Dandelion is the original zero waster, all the parts, roots, leaves and flowers are usable as food and medicine.
Energetically it is a cooling bitter.
Cooling basically means it removes heat and bitterness promotes digestion.
The bitter flavour of these foods can be unpleasant so we avoid consuming them instead choosing salty and sweet processed flavours. It’s not surprising that so many of our health issues today have roots in poor digestion.
If you are interested in learning more about herbs and herbal energetics, Rosalee De La Foret has an amazing free herbal jumpstart course
The roots of Dandelion can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. Medicinally the roots are full of Inulin, a fibre that supports healthy gut bacteria. It can be made into tea or chopped and cooked like regular root vegetables.
For this, its up to 10 foot long roots, can harvested from spring all the way through to autumn.
The leaves from which Dandelion gets it’s name; in french Dent de Lion or Dens Leons in Latin both mean Lions teeth, as the jagged shape of the leaves look very much like them.
The young leaves are less bitter and are beautiful in spring salads and pestos, and the older more bitter leaves can be added to soups and stews.
The leaves stimulate the appetite and promote digestion helping your body to process the heavier foods that we are accustomed to at the end of winter.
The green leaves are also a diuretic, giving them the name we all knew them by as children
Pee the Beds!
A diuretic is a substance that moves excess water and salts out of your body by making you wee.
Pharmaceutical diuretics are used for high blood pressure but some of them also remove Potassium meaning you have to take a potassium supliment.
However Dandelion is, you guessed it, high in potassium, so it replaces it as it is removed.
Nature always has a remedy!
Dandelion Flowers are a fantastic first food for not only us but for all the bees and insects coming out of hibernation. They may be plentiful but you should always forage sustainably.
The petals have a sweet taste a little like honey which means you can add less sugar to any recipe you are using. They are antioxidants and reduce inflammation.
Add them to salads, make tea even batter and fry them, you can add them to so many recipies. Colleen from Grow Forage Cook Ferment has tried them all!
I like to make Banana Bread as its quick and easy.
Emotionally speaking taking Dandelion clears Fear (Leaves), Anger (Roots) and emotions stored in the liver (Leaves).
As these energies clear we find our lions teeth, our courage and passion. Perhaps a person who has been quiet all of their life has just been suppressing their anger. If they begin taking Dandelion they may begin to stand up for themselves and show their true self to the world.
Another reason why i love Dandelions.
But be careful the world may not be ready for you!
Before you make this recipe you will need to pick two handfuls of dandelion flowers. Pick them from a place you know that has not been sprayed and where you have permission to forage.
Dandelions are easy to identify but there are a few other plants that look similar. So if you are unsure bring someone who has more knowledge with you.
Remove the petals from the sepal (outer green part) as it is quite bitter.
Dandelion Banana Bread Recipe
110g Butter (room temp)
100g Caster sugar
2 Large Eggs
240g Self Raising Flour
1Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
3 very ripe Bananas (riper are sweeter) *
100g Chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180C
Grease Loaf tin
Cream butter and sugar until it becomes light and pale, with a hand or stand mixer.
Add one egg and half the flour and mix well.
Add the second egg, the rest of flour and the baking soda and mix until combined.
Add the peeled bananas (you can mash before adding if you ish i don’t) and vanilla essence and mix until smooth.
Add the chocolate chips and the dandelion petals and mix gently until they are incorporated.
Pour mixture into your greased loaf tin. Place into oven for 25 minutes.
Cover with tinfoil and cook for another 25 minutes.
Remove and leave to cool in tin before placing on wire rack.
*If you prefer a less moist cake use 2 bananas instead of 3.
I hope you love making this yummy banana bread and by default getting out in the fresh air and picking some dandelions.
If you make it i’d love you to send me a picture or tag me in your creation on instagram.
When it comes to trying new things, especially in areas that could affect your health or well-being, it’s always important to consult with a medical professional first. This is particularly true if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are currently taking any medications.