Dandelion has benefits beyond homemade wine that include its usefulness as an herbal medicine
- Dandelion is considered by most of us an unsightly, persistent lawn pest. But historically, dandelion benefits included its usefulness as an herbal medicine and food source.
The dandelion is native to Europe and Asia and has spread to many of the temperate regions of the world.
- The dandelion plant picked up many names over time: Irish daisy, puffball, swine’s snout. Priest’s crown, a medieval name, stems from the green bud resembling a golden-haired seminarian who then matures into
a distinguished pastor whose hair turns white and then falls out! In modern French the plant is called pissenlit, which means "urinate in bed", apparently referring to its diuretic properties. Likewise, "pissabeds" is an English folk name for this plant.
dandelion's plant type:
- Hardy Annual, Hardy Perennial or Hardy Biennial. The domesticated species of the dandelion family can reach 1 foot to 18 inches in height.
Its leaves are lance-shaped and it has an abundance of solitary flowers that can range in color from pink to red, orange and white.
growing zones for growing dandelion:
- Growing Zones: For Annuals, Zones 3-9; for Perennials, Zones 4-9
best Soil Type for growing dandelions:
- Soil Type: Dandelion likes full sun and well-drained soil that is moist and rich in humus, but they will grow most anywhere.
- The herb takes 5-14 days for the dandelion seeds to germinate when planted outdoors after the last frost. The care of the Dandelion requires
frequent watering in dry weather and fertilizing two or three times a year. Where winters are mild, annual seeds can be sown in autumn.
Perennial seeds should be sown in early spring when the soil is cool and a light frost is still possible.
dandelion wine is made Using the flower:
tastes like sherry and is reputed to be a good tonic for the blood. A basic dandelion wine recipe includes:
- One gallon of flowers
- Sliced lemon
- Orange rind
- 3 pounds of sugar
- All added to one gallon of boiling water
I understand that it makes a reasonably good white wine, sweet or dry depending on your use of sugar. I will hold out for them to start making dandelion wine in California!
Dandelion has other varied herbal uses:
- Dandelion is considered by most of us an unsightly, persistent lawn pest. But historically, dandelion benefits included its usefulness as an herbal medicine and food source. The dandelion is native to Europe and Asia and has spread to many of the temperate regions of the world.
The juice of dandelion root is used in Europe to treat diabetes, and diseases of the liver and gall bladder.
- The herb is also considered helpful in treating constipation.
- Dandelion has been used by many as a diuretic, but unlike many diuretics it does not leach potassium from the body, it replaces what is lost!
- European herbalists consider it excellent at building up the blood
and curing anemia.
- It can be prescribed as a mild laxative, digestive aid and appetite stimulant.
Dandelion roots are roasted as a coffee substitute or addition to hot chocolate in some countries. And young dandelion leaves have a chicory taste, and can be used in salads or steamed or sautéed like spinach. The yellow flowers can be added to butters or spreads for color.
The flowers can also be used for making yellow dyes for wool, and the leaves can be used in herbal baths and facial steams.