I walked past a Dandelion today (Taraxacum Officnale). Yes I know very exiting. However for the past few years Ive been studying with Al Ainsworth, Jake Cassar, Paul Kirkley and Craig Caudill and for the first time instead of just walking past a plant and not even bothering to look or know the name I was excited by actually knowing what it was and how to use it. Not only the Scientific name but also the Family Name (Asteraceae) and how to use the plant for food, medicinal and the nutritional properties.

Food Uses of Dandelion

The root has also traditionally been used to make a coffee substitute.

The leaves of the plant can be eaten as a salad or fresh vegetable. In Asian cooking, the leaves are used like lettuce, boiled, made into soup or fried.

The flower buds can be added to omelettes and fritters, the flowers baked into cakes. Blossoms make a wine or beer is brewed from the whole plant before it flowers.

Nutritional Profile

The greens contain vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, beta carotene, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

Medicinal Uses

Polyphenols in the leaves fight inflammation in the body, Dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans boiled dandelion to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

With all the studies Ive been doing for the past few years I dont look at things quite the same way as I did before, not just plants but also trees, knots, anything really and not just how to identify and use but also how to apply things in a sustainable methodology. The locals must have thought I was stoned, just standing there in the middle of a roadway looking at a weed. One of those days when a simple flower can bring so much enlightenment.