EXCERPT FROM ORIGINAL POST
Latin Name: Taraxacum officinale
Energetics: Cooling, bitter tonic
Taste: Bitter, sweet, minerally
In the early days of spring, Dandelions draw the eye with their tufts of golden petals perched on a single, hollow stem. Prolific is their nature. To one it is either a bane to behold, undermining all previous attempts at lawn care, or a sun-fed medicinal plant to cherish, you may choose your side.
For me, as the warm days roll in I witness the first Dandelion blossom with awe, celebrating its simple beauty, year after year. If you watch children and their first spring encounters with Dandelion, many are just as enthralled as I, if not more so. And why wouldn’t they be! The flowers serve as body paint and lawn snacks all in one, and when the seeds come, a breath filled wishing game on a stalk.
I say follow the children’s lead, let go of the dull idea of a pristine lawn and appreciate the Dandelion for what it is, a weed of wonder.
So ingenious are its seeds they carry their own parachute, floating on the wind in elegance, capable of up to a mile’s travel. This plant, subjected to the most toxic pesticides by some, is actually a medicine the likes of which our society needs in mass. And their food utility, edible from root to flower, was appreciated enough by humans past to carry it to many far-off places.
Long considered a traditional spring tonic, Dandelions were anticipated in the first warm days to provide the nutrient density of fresh vegetables missing from a winter’s diet.
Growing in a basal rosette, these early spring Dandelion greens are most palatable picked before flowering. The leaves as they grow older become tougher and increasingly bitter. The greens are packed full of nutrients, you can try them in a salad or a sauté, as they can be consumed raw or cooked.
The flower can be eaten raw, along with the flower stem, or cooked in any manner you see fit.
Dandelion roots can be chopped and put into stir fries. Filling a necessary bitterness to the diets of today. The roots also house inulin, an indigestible fiber that feeds our gut microbiome.