As a beneficial weed
The dandelion plant is a beneficial weed, with a wide range of uses, and is even a good companion plant for gardening. Its taproot will bring up nutrients for shallower-rooting plants, and add minerals and nitrogen to soil. It is also known to attract pollinating insects and release ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen.
Dandelions are found on all continents and have been gathered since prehistory, but the varieties cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia. A perennial plant, its leaves will grow back if the taproot is left intact. To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness. Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional Sephardic, Chinese and Korean cuisine. In Crete, Greece, a variety called Mari (Μαρί), Mariaki (Μαριάκι) or Koproradiko (Κοπροράδικο), has its leaves eaten raw or boiled in salads by the locals. Another endemic species of Crete, which is found only at high altitudes (1000 to 1600 m.) and in fallow sites, called pentaramia (πενταράμια) or agrioradiko (αγριοράδικο) and which has been named Taraxacum megalorhizon by Prof. Michalis Damanakis of the Botanics Department of the University of Crete, has its leaves eaten raw or boiled in salads by the locals.
Dandelion leaves contain abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A, C and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron and manganese.
Historically it was prized for a variety of medicinal properties, and contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds. Dandelions are used as folk remedies in North America, Mexico and China. Culturally it was used to treat infections, bile and liver problems, as well as cancers, and as a diuretic. There is evidence to suggest it may have anti-inflammatory effects and assist with urinary tract infections in women. Dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions when eaten, or adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Due to its high potassium level, dandelion may also increase the risk of hyperkalemia when taken with potassium-sparing diuretics.
Great Depression Cooking – Dandelion Salad
DepressionCooking on Aug 14, 2009
Clara is back!!!
94 year old cook and great grandmother, Clara, recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era. Learn how to make simple yet delicious dishes while listening to stories from the Great Depression.
Stalking Wild Greens: Dandelion
harmonyhikes on May 7, 2008
WWW.RAWFAMILY.COM — Dandelions are rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, K, iron, calcium, beta carotene, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Dandelions help anemia, arthritis, cysts, cancer, liver, pancreas, bladder, and kidney.
The Rolling Stones – “Dandelion” (1967)
The Rolling Stones on Jul 26, 2018
Updated: March 29, 2014
When Is It Ripe? Dandelion Greens
YourProduceGuy on Mar 29, 2014
YourProduceGuy shows you how to select dandelion greens at the store. That’s right! You can eat them and they are actually really good for you. Come and learn all about them.
From the archives:
We like Springs and Yellow Things (lots of information on dandelions towards the middle to the end of the blog post and lots of photos)