It is not only considered an annoying weed but is a weed rich in vitamins and minerals. It can be found almost everywhere – in meadows, along roadsides, at the edges of forests, in gardens, etc. But what is it good for? What can you use dandelion for?
What parts of the dandelion can you use?
In principle, you can harvest all parts of the plant from the dandelion. In particular, however, the young leaves and flowers are used. The ideal time to harvest the leaves is spring, preferably by June at the latest. The flowers are harvested at the beginning of the flowering period.
Taste of the leaves and flowers
While the edible flowers taste pleasantly sweet and can easily be enjoyed from hand to mouth, the leaves taste tart and spicy. The older the leaves are, the more bitter substances they contain. Their oxalic acid content also increases with age. Therefore, you should always prefer the young leaves.
Dandelion in the kitchen
Dandelion leaves can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. They can be used, for example, to produce or refine the following dishes:
- vegetable stews
- wild herb juices
The leaves of the dandelion are also suitable for rolling up vegetables, seedlings, and sprouts. The flowers, on the other hand, are good for making syrup, jam, and jelly. The roots are also usable. They used to be used as a substitute for coffee or used to make liqueurs.
Dandelion as a medicinal plant – for the sake of health
Not only for eating but also for healing, dandelion can be a good choice. Dandelion has been known as a medicinal herb since ancient times. For example, you can process it into a pressed juice, tea, or a tincture. For a tea, 2 teaspoons of the dried herb in 250 ml of water are sufficient.
How does dandelion work?
Among other things, dandelion has an appetizing, draining, antispasmodic, gastric juice stimulating, metabolism stimulating, and anti-inflammatory effect. With these effects, the weed can be helpful, for example, with:
- Gastrointestinal Pain
- spring fatigue
- water retention
- loss of appetite
- liver problems
Dandelions can also be valuable for animals. It is a good source of nectar and pollen for bees, for example, and domestic and grazing animals like to eat its leaves.