Spring will arrive one day, and so will the dandelions. As I write this at the end of a long, freezing cold, February, it’s hard to imagine, but nothing lasts forever, even winter. Somewhere beneath the 3 feet of snow (and more in places), there are all sorts of plants waiting to grow. Dandelions will be some of the first flowers to pop up in the yard, and I love dandelions! They are known to be anti-inflammatory, contain antioxidants, and act as a diuretic. All winter I buy organic dandelion tea, but come Spring, I look forward to making my own.
Many years ago, my father paid my sister and I to pick all the dandelion heads in our spacious yard. We got a penny for each one – and we did it! I can’t remember how much money I made, but it was my first gardening job..haha. We did not use the dandelions to make tea, and there was our loss. My parents were not “green” people. The information just wasn’t readily available back in the 60’s. I’m sure they would have thought that eating dandelions was lunacy.
Ever since I discovered that dandelions are good for me, and good for flushing out my kidneys, I look forward to watching them grow in my lawn. I am an organic gardener and never use chemicals to kill weeds or bugs in my yard. On the contrary, I believe that everything has it’s own purpose in the ecosystem and unless there is a huge problem, I let things be. So don’t eat dandelions from places you are not familiar with.
Once I pick the yellow flowers, or cut off the leaves to cook or boil for tea, I will carefully pull up the plant and it’s long root. The root can also be eaten, but I usually throw it into the compost pile where it will decay and help fertilize the garden. I honestly don’t have time to mess with all the cleaning and scrubbing of the roots. If I want dandelion ROOT tea, I buy Organic Dandelion Roots at Amazon.
How to make the Tea
Dandelions attract bugs, so be careful when picking, and rinse the dandelion flowers really well by soaking in water and swishing around. Some of the smaller leaves from the plant can be included when making tea, but choose the new, baby leaves and not the older ones. Boil water and pour over a bunch of flowers and let them steep for about 20 minutes. Remove the flowers and either eat them, or put them in the compost pile.
I also grow mint every year, and a few mint leaves might be a nice addition to the dandelion tea. I usually add it to my green tea and Kombucha tea.