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Spring | Dandelion


Meet dandelion. Dandelion when in flower, need no description. Their bright yellow rosettes, which turn into 'dandelion clock' seed heads, festoon lawns and parks from spring into winter. You might know some of her other names such as clockflower, lion’s tooth, piss-in-bed, tell time or Taraxacum officinale



Watch the Dandelion video embedded at the bottom of this page - also available to watch on YouTube and Vimeo.


Dandelions, when in flower, need no description.

Their bright yellow rosettes, which turn into 'dandelion clock' seedheads,

festoon lawns and parks from spring into winter

All parts of the dandelion can be used

- the root is usually harvested in the autumn;  

Whereas the leaves can be available throughout the year

though traditionally they're harvested in the spring

when they are young and tender and when

and when we are in most need of their cleansing properties

after a stodgy winter. 

Medicinally, the leaves are diuretic

(which means they make you pee more)

so they can help if you get swollen ankles

or water retention around your period.

They can also gently stimulate the intestines to relieve constipation

and, by gently stimulating the liver and kidneys to improve their function,

dandelion can improve the appearance of your skin

and brighten your eyes

two areas which suffer when the liver is not performing at its best.

Dandelion leaf has an excellent reputation for helping to clear up

itchy, chronic skin conditions. 

The flowers, when used externally or topically,

are also helpful for soothing itchy and inflamed skin.

There are many ways to use dandelion 

here are two possible recipes:

dandelion flower infused oil and dandelion leaf tea. 

For the dandelion flower-infused oil:

Take a clean jam jar and fill it with dandelion flower heads

remember to collect these early in the day,  when it's not raining,

as the flowers close on rainy days and towards nightfall.

Once you have filled your jar with these sunny florets,

add sunflower oil to cover the flowers completely,

put the lid on and leave in a sunny spot for at least 2 days,

and anywhere up to 2 weeks.

Alternatively, if you are in a hurry, you can set your jar, 

with lid on, in a pot of water, 

where the water comes halfway up the side of the jar.

Bring the water to a boil and then simmer gently for a couple of hours.

You should see the oil turning a gorgeous golden colour.

Once you have exhausted the dandelion flowers,

filter off the infused oil with a sieve,

put the dandelion flowers on the compost heap,

and label your jar of dandelion-infused oil together with the date.  

This should keep, if kept in a cool dark place, for about a year.

You can then use your infused oil in other recipes

or drizzle directly onto salads

into which you have also added your dandelion leaves!

For the Dandelion leaf tea.

Take a small handful of dandelion leaves,

tear into small pieces, place in a teapot and add a cup of boiling water.

Let this infuse for 10 minutes, strain and drink while warm.

You can also drink this at room temperature or cold throughout the day

but be careful about drinking it before bedtime or you may end up

demonstrating why the French call it pissenlit or 'piss-in-the-bed'!

Although dandelion leaf helps remove excess water from your body,

it will not make you dehydrated 

indeed, dandelion leaves contain high amounts of potassium

and so are an excellent rehydration ingredient.

For a cooling summer drink

and to enhance dandelion’s diuretic effect,

you could also add cucumber and lemon slices to your cold tea.