With the arrival of Spring here in the mountains of northeastern California, I eagerly look for the showy flowers of the simple dandelion. I have used parts of the whole plant for decades now. The fresh young leaves can be used as a wholesome addition to spring salads. It can be blanched or sauteed like spinach or endive. They are great in sandwiches, the tender leaves being laid between slices of bread and butter and sprinkled with salt. The addition of a little lemon-juice and pepper varies the flavor. The leaves should always be torn to pieces, rather than cut, in order to keep the flavor.
I use the fresh blossoms in tea cakes, muffins or wine/mead, even dyeing. I will dry them in Spring to add to other flower petals I collect throughout the summer to create aromatic teas for the cold winds of winter. I powder the dried leaves and root for a highly effective tea that quickly reduces excess fluid in the body. Our ancestors recognized the gifts of the dandelion to treat a wide variety of illnesses and brought it with them when they came to this country.
Collect the leaves, roots and flowers now while they are young and tender … and receive its many Blessings!