Where I grew up, dandelion herbs grew wild in lawns and paddocks. My parents and grandparents all considered this plant to be a weed.
As small children my friends and I picked the flowers to include in little bouquets with other 'weeds' like buttercups and common daisies to give to the important adults in our world, but it has a much higher value than we imagined as children!
The scientific name for Dandelion is Taraxacum officinale, and is a member of the daisy family. Despite it's reputation for being a weed, this herb is full of vitamins A, B, C, and D and it contains many minerals including iron, potassium, and zinc.
The leaves, flowers and roots of this plant can all be used in various ways to improve your health or to loss weight.
The flowers of the dandelion are edible and have antioxidant properties. If you are planning to eat the flowers, it is better to pick them when they are young and in bud form when they are still sweet as more mature flowers are bitter.
The flowers can be served raw or lightly steamed.
The leaves can be added to salads or served steamed as an side dish. The leaves will act as a diuretic, stimulate your appetite and aid digestion.
The dried roots of the plant can be used as a tea or infusion to aid with digestive disorders, liver and gallbladder disorders and to offer relief with arthritis, skin disorders, chronic upper respiratory mucus, and gout.
The root is also a diuretic and will stimulate the digestive system and liver, but to a lesser extent than the leaves.
Although dandelion is usually considered a safe herb, the bitterness of the herb may cause excessive stomach acidity for some pleop and if you suffer from gallstones, you should consult your doctor before adding the herb to your diet.