Fun with flowers: Uses for dandelion root, leaves and flowers

dandelion necklace

dandelion root

Cooking and home remedies using dandelion root, greens and flowers

I attended an Earth Day celebration yesterday … for work. *All the tears.* The kids were at home with their older siblings, and they unfortunately missed the 5k nature walk and raptor show. However, one of the points the naturalist shared were the nutritional benefits of dandelions. When collected safely, they can be cleaned and eaten in a variety of forms.

dandelion petalsSo, of course, today I took the littles out into our chemical-free yard to collect some dandelions of our own. I made the “executive decision” to skip on the salads and dandelion root tea for our first experiment and headed straight for the sweets.

We harvested petals for Sunshine Cookies, and stumbled onto a dozen other recipes you can make using dandelions, which it turns out, are helpful for digestive problems and general aches and pains. Dandelions reduce inflammation, the likelihood of gallstones and urinary tract infections and reduces arthritis pain. Dandelions root, greens and petals are also a great source of potassium, which helps alleviate muscle spasms, risk of migraines for some people and restless leg syndrome.

According to WebMD, those allergic to ragweed, daisies, marigolds and chrysanthemums are likely to be allergic to dandelions too. It might also interact negatively with the following prescription medications: ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar), amitriptyline (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, others), acetaminophen, atorvastatin (Lipitor), diazepam (Valium), digoxin, entacapone (Comtan), estrogen, irinotecan (Camptosar), lamotrigine (Lamictal), lorazepam (Ativan), lovastatin (Mevacor), meprobamate, morphine, oxazepam (Serax),  amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone), and triamterene (Dyrenium) and Lithium. Check here for more information on usage, dosing and related information here.

dandelion necklaceDandelions are also fun to play with! Our daughter split the stem of a long specimen, and  I was able to tie it around her neck like a necklace.

After a few minutes, it was turned into a bracelet, and eventually a headpiece. Making dandelion crowns is also a fun activity, much like daisy crowns and chains.

We found recipes online for jellies, breads, salads and melts, and we found information on using dandelion root specifically for medicinal purposes. Our kids are big pancake fans, so up next is dandelion syrup!

Stay tuned for future experiments and information on digging up dandelion root as easily as possible.