Dandelion Uses

AngelaOston Posts: 249 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Wild Edibles & Medicinals

Believe it or not, read a thing that you can use dandelion flowers, when small, to make something like capers. (If anyone has tried this- Id love to hear about it).

Also looking forward to roasting the roots in the fall. And of course, we throw a few greens into the daily green mix.

How are you using dandelion?



  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @AngelaOston for whatever reason we don't have any growing on our property. Lots of their close cousins, Cat's Ears. So I only have 1 plant that I purchased last year and I'm nurturing that. I pick a few leaves now and again and either graze on them immediately or put some in the salad. Letting this one seed, so I can spread the love. I'd be very interested in how the caper version turns out. I did see someone doing that on another discussion. Otherwise I'll have to do some foraging elsewhere.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    @AngelaOston and @jodienancarrow I have heard of this use for dandelions as well but have never tried it myself. Looking forward to hearing from someone that has.

    You can also make caper substitutes from nasturtium buds. Haven't done that either but have hopes this year. Personally, I think I would prefer them to the dandelion buds.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

    Great to know. I also have used nasturtium but not dandelion.

  • Ethereal Earth
    Ethereal Earth Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

    I am making a dandelion leaf tincture for a cardiovascular support. Also making a root tincture for it's laxative properties but I need to do more research to confirm that. Dandelion root also makes a coffee substitute which I plan on making. Dandelion flowers make a really nice salve when infused in oil.

    On the culinary side, you can fry dandelion heads, make capers, use the greens in sandwiches, salads, etc. as well as dandelion mead and wine. Beyond that I am not sure and would love to hear what everyone else does with their dandelion.

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    The latex (sap) from dandelion flower stems is effective for removing warts.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I haven't heard of using the bud for capers, but especially if you pickle them, I can see it. I have for several years harvested the roots and roasted and ground them for a coffee substitute/amendment. Tastes great and so great for supporting you liver.

  • bmaverick
    bmaverick Posts: 175 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    Growing much as I can help cure a few cancers for neighbors.

    Also, there are a few different types out there as well. The best for nutrition and cancer healing properties is the Italian Dandelion. When harvesting this plant, the leave bundle looks more like Roma lettuce! Seriously. If you can get the seeds or find the Italian version growing in the wild, it's like GOLD.


  • Ferg
    Ferg Posts: 285 ✭✭✭

    @Brueck.iris thank you so much for the recipe! I was going to make Nasturtium capers this week; last week my nasturtiums were all still in flower and this week they were ... gone! sigh (most of my gardening is at a community group garden at the moment; someone got happy and pulled out all the plants).

    Looking forward to trying dandelion capers (-:

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    I love the peppery taste of the leaves in salad mix. I use the flowers and the roots as a earthy/fruity tea/infusion.

  • solarnoon.aspen
    solarnoon.aspen Posts: 219 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    I have just recently joined a guild of weavers who use garden waste, wild and otherwise discriminated against plants to make baskets, cordage and other woven things. Here's a member of the group talking about dandelion stems:

    Can't wait to get to know this group better. BTW, there are plenty of videos online about making cordage.

  • aurora.rebecca
    aurora.rebecca Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    Dandelion flower fritters/pakora!

    I’ve quick fermented the leaves (think fast kimchi/sauerkraut) and flowers and made a wild “chimichurri”, as part of a vinaigrette, and as relish 😜.

    I’ve had nastrium capers, but never dandelion buds.

    has anyone tried dandelion oil? I had read about it and begun one, but in a cleaning frenzy packed it away and forgot about it 😪, it’s been well past the 4-6 week mark

  • flowerpower *
    flowerpower * Posts: 258 ✭✭✭

    One day I looked at a dandelion with fresh eyes and realized that it was a beautiful flower, glowing like a tiny sun. Now I marvel at how the dandelion, as a liver tonic, is just what people need for medicine. So needed and so despised. LOL

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    @flowerpower You are so right!

    Is that a hedgehog in your avatar? We've got a very old hedgehog as a pet. Nobody ever decided on his name, if it is Harley (a "hog") or Speedy.

    Welcome here, by the way.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    Anyone know if you can do this with other flower buds? I have tons of prickly lettuce that grow here, no dandelions. This would be better than just letting 8 million of them go to seed each year. I have more prickly lettuce than yard some times.

  • flowerpower *
    flowerpower * Posts: 258 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Yes, that is a hedgehog in my profile picture. :) I think of hedgehogs as "Sonic". https://media1.tenor.com/images/5d9858928c5c1cbd8e49dc875412e214/tenor.gif?itemid=7708941

  • roxapet2
    roxapet2 Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    Wonderful information. I am going to be watching for my dandelions this Spring and try out what I’ve learned here.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    @roxapet2 Welcome here! You are going to have a lot of things to try by spring if you spend much time on these forums. 😉

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    Welcome to TGN's forum @flowerpower and @roxapet2z. Its always nice to meet new members.

  • happy-trails
    happy-trails Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Wow, never knew you could use like capers! I drink a gentle detox tea with dandelion almost daily, and I feel the cleansing affects on my liver for sure, and my skin GLOWS after drinking, which tells me it is working to assist cleaning my body from the inside out!

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    I love Dandelions! They have been one of my favorites since I was a kid. Their beautiful, bright, sunny little blooms just make my heart happy :). They are such wonderfully beneficial plants so much so that believe it or not they were transported to the United States by settlers that loved and valued them as food and medicine. Abundant in a time when the garden is still barren (usually) they helped fill the hunger gap between an emptying winter pantry and a blooming garden harvest. Now most of the west deplores them as intolerable "weeds" to be killed indiscriminately in search of boring grass seeded lawns but those little blooms are herbal workhorses that have a place in everybody's kitchen. The early spring leaves are delicious in salads and add much needed nutrition to our plates. The entire plant is edible. Roots can be dried and made into tea, the leaves and flowers can be eaten in salads, wraps, sandwiches, as decorations on cakes, the unfurled buds can be pickled and the milky sap that flows through the stems is good for removing warts. Dandelions are well known diuretics', which is where one of their French names comes from; Pissenlit, which literally means to pee the bed. It's a wonderful addition to a tea of red raspberry for that time of the month to help prevent bloating. I have read that combining dandelion root with burdock root is a known cancer fighter. Dandelions are delicious, beautiful and all around a blessing from God.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    OHHHHH the wine! I forget to mention that. One of the BEST wines ever!

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    That is utterly fantastic! Is it a local meetup or an online group?

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    I have several jars of dandelion oil in my cupboards from last summer. It still looked fine to me the last time I checked it. I need to get some beeswax so I can make salve :)

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    You have a pet hedgehog? That's so cool! I want one so bad but they are illegal in Pa :(

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    @karenjanicki Really? That's too bad. 😕 I didn't realize that certain states might prohibit them. Is it because they could potentially become a problem if turned loose or another reason?

    Ours is not super active, but he is getting pretty old.

  • Elizabeth Voss
    Elizabeth Voss Posts: 57 ✭✭✭

    I have been experimenting with growing and harvesting dandelions; however, I feel that the soild on my house is too high in in lead or chroiumium (having tested the soil in certain aireas for heavy metals). So I choose those just growing in certain areas.