Maria Sykes
Maria Sykes
April 30, 2024 ·  9 min read

25 Reasons To Go & Pick Dandelions Right Now

Who hasn’t seen those pesky yellow weeds pop up in the garden from time to time? Yet try as you might – from picking them to poisoning them – nothing keeps them at bay for too long. Perhaps it’s time you embraced the tenacious dandelion and all the benefits it can bring.

Dandelion has been used throughout history to treat everything from liver problems and kidney disease to heartburn and appendicitis. Every part of this common weed – from the roots to the blossoms – is edible. It’s a good thing too, as the humble dandelion is bursting with vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc.

Some interesting dandelion facts

Dandelion seeds in the sunlight blowing away across a fresh green morning background
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  • The leaves boast more beta carotene than carrots, meaning they are great for healthy eyes!
  • The greens also provide 535% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which is vital for strengthening bones and preventing cognitive decline.
  • 2011 study showed that dandelion root tea may induce leukemia cells to die. Researchers reported that the tea didn’t send the same ‘kill’ message to healthy cells.
  • The plant is a diuretic that helps the kidneys clear out waste, salt and excess water by increasing urine production – perhaps the reason that European children’s lore claims you will wet the bed if you pick the flowers!
  • With such a rich nutrient load, the plant is filled with antioxidants – which may help stave off premature aging, cancer, and other illnesses caused by oxidative stress.
  • Animal studies discovered that dandelion root and leaf manages cholesterol levels.
  • Research also shows that dandelion extract boosts immune function and fights off microbes.
  • Dandelion can also help the digestive system according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fresh or dried dandelion can stimulate the appetite and settle the stomach while the root of the plant may act as a mild laxative.

Read More: Glow-In-the-Dark Flowers Are a Thing: Meet the Firefly Petunia

25 Remarkable Uses for Dandelions

Beautiful fluffy dandelion and flying seeds outdoors at sunset
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Dandelions are more than just a common garden weed; they are versatile and valuable plants with a wide range of uses. Often overlooked, these bright yellow flowers offer remarkable benefits for culinary, medicinal, and practical purposes. From health-boosting teas and salads to eco-friendly garden solutions and natural dyes, dandelions are a treasure trove of natural resources waiting to be tapped into. In this list, we explore 25 remarkable uses for dandelions that demonstrate their potential in various aspects of our lives.

In the Kitchen

Yellow dandelion heads in bowl or table.
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Because the entire plant is edible there are a myriad of ways in which you can use dandelion for culinary purposes that go way beyond simply making dandelion tea.

1. Sautéed Greens and Garlic

Indonesian traditional food named "tumis kangkung bawang putih" i.e. sauteed water spinach with garlic, served on plate isolated on white background, top view
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With their rich mineral and vitamin content, dandelion greens are a healthy addition to any meal. Sautéing with garlic (or ginger or capers) adds flavor and negates some of the bitterness often associated with these leaves. Blanching them by immersing them in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds helps reduce this acrid taste. Avoid the very mature leaves as these can be too unpleasant for some. This double garlic and greens recipe is a delicious one.

2. Dandelion Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Hummus with spinach and pumpkin seeds in a bowl on a wooden board and bruschetta, oriental cuisine, horizontal orientation
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This nutritious pesto is perfect for a simple pasta, sandwich spread, or veggie dip. Because the dandelion greens have a slight bite, the toasted pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, and parmesan are vital to bring balance.

3. Tempura Blossoms

zucchini cooked flowers in tempura as vegan food
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Fried dandelion flowers, first dipped in seasoned batter, make a tasty, attractive and novel snack or side dish. By removing all the bitter green parts, you’re left with the mild-tasting and faintly sweet blossoms.

4. Herbal Vinegar

herbs with oil and vinegar, copy space
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Enjoy increased well-being by using this herbal vinegar on salads, in dressings, soups, stews, and sauces, or by simply mixing it with water and drinking it as a revitalizing tonic. Infuse dandelion flowers in apple cider vinegar for four weeks, strain, and store in a dark place for up to twelve months.

Read More: 8 Gardening Hacks That Will Help Flowers, Veggies, And Fruit Flourish

5. Vegetarian Risotto

Italian risotto with spring asparagus and parmesan cheese in plate on light background. Top view with copy space.
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Cook the flowers and make them into a jewel-like vegetarian risotto. While the dandelions add visual appeal and a mild sweet taste, the onion, wine, stock, creamy yogurt, and parmesan lend a rich, deep flavor and smooth texture. The Vegetarian Society-inspired recipe can be found here.

6. Kimchi

Kimchi, Korean spicy pickles dish
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Instead of the traditional spicy and sour Korean kimchi which is made with cabbage, this foraged alternative uses dandelion greens. Eat your way to good gut health by fermenting the greens with herbs, spices, green onions, and soy sauce.

7. Savory Muffins

number of delicious egg vegetable muffins
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These soaked muffins, made with whole wheat flour, oatmeal, honey, and dandelion petals are perfect for serving with springtime soups such as asparagus or green pea.

8. Petal Sorbet

Plate with tasty melon sorbet and mint on light background
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Make a delicious iced treat from freshly picked dandelion blossoms, sugar, honey and lemon juice. It’s perfect for a summer’s day in the garden, or served after one of the many dandelion-inspired main meals here!

9. Jelly

Sugar free, low calorie citrus jelly dessert. Space for text.
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This delicate jelly is delicious and sweet as honey. Use it on top of toast, crumpets or anything else that takes your fancy. It keeps in an airtight container for up to two weeks – but it definitely won’t last that long!

10. Pancake and Waffle Syrup

pouring maple syrup over homemade american round waffles with butter
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Love pancake syrup but want to avoid the sickly sweet store-bought variety, which is loaded with nasty artificial additives and preservatives? Then this is the recipe for you! It’s made with just three ingredients – dandelions, lemon and sugar, or honey.

11. Dandelion Blossom Cake

Healthy dandelion flower tea in a glass cup on the wooden table with sweet jam and cherry muffin in the spring garden, close up
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A sweet, delicious, and slightly tropical cake made with dandelion syrup, blossom petals, cinnamon, crushed pineapple, walnuts, and coconut, this is sure to be a hit with the whole family.

12. Dandelion Cookies

Coffee cup and cookies on garden table. Top view with copy space
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Another sweet dandelion-based treat, these healthy lemony cookies include organic local honey and oats.

Read More: How to Plant a Garden that Can Help Supply You With Food Year All Year

13. Dandelion Root Coffee

Dandelion, beautiful yellow dandelions, coffee and dandelion
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As we’ve found out, no part of the humble dandelion has to go to waste. After you’ve sautéed the greens, and used the blossoms in your dessert, hang onto the roots and brew a caffeine-free alternative to coffee. Roast them before grinding for a deep, earthy flavor.

14. Iced Lime and Dandelion Tea

Cup of healthy dandelion tea on wooden background. Herbal medicine.
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This pretty iced lime and dandelion tea is so good even the kids will love it. It’s also refreshing, and natural and has many skin-promoting properties. Blend a quart of dandelion flowers with fresh lime juice, stevia leaves, or other sweetener, and dried red raspberry leaf.

15. Dandelion Wine

Cooled homemade dandelion wine in old wineglasses, bottle and wreath from dandelions on a dark background
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Surprisingly, these pesky weeds can make a fine country wine – rich, strong, and medium sweet. Head out into the countryside (or backyard) with a gallon container and collect enough complete flowers to loosely fill it. Ferment these with water, lemon zest, and raisins for a couple of months before enjoying.

16. Danish Schnapps – Two Ways

Set of bottles with home made tasty liqueurs inside.
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If country wine isn’t your thing, perhaps a Danish schnapps sounds more appealing? Make it with the flower heads for a fresh, aromatic and mildly sweet taste which goes well with chocolate, sweet desserts, and cakes. Or, for a dry, spicy, and very aromatic drink, brew it with the roots. Enjoy the schnapps on its own or serve with roast meat and other robust flavors.

Read More: If You See These 5 Insects in Your Garden, DO NOT Kill Them

For Health and Beauty

A jar lying in dandelion flowers, close-up
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Dandelion’s properties extend beyond the dinner table – they can also be harnessed to reduce pain and inflammation and treat minor skin maladies.

17. Moisturizer

Cream with dandelion extract in a white plastic bottle on a wooden surface. Closeup
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Try making this dandelion and coconut oil moisturizer that’s great for dry elbows and feet, helps to relieve sore muscles and aches, and can also be used as a lip balm or aftershave.

18. Pain Relieving Oil

Dandelion root oil, tincture, wine or honey with fresh flowers and leaves on wooden table, closeup, copy space, green medicine, homeoparhy, hair and skin healthy care, detox therapy concept
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Dandelions are one of the most useful plants to reduce joint pain and aching muscles. Infuse the flowers in an oil and rub them onto sore muscles and joints, or anywhere pain strikes. To make, simply fill a small mason jar with fresh dandelion flowers and pour in a base oil – like sweet almond or olive – until the jar is full. Leave to infuse in a warm place for two weeks before straining the oil and decanting into a sterilized jar. Store in the fridge.

19. Pain Relieving Salve

two yellow salve, creem, jars on a green grass with yellow flowers
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For a more portable version of the pain relieving oil, go one step further and turn the infusion into a soothing balm – ideal for carrying in your purse or gym bag, or keeping in the car or office. Create a double boiler and blend beeswax with the infused oil. Pour this mixture into a jar or tin and allow to cool before using.

20. Lotion Bars

Homemade solid body butter bars with dandelion flower oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil
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These therapeutic lotion bars help the toughest cases of cracked, dry skin by adding moisture and alleviating inflammation and soreness. If you’re an avid gardener, or frequently do very manual work, rub the bar over your hands several times a day. It’s a lot less messy than salve! Blend infused dandelion oil with beeswax, shea butter, and lavender essential oil for a silky, smooth healing bar.

21. Wart Remover

Dandelion flowers and homemade salve top view
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Dandelion has been used by ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine use dandelions for their medicinal properties. The ‘pesky weeds’ are thought to act as natural wart removers due to their antimicrobial properties. However, this has yet to be scientifically validated.

You’ve probably noticed that the roots, stems, and leaves of the plant exude a white sticky resin – this is the secret weapon against warts. Apply this sap directly onto warts once, or several times, per day and they should soon disappear.

Read More: Forest garden with over 500 edible plants requires only a few hours of work monthly

In the Home and Garden

Romantic morning atmosphere Bouquet of yellow dandelions in a vase, an open book and a cup of coffee on a table on a pink silk tablecloth Concept of a cozy stylish home interior Lifestyle
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Use dandelions to add a pop of color to your home, or some much-needed nutrients to the garden.

22. Floating Table Centerpiece

Hello Wednesday words on black letter board and bouquet of yellow dandelions flowers on table against white brick wall. Concept Happy Wednesday. Template for postcard.
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Make a stunning and chic dandelion centerpiece simply using reclaimed wood and small nails. Assemble a box from the wood, hammer small finishing nails through the underside, and slide handpicked dandelions on top – creating a centerpiece that appears to be floating.

23. Natural Yellow Dye

Henna powder. Still life with henna and flowers of dandelions. Focus on the powder.
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Cook dandelion heads for an all-natural alternative to chemical-based dyes – which can contribute to water pollution. This is an especially useful tip for those who weave their own wool but can be used on any garment. Here is how you can use the dye to brighten up your fabrics.

24. Fertilizer

Weeded flowering dandelions (Taraxacum officinale Weber ex Wiggins) lie on the loose ground in the spring garden
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A liquid fertilizer, or ‘weed tea’ is simple to make and will give your garden a boost of nutrients. Deep-rooted dandelions are especially valuable weeds as they are so nutritious. Since you can’t toss them into the compost pile as their seeds are still viable, brew up this organic fertilizer instead and pour or spray it onto flower beds and vegetable gardens.

25. Feed Your Goats

Domestic goats are a mother goat and two goats. In nature, in the meadow. Pets. Portrait. The goats look at the viewer.
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If you keep goats then you’ll know that they need a diverse, vegetarian diet. Use your unwanted dandelion weeds to form a portion of that balanced diet. Research has shown that animals choose what to eat based on their individual nutritional needs so if you simply leave the dandelions for the goats, they’ll most likely munch on them and save you the job of weeding!

Save Some For The Bees!

bees pollinates a yellow dandelion against a background of green grass. blooming yellow flower close-up with a bee. summer nature on the field. a bee makes honey on a flower. nectar bee. banner
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Dandelions are the first food of the season for the bees. When picking the dandelions, make sure not to claim them all for yourself. Leave enough for the bees to enjoy.

Read More: Want to Help Bees? Leave the Dandelions Alone This Spring

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.