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Author Topic: harvesting wild dandelion  (Read 6590 times)

Offline RobinJ

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harvesting wild dandelion
« on: January 19, 2009, 01:05:10 PM »
Hello!

I have wild dandelion growing all over my backyard. My acupuncturist says I have liver stagnation and I have ongoing bowels issues (mostly loose) Has anyone had any experience with harvesting wild dandelion for use with these conditions?

Thanks,
Robin

Offline jodi f.

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 05:27:43 PM »
I've been eating wild dandelion leaves since 1989, when my husband and I went to the Canadian Rockies to do some mountaineering, and the veggie selection in those days at the grocery store in Banff was beyond dismal. We would just drive around and pick dandelions whenever we wanted greens.

I too have had liver issues, and while I can't pinpoint any positive effect these wild greens have had, I can only assume their effect is beneficial since they're pretty bitter and very, very green (not sure about the bowel issues). When plants grow in the wild, they tend to be more nutritious than their cultivated counterparts. And of course they're very fresh and you haven't used much (maybe nothing) in the way of petrochemicals to grow and ship them to your door. They're delicious, too, especially with something with a nutty flavor, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Toss in some red pepper flakes, too. I say release your inner hunter-gatherer and eat those greens. Sure beats using Round-Up on 'em.

Offline RobinJ

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 05:47:29 PM »
Thanks Jodi!

Is is best to harvest the leaves when they are young in the spring or can you eat them anytime?

Offline AlisonA

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 08:38:28 AM »
I wrote an article on dandelion a while back. The very last paragraph gives suggestions for wild harvesting. "Wild" for dandelions means your own back yard!

Here's the link to my article, The Dandy Weed:

http://wholegourmet.blogspot.com/search?q=dandelions

Offline BrigitteM

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 05:11:51 PM »
Here's something from my book, Dandelion Medicine. Blessings, Brigitte

HARVESTING
    It is likely that your neighbors will be delighted should you ask to collect dandelions from their lawns, providing the lawns haven't been sprayed. Dandelion leaves are collected before the plants flower in the spring. People that claim to dislike  the taste of dandelion greens have very likely collected the leaves after that plant has flowered and the greens had turned bitter. Do not wash the leaves before drying as this will encourage mold.  The leaves can be cut at their base with a knife or easily snapped with one's fingers.  After the plant has seeded there will be a new growth of leaves later in the summer and these can also be collected.  Avoid leaves that are yellow and wilted. The stems are best when the plant is in bloom. When collecting flowers, it is helpful to have some children with you to help out. Spread the blossoms on a large cloth to allow some of the insects to crawl and fly away before you bring them inside.  There are wonderful tools available called dandelion pullers at gardening supply shops for the purpose of digging the deep dandelion tap roots. It is best to gather plants that are at least 2 years old to obtain larger roots. Dandelion roots collected in the spring will be sweeter than those taken in the fall. The roots are then higher in fructose, less bitter and fibrous then.  But they must be collected before the flower buds are big or all of their energy will go into producing the flower which will deplete the root. September to February is also an ideal time to collect the roots when the plant is highest in inulin. Ideal time to collect the roots are in the early spring and then again in fall after the frost. The best roots will be in soil that hasn't been mowed yet is rich and loose and the root likely to be single and juicy. In poorer soil, the root tends to be more forked and tougher. The plant is most effective in its fresh state. However, a few good frosts will once again make the roots sweeter, though less therapeutic. Roots that are too old will be leathery . 
 Fall harvested roots are more bitter and richer in inulin which makes them more of a therapeutic medicine.  Spring roots are less bitter and higher in taraxacin. This is partly due to the inulin being broken down into fructose, a simple sugar. Freezing decreases the inulin content and lessens the bitterness. The sugar and levulose content converts to inulin during the growing season.
 Be sure to gather from environmentally clean areas at least 50 feet away from busy roads and where no poisonous sprays have been used. Roots will be easiest to harvest after a good rain or a few hours after the yard has been watered. If your neighbors don't live on busy streets and don't spray their lawns ask permission to collect dandelions - Then you can bring them some dandelion muffins in gratitude.

Offline PatriceK

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 08:54:42 AM »
Hello,

Thank you for all of this good information.  Would you be willing to share your recipe for Dandelion Muffins? 

Thank you,

Patrice
Patrice

Offline BrigitteM

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 08:30:13 PM »
Dandelion Flower Muffins
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2  cup honey
1 egg
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (can be dairy, rice, soy, oat or almond)
3 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup dandelion petals (without sepals)
1/2 cup washed, chopped dandelion leaves
 Mix together oil and honey. Add eggs, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Alternate mixing in milk, flour and cornmeal. Add dandelion flowers and leaves. Stir just enough o moisten ingredients. Place in oiled muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.


Offline jodi f.

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 06:54:44 AM »
Thanks so much for this Brigitte. I can't wait to tell my friends to eat their weedies.

Offline BrigitteM

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 09:02:58 AM »
For the Dandelion Muffins: You can leave out the dandelion greens (They need to be harvested before the plant flowers) And its really the calyx (the green part that holds the flower together) that should be used. Blessings Brigitte

Offline Dixie

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2009, 08:49:22 AM »
I've heard that the root of the dandelion was the most beneficial part for the liver and that the greens, while good for the liver too,  were most beneficial for the kidneys.
Maybe someone more savvy than I on herbs will shed some light.
Dixie
Dixie Raile NC
The Tao of Chow  
settle into your wellness
email:  dixie@the-tao-of-chow.com
website:  www.the-tao-of-chow.com

KellyT

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Re: harvesting wild dandelion
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2009, 12:49:07 PM »
Wow...I had just posted this yesterday on a different thread here...

The Northern California Unit of the Herb Society of America
is now meeting at Rodgers Ranch in Pleasant Hill (315 Cortsen Rd) on the second Sunday of each month at 1:30pm

Sunday, March 8 -  "In Defense of the Dandelion"  Learn the nutritious values of the dandelion and how it is used for food, crafts and health.  Sample spring herb and lettuce salads.  $2.00 charge ....pre-registration  required by 3/5/09   
call Karen - 925-681-1551 or Denise - 925-387-0158