Six rock-star uses:
1. Eat them: Several giant handfuls of dandelion greens, steamed with some garlic, white balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. Yum. I could eat bowlfuls. And since you can gather dandelions just about anywhere, it's a completely free meal. Just make sure you're not harvesting from a chemical doused lawn or anywhere too near a busy road. Take the opportunity to go exploring off the beaten path in search of tonight's dinner!
2. Drink them: In a green juice, that dash of bitters adds some amazing digestive enhancement to an already powerful shot of green energy. Apple, ginger and lemon help balance the bitterness but don't take it entirely away, that bitter taste is part of what stimulates digestion!
3. Tinctures: a very effective way to use them medicinally and easily found in health food stores or from your local herbalist (or farmers' market). A good daily dose might be 10-40 drops per day.
4. Dandelion Honey: In a glass mason jar, I fill it 1/4 full of freshly minced dandelion leaves and flowers and drizzle enough local, raw honey over the top until it's covered, then begin mashing it with a wooden spoon or pestle and let it sit for several weeks. It lasts indefinitely since honey is the most potent natural preservative. The potency will increase as the honey crystallizes with the plant material. Use in tea, drizzled in your morning yogurt, spread on toast (I personally love it on home-made gluten free flatbread) or take by the spoonful. Honey has incredible healing elements itself so mixing it with the dandelion is an excellent way to take your medicine!
5. Dandelion massage oil: Make your own with organic olive oil and fresh dandelion leaves and flowers (gathered when they are dry/free of dew). Chop the plants up and fill a jar, pouring the oil over the herbs, making sure to cover all plant material right to the top. Stir to incorporate and make sure they're covered, and place the labeled and covered jar somewhere dark and relatively cool for six weeks. Note: Make sure the jar has been filled to the very top so mold doesn't grow, but if it does, simply skim it from the surface and fill the jar back up with oil. As long as it stays on the top of the jar, it won't harm the oil. After six weeks, strain and store in a dark glass bottle, using as needed. Add a drop or two of lavender essential oil for extra soothing and healing properties.
6. Adornment: Make a bohemian-chic crown and unleash your inner child or indie rockstar.
However you use them, get outside, gather some dandelions and rock on.