Hello my friend and welcome back to today’s post! When I used to look out and see dandelions growing in my well maintained yard I used to get mad. It was like nothing I did worked to kill them and keep them away. Once I started learning about prepping and herbal medicine, it didn’t take long to realize just how great these little plants are and this is the topic of today’s post. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit and I tell you more about these amazing little plants!
While they still don’t look good growing in my yard, I have learned to truly appreciate these flowers or weeds as some people call them. I now consider each and every one as a gift and at just the right time I dig them up and process all of their goodness. If you didn’t know it, all parts of a dandelion are edible! The leaves can be thrown uncooked into a salad or cooked (recommended in Edible Wild Plants: Eastern/Central North America Peterson Field Guide to boil the leaves for about 5 minutes). You can also cook the roots (boil 20-30 min) or roasted and ground into coffee. Let’s start from the top and work our way down shall we?
The flower of the plant – This is one of the most important parts of the plant and you need to learn its many uses. It is edible of course and many people enjoy eating them right off of the plant. While I don’t personally find their taste appealing, I know that I could eat them should the need arise and in the spring time, they are everywhere here in the south. The flower has many other uses as well. It can be used for both internal and external medicinal uses. It is used externally to help fight bacteria and heal wounds. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus, among other things. You can pick a bunch of the flowers and place them on a cookie sheet to dry or you could put the cookie sheet in the oven on low to do the same. Once they are thoroughly dried, fill a quart jar with them to the top. Now fill the jar with warm (not hot) olive oil and put the lid on them and let them set for a couple of weeks. Some people place the jar in the sun from time to time to help speed up the process. Once this is done, take the contents of the jar and strain it through cheese cloth or coffee filter to remove any contaminants from the oil. You now have dandelion infused oil for use in making herbal medicine to treat wounds. Add a little tea tree oil and some bees-wax and you have a first aid ointment or salve for cuts and scrapes. For internal use, you can steep the dried flowers in hot water to create dandelion tea. This has been used to treat kidney and urinary disorders as well as constipation, high blood pressure and joint pain. Yes sir! This little plant is definitely one of those little jewels that every Prepper should know about and how to use.
The leaves and stems – while many people like to eat the leaves in salads and in an emergency, I suppose I would eat them as well, but personally I am more of a carnivore that than a vegetarian. Now having that said, these little plants are great sources of vitamins and minerals that will become very important after SHTF hits. If you fail to get all of the vitamins that your body needs like “C”, you could develop scurvy and other diseases and that would be a very bad thing in a time where certain medicines are hard to find. I’m sure that I will find that I will not only eat, but learn to like many new plants when the time comes. You can also use the white milky juice from the stem to remove warts. Yep, this is one plant that just keeps on giving.
The Root of the plant – This is one of my favorite parts of the plant as it can be chopped up very finely then roasted in an oven of some kind or over a fire to create a substance that taste remarkably like coffee. In fact it was used for many years as a coffee substitute by pioneers due to its abundance throughout the country. The root can also be combined with myrrh to create a poultice for treating boils and abscesses.
- Important Notes: Though it is generally considered safe, those allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine may not be able to consume it. Until you are sure how your system will tolerate it, use it sparingly.
The wild dandelion is truly the Pepper’s friend and provides everything from food to medicine in an SHTF situation. Get to know this little flower as it may save your life one day! Well that is it for today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Until next time my friend, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared!