Dandelions - translated from the French - 'dent de lion' (lion's tooth) refers to its jagged leaves, and many people also liken the distinctive golden fluffy flowerheads to that of a lion's mane.
These little lions have have been popping up everywhere at work, and contrast beautifully against the green grassy fields. They are obviously enjoying the mix of sunshine and April showers we have had as they seem particularly abundant and luscious.
I have already picked some big flowerheads and the freshest top leaves to make a herbal vinegar, and plan to make more medicinal treats from all parts of these plant to stock up my own medicine cabinet.
That's right - ALL parts of this herb can be used - Eat the leaves mixed into salads (pick the smaller top leaves as they get too bitter when too big), make syrup from the flowers, make coffee substitute from the dried and roasted roots, and make a wish by blowing on the seed head.
Dandelions are also one of the first flowers of the year to come up, and provide much needed pollen for the bees once they begin to wake from their winter slumber.
Dandelion - Benefits, uses, medicinal overview
Botanical name: Taraxacum officinale
Parts used: Leaf, root, flowers
Medicinal actions: Bitter tonic, choleretic (stimulates the production of bile by the liver), diuretic (Causing increased urine output), mild laxative, anti-rheumatic (reduces inflammation in joints).
Folklore: There is a whole range of folklore with this all-rounder, overall it is viewed as a positive plant, although it is also thought to make you wet the bed if picked (not the best advert for foraging!)
Emma is passionate about promoting good health, and likes to keep things simple. She enjoys yoga, meditation & being outdoors, yet likes to indulge in coffee, wine & cake - Everything in moderation!