Rather than becoming infuriated that dandelions are sprouting up all over your garden, you can put this versatile weed to good use. All parts of the plant are edible. Moreover, you can make a delicate herbal tea with the flowers and a stronger, more pungent one with the leaves. These teas are refreshing and might aid digestion.
Dandelion Flower Tea
Collect a few handfuls of dandelion flowers.
Wash the flowers in a colander to remove any debris or small insects.
Pull the petals away from the base of the flower and place them in a bowl. Discard the other flower parts.
Put a handful of flower petals for each cup of tea in the teapot. Pour boiling water over the top, and let the tea steep for about 3 minutes.
Serve with honey to taste.
Dandelion Leaf Tea
Collect handfuls of dandelion leaves. Select younger, smaller leaves if possible.
Rinse the leaves under running water. Pat them dry with a paper towel. Spread the leaves on a tray and let them dry in a warm room or air cupboard. Turn them occasionally. Store the leaves in a glass jar out of direct sunlight.
Add 1 teaspoon of dried leaves for each cup of tea to the teapot. Add mint leaves to the tea if desired.
Add boiling water and let the tea steep for 5 minutes.
Serve the tea with a slice of lemon or orange.
Passing the flower tea through a strainer when while you pour it removes any stray petals.
Allergies to dandelion are rare but do occur. If you experience mouth sores or a rash, stop drinking the tea or handling dandelions. Consult a medical professional if your reaction is serious.
Do not consume any herbal tonics when pregnant or breast-feeding without consulting your doctor first. Also, consult your doctor if you take any prescription drugs. Dandelion tea may interfere with their absorption or exacerbate side effects.
Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.