Wild Edibles: The Not So Humble Dandelion

wild ediblesWild Edibles: The Not So Humble Dandelion

– by Heather Gardner of Conscious Earth Company

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale, member of the Sunflower family) are cheerful little plants with off the chart nutrition and medicinal qualities and rather tasty too, the leaves taste slightly bitter similar to endive. The bane of many lawn enthusiasts, they have been revered by herbalists worldwide for untold centuries, and have been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine as well as by the Native Americans. It is still cultivated as a crop in many parts of Europe such as France and Germany. Dandelions are a sensational superfood and fabulously free, fresh and unpackaged.

Powerful Dandelion Nutrition

Here’s what so special about this abundant wild edible plant:dandelion wild edibles

  • Contains 112 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A & four times more vitamin A than lettuce
  • Higher in beta-carotene than carrots.
  • The iron and calcium content is greater than spinach.
  • 32 percent daily value of vitamin C per cup of leaves.
  • Contains vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, and many other trace elements and enzymes.
  • Contains the antioxidant lutein, which is good for healthy vision.
  • Also helenin which is reputed to help with night vision
  • Rich in inulin, this is a prebiotic, which actually feeds and encourages the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the gut as well as balancing blood sugar and diabetes.
  • The flowers contain lecithin, this helps the liver to break down fats and improves brain function.
  • The MILKY SAP found in the leaves and flower stems have been used to remove warts, corns, callouses and other stubborn skin maladies.
  • When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves of Dandelion release ethylene gas ripening the fruit quickly
  • Dogs, cats, hamsters, horses and our other furry friends can also eat dandelions. It aids their digestion, and cleanses their liver and kidneys.

Wild Dandelion Pesto

Makes 2 jam jars


dandelion wild edibles

  • 1 big handful of Dandelion leaves (or a mix of foraged or garden greens)
  • 1 handful or packet of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup of walnuts or hazelnuts
  • 1 cup of shelled hempseeds (or pine nuts)
  • 3 tspns of lime or lemon juice
  • 1-2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 small chili or half a large (optional)
  • 1 teaspn of Sea or Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1 level tspn kelp powder
  • 1 level tspn seagreen granules
  • aprox 200mls organic virgin oil, I use a mix of hemp & olive.


Place everything in your food processor (in 2 batches if it’s a small machine) – chop the garlic and chili first. Blend until nice and smooth but with a nice crunch. Be ready to add more oil as required to make a nice smooth consistency and to help the blades turn. Use whatever ingredients you prefer or have on hand and change the quantities if you like. Pesto is pretty easy to make out of anything!

Pack the pesto into glass jars leaving a little space at the top. Pour olive oil into this space to seal, this stops it from going moldy.

Store in the fridge. Pesto is best used within a few days for flavour, but will keep if the oil seal has been done properly.

About Heather

Heather is a Raw Food and Kundalini Yoga Teacher. She began learning about herbs and wild foods at a young age from her herbalist mother while growing up on a remote mountainside in Ireland. A lifelong vegetarian she began delving into the world of foraging, nutrition, raw & living foods as a teenager searching for answers to numerous health challenges.

At the age of twenty she was handed a copy of Viktoras Kulvinskas’s Survival into the 21st Century and was hooked from then on. In 2005 she began to move onto a raw diet and has increased to a high raw diet over time. She has studied Natural Nutrition and many other healing modalities. She has over 10 years experience as a Natural Remedies, Health & Beauty manager and Brand manager within the UK Natural Products industry, helping people to achieve better health naturally.

Now she lives in the west of Ireland, teaching and running her business www.consciousearthcompany.com as well as running after her feisty toddler

Wild Edibles Training With Sergei Boutenko

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There’s a plant-based pharmacy waiting to be discovered in your forest!!

wild edibles

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  1. says

    Thank you Tara for writing about the best wonder weed out there! For some reason I also though Dandelion was a good blood purifier? It must be the greens – thanks for the reminder! I’ll be heading out to the lawn..:)


    Reply by Heather Gardner on January 31st, 2012

    Thanks for reading Shira and I certainly hope you find these golden treasures on your lawn :) Dandelions will of course help purify the blood, as any live, raw, alkilizing and yes green plant power foods will do to a greater or lesser extend. If I was to list every single virtue of the Dandy dandelion then Id still be writing about it! Dandelions are most famous in the Natural Health World for its action on the liver, detoxifying and duiretic qualities. The most famous of the Wild Edibles for blood purifying is infact the Nettle :) And when the two are mixed together…well a perfect Spring Tonic is born! Happy Hunting and Delicious Detoxing ::Heather::


  2. says

    love love love dandelions.
    Why are these amazing plants/herbs so vilified?
    One of the most healing flowers on Earth.

    I really miffed my neighbors one summer as I intentionally grew a whole front yard of dandelions! It was beautiful..happy yellow faces in the sunshine..bees buzzing..butterflys…next to their stark mowed/weed free lawns..HMPF!

    ok..nuf rant. a googol thank yous!


  3. says

    Great post! I recently discovered Dandy Blend thru friend and Homeopath Maria Whalen of Intentional Network. It’s a caffeine-free coffee-like dandelion based powdered beverage that is scrumptious hot or cold. My fave way to make it is with stevia sweetened coconut milk on ice. Yummy!!!


  4. says

    Great article Heather! And thanks so much for the reminder about what’s right at my door step. Perfect timing too, as I was just thinking about how I need to spice up my daily green smoothies :) xTanya


  5. marilyn says

    are all dandelions edible? I have both prickly and not prickly in my yard. I prefer not to eat the prickly ones!


    Reply by Danielle on February 12th, 2012

    Hi Marilyn,

    Yep they certainly are edible and extremely nutritious.



    Reply by Heather on March 21st, 2012

    I never knew there were prickily Dandelions! Thogh in saying that Sergei has said that there are almost 300 diferent types, though all edible :) Try making the pesto recipe above, blending them to make a green smoothie or putting a few leaves in with a salad :)


  6. david says

    Thanks. for the reminder. Had been sitting outside thinking I need to eat something but I cant find it in the greengrocer’s. – Dandelions surround me. Haha.


  7. says

    Someone once told me that dandelions will grow around if you are seriously low in iron. I and my kids are always low in iron and we always have tons of dandelions growing in my yard. My husband gets insane over them but now I suppose we will just start picking them and using them as food! Amazing how the earth strives to give us what we need!


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