Tips for Growing Dandelion

COMMON NAMES:
Dandelion

LATIN NAME:
Taraxacum officinale

HISTORY:
Dandelions are believed to be some of the oldest plants on the planet. Historians and biologists have found the plants appearance in fossils dating back thirty million years ago in Eurasia. This plant has been consistently used by humans as a food, and as a medicinal plant for diuretic purposes.

HERBAL PROPERTIES AND USES:
Highly nutritious and known to treat a variety of ailments, dandelion is a great plant to grow in your garden. From heart problems to acne, liver diseases to eye conditions, most people are unaware that this weed has higher amounts of potassium than bananas and more vitamin A than carrots. Dandelion is also reported to have anti-rheumatic capacities. It is also a powerful diuretic with additional laxative properties. Good for hepatic and gallbladder conditions, digestive complaints, as well as general constipation.

Dandelion Cultivation and Growing Methods

ANNUAL/PERRENIAL PLANT:
Perennial meaning it reproduces for 2 or more years without re-planting

PARTS USED:
Every part of the dandelion is edible, including the roots, leaves, crowns and flower buds.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS:
This plant is one of the hardiest around. It can grow most everywhere, regardless of soil conditions, but does best in rich soil with sufficient moisture.

SUN REQUIREMENTS:
This plant is very strong and can do well in hot summers and cold winters, but prefers full sun. It can also do well in partial shade.

GROWING ZONES:
Does well in virtually all US growing zones, with the exception of extreme conditions.

PLANTING TIME:
Plant the dandelion seeds in early spring in well-drained, fertile soil. Plant seeds directly in the garden 1/4 inch deep in the soil in single rows, about 8 inches.

POLLINATION:
Easily self-pollinates.

FLOWERING/SEEDING TIME:
Dandelion reaches maturity approximately 85 to 95 days after planting.

HARVESTING:
You can harvest the greens throughout the growing season. Roots can be harvested in the fall of the second year of growth. Pull the entire root from the ground and avoid breakage.

DRYING METHODS / YIELD:
Dry roots in an oven or in the sun. Leaves can be eaten raw, or blanched by tying them up and banding the leaves. This will cause the inner leaves to turn white and sweet. The outer leaves are edible, but as the summer progresses, become bitter.

PLANT YIELD:
Large yield throughout growing season.

PRESERVATION / PACKAGING METHODS:
Can be dried and stored as any herb or spice in an air-tight container.

ESSENTIAL OIL USE:
Excellent spring tonic for overly phlegmatic or lethargic conditions, as it reduces congestion in the body. Helpful for premenstrual and menopausal tension, as well as the reduction of fluid retention.

PLANT CHEMICALS:
Contains a vast realm of chemical compounds and plant carotenoids, including caffeic, linoleic, linolenic, oleic, and palmitic acids, as well as the minerals potassium, iron, silicon, magnesium, sodium, and zinc, and the vitamins A, B, C, and D.

IS THIS AN EDIBLE PLANT:
Yes

CAUTIONS / CONTRAINDICATIONS:
Avoid using dandelion if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

DRUG INTERACTIONS:
May interfere with anti-diabetic drug, antihypertensives, diuretics and quinolone antibiotics.

Clinical Research About Dandelion

  • Chun Hu and David D. Kitts. Food, Nutrition and Health, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. October 2004. Luteolin and luteolin-7-O-glucoside from dandelion flower suppress iNOS and COX-2 in RAW264.7 cells. Springer Netherlands. 245:1-2(107-113). [PMID: 15543940]
  • Conney AH, Lysz T, Ferraro T, Abidi TF, Manchand PS, Laskin JD, Huang MT. et al. Inhibitory effect of curcumin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid on tumor promotion in mouse skin by 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate. Cancer Research 1988; 48(21):5941-5946 [PMID: 1908616]
  • Lee WJ, Zhu BT Inhibition of DNA methylation by caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, two common catechol-containing coffee polyphenols. Carcinogenesis 2006; 27(2):269-277. [PMID: 16081510]
  • Eisenbrand, Gerhard (2000). Carcinogenic and anticarcinogenic factors in food: symposium. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. pp. 105. (DOI: 10.1002/3527606246)

 

References

  1. Richards, A.J. (1997). Dandelions of Great Britain and Ireland (Handbooks for Field Identification). BSBI Publications. p. 330.
  2. Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L., Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press.
  3. Richards, A. J. 1972. The Taraxacum flora of the British Isles. Watsonia 9 (supplement): 1-141.
  4. Gail, Peter. The Dandelion Celebration: A Guide to Unexpected Cuisine. Cleveland, Ohio: Goosefoot Acres Press, 1994.
  5. How to Grow Dandelions. http://sankey.ws/dandelion.html

 

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