Vitamins and Minerals
Found Inside Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Greens are loaded with
magnesium, a mineral our bodies seek for energy and
stamina production, Dandelion Greens can be
nutritious and delicious when juiced with other
ingredients. Here are a few of the questions we attempt to
answer about Dandelion Greens.
- What vitamins in Dandelion Greens
make Dandelion Greens so good for us?
- What is the best method for juicing Dandelion
- What are some great buying tips for Dandelion
Plus, we'll do our best to provide some general information
about Dandelion Greens that you might not find so easily
elsewhere on the Internet.
Let's begin our exploration of Dandelion
Minerals in Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Greens aren't well known as a source of
nutrition, however in recent years it has finally been
achieving recognition. In fact, these easy-to-gather plants can
be a valuable addition to your juice diet.
For example, dandelion greens contain nearly as much iron as
spinach and four times the provitamin A of lettuce.
Here is a snapshot of the vitamins and minerals contained in
Vitamins in Dandelion Greens
- Vitamin C
- Trace amounts of Vitamins B-1, B-5, B-2, B-3, B-6
- Pro-Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
Minerals in Dandelion Greens
- Trace amounts of Zinc, Copper, Manganese and
The next time you think about Dandelion Greens... think
about how they might boost your daily nutrient
intake through juicing.
Juicing Tips for
Juicing Dandelion Greens
Juicing Dandelion Greens can add valuable nutrients to
most any home-juiced cocktail... or it can result in a
not-so-palatable drink that is difficult, if not impossible to
Here are a few tips for juicing Dandelion Greens that
may help turn your juicing experience into something you look
forward to and thoroughly enjoy.
Both the green leaves and the roots are great for
Because of their greenness and their bitterness, which
increases as the summer progresses and the plants become more
firmly entrenched and mature, you'll want to juice them with
another vegetable such as carrots to add sweetness to the
As dandelion greens taste mildest in the spring, serious
juicers usually use juices from dandelion greens as an
excellent spring tonic capable of cleansing the system and
strengthening the blood and bones.
Perhaps most important, dandelion greens are a superior
source of magnesium which helps the body's natural abilities
for energy and stamina. If, like us, you tend to increase your
physical activities during the summer months, adding dandelion
greens to your spring juicing routine is an excellent idea.
for Buying Dandelion Greens
Being such a common "weed" in spring, you may
be tempted to forage for your own dandelion greens in lieu of
buying them. If you do, be sure to choose areas that have not
been tainted by chemicals, animals (pets, etc.) and/or too
close to roads. Look for crowns that have not flowered yet and
try to dig up the full root with the greens.
If you are unable to forage for and/or harvest your own
dandelion greens, here are a few tips for buying Dandelion
Greens that may help you get the freshest ingredients. We'll
also include a few storing tips for Dandelion Greens that you
might find helpful.
First off, when buying dandelion greens look for
fresh-looking greens in the market and farm stand. They are
also sometimes easy to find in health food stores in season
(late spring and early summer).
Rinse them well, and if necessary, soak the greens in a
biodegradable produce wash.
Store them when perfectly dry in large Zip loc plastic bags
and use them within a few days.
About Dandelion Greens
This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't
include a little general information about Dandelion Greens, as
well as a few helpful links if you want to
explore Dandelion Greens further.
People troubled with digestion may find it
helpful to eat a few dandelion leaves--the fresher the
better--about 20 minutes before eating. The bitter taste,
largely absent from the American diet (except for coffee
and beer), will stimulate secretion of digestive enzymes,
making the meal easier to digest.
In addition to their cleansing abilities,
dandelion greens get high marks for weight loss support.
The lowly dandelion has been used for hundreds
of years in China, Europe, and the Americas for medicinal
purposes. Native Americans used it to treat kidney disease,
indigestion, and heartburn. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses
dandelion to treat upper respiratory tract infections,
including bronchitis and pneumonia. Dandelions have been used
to help stabilize blood sugar (root), antiviral properties
(root), digestion aid, gallbladder cleansing (root and/or juice
from the leaves), heart (as it relates to cholesterol balancing
properties), kidneys (leaves as a diuretic) and to alleviate
bloating associated with PMS.
Even today, dandelion roots are used for what
many naturalists consider their medicinal properties. Dug in
fall or early spring and tinctured (soaked in a jar of brandy
or vodka for four weeks or more to extract the medicinal
components), a dropperful of this alcohol extract twice a day
is a time-honored remedy for liver complaints.
Many naturalists also make dandelion compresses
by taking the full dandelion flower head (green parts plus
flower parts) putting them into a short mason jar (8 oz.) and
pouring boiling water over them, then letting them "steep" for
about 1 hour. After an hour the mixture is strained. Keeping
both the flowers and the liquid, the flowers are used for
things like sunburns and/or facials. Just put the flowers
directly on the skin and leave on for about 20 minutes, then
take them off and rinse. The liquid is often used for a
nighttime "splash" as a skin toner to rejuvenate the skin.
Making an oil using virgin olive oil and the
florets (flower heads - no green parts) soaked over 4 to 6
weeks (topped off with more dandelion florets daily) creates a
dandelion oil which many naturalists use as a topical
application to abate the effects of everything from sinus
complaints to sore, aching muscles to sunburns and even
For eating, you can use the young raw greens to
replace arugula, watercress, or other peppery greens in salads.
You can also treat dandelion like a cooking green, and throw it
in a pan with garlic and butter.
Dandelions are important plants for bees. Not
only is their flowering used as an indicator that the honey bee
season is starting, but they are also an important source of
nectar and pollen early in the season. They are also used as a
source of nectar by the Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria
euphrosyne), one of the earliest emerging butterflies in the
The name dandelion comes from the French dent
de lion, meaning 'lion's tooth,' a reference to the
jagged-edged leaves. In Turkish the dandelion is called
karahindiba meaning "black endive".
Dandelion Tea and Dandelion Wine
This section on dandelion greens would not be
complete without at least a mention of its historical uses for
beverages such as dandelion coffee, dandelion tea and dandelion
wine. Dandelion coffee was mentioned in a Harpers New Monthly
Magazine story in 1886. In 1919, dandelion root was noted as a
source of cheap coffee.
Large "true" dandelion plants (Taraxacum) that
are 3–4 years old, with taproots approximately 0.5 inches
(13 mm) in diameter, are harvested for dandelion coffee.
These taproots are similar in appearance to pale
After harvesting, the dandelion roots are
dried, chopped, and roasted. They are then ground into granules
which are steeped in boiling water to produce dandelion
A mixture of dandelion tea is thought by many
alternative health practitioners to be good for the
fibromyalgia sufferers. They recommend you brew a tea of
dandelion, burdock root and red clover. For best results, they
recommend you drink between 4 and 6 cups a day. Alternatively,
you can also take 1 tbsp. of dandelion juice twice a day.
Dandelion tea is most often made from dried
dandelion greens/leaves but some naturalists also make another
dandelion tea variety from dandelion flower heads - florets
(petals) only... no green parts. After removing all greens from
the flower heads and separating the florets, they pour boiled
water over the florets and let it steep about twenty minutes.
It is believed to help for headaches and back aches.
April and May are considered the best months
for harvesting dandelions in the northern hemisphere for making
To make dandelion wine: first wash and clean
the blossoms well, then remove all green parts... then soak the
florets for 2 days before "preparing" them with other
ingredients for the wine making process. There are several
different recipes for dandelion wine. We've included a link in
the resource section below for one of them.
Dandelions and Dandelion Greens
Dandelions and Dandelion Greens
Be sure to check out both our
"Juicing" and our "Smoothies"
sections for delicious recipes and more using