I love the ripe potency of these buds – they really seem like they are going to explode. Following the recommendation of the wonderful herbalist Henriette Kress, these (and other) buds were later picked to make dandelion bud capers. So easy and so tasty. They are now brewing in organic cider vinegar for a few weeks and will be served with salad and pizza when ready. Dandelions were stressed this year due to the ongoing cold – the leaves on my lawn were purple. But the ones I picked, on the banks seemed fine – lovely and green so that’s where I chose to gather my buds from. I also gathered leaves to make into tincture – see below.
These coltsfoot flowers grow every year in an alley in town – they are alone but lovely! I never pick them as there aren’t many but I like to pass by and see them every year in flower. If I were to find more I would use the flowers, which come before the leaves, as an expectorant – to clear mucus. I might make a syrup (layered sugar and flowers in a jar) or make a tincture which I often include in small amounts for phlegmy coughs.
I picked these dandelion leaves for one of my patients who is pregnant and suffering from oedema (puffiness) in her ankles. She is someone who gets puffy and also experiences high blood pressure near the time of labour. The dandelion leaves are picked before the plant flowers and used as a diuretic.