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By Witchipedia, Herbs

Dandelion: Foklore, Propagation & Magickal Uses

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are common weeds all over the world with varieties native to Asia, Europe, and North America. The leaves are long and deeply serrated forming a basal rosette that emerges directly from the Earth above a long central taproot.

The flowers that appear on a single shoot (hollow with milky white sap) are bright yellow composite flowers made of many florets. After the flowers are spent the “puff” appears with many seeds topped with white “Parachutes” that carry the seeds on the air.

Other Names: pissabeds

Despite its low status as a weed, dandelions are a bright and cheerful indicator that winter is over and spring is here! It is one of the earliest sources of pollen for honeybees.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Dandelions have a rich history in folklore, symbolizing resilience and the power of transformation.

Propagation of dandelions is easy through their distinctive seeds, making them a common garden weed.

Harvest dandelion roots in the fall for their potent medicinal properties and store them for various herbal remedies.

Dandelions possess diverse magical attributes, believed to bring luck, protection, and divination, making them a staple in various mystical practices throughout history.

History and Folklore

The name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion which means “tooth of the lion”. The modern French name, however, is pissenlit, which means “to wet the bed”. Indeed an English folk-name for the plant is pissabeds.

FolkloreDescription
Wishes and BlowballsThe practice of making a wish and blowing the dandelion seeds into the wind
DivinationUsing dandelion flowers or seeds for divinatory purposes, such as predicting the weather or foretelling the future
Healing TraditionsHistorical uses of dandelion in traditional medicine for various ailments
SymbolismCultural and symbolic meanings associated with dandelion, such as resilience, transformation, and youthfulness
Table 1: Dandelion Folklore

Propagation

Dandelions grow everywhere. There’s no need to propagate. But it is easier to gather roots from tilled soil than from the lawn, so till, scatter seeds and water. They like full sun.

Harvesting & Storage

Leaves should be gathered as soon as they appear in the spring as they get bitter after a short while. These do not store well and should be used fresh.

The bright yellow flowers should be gathered as soon as they open. Remove the green bits from the base of the flower before using it. These can be added to wines, vinegar or jellies.

The roots should be dug up in the autumn when they are plump with stored starches for the winter or first thing in the spring when they are sweeter. Generally anytime between the first of September and the end of February is good. These can be cut into pieces 3-4 inches long and dried on a screen in an area with good ventilation. Once dried, they should be stored in a cool dry area, sealed in a bug-proof container for no more than one year.

Magical Attributes

The dandelion is masculine in action and associated with the planet Jupiter, the element of air and both Pisces and Sagittarius. It is also associated with any solar deity, HecateBrigid and Belenos.

A tea of the flowers and leaves may be drunk to increase psychic ability while pouring boiling water over a bowlful of roots will aid in calling spirits.

Magickal UseExplanation
Divination and Psychic AbilitiesUsing dandelion in divination rituals, enhancing psychic abilities, or promoting intuitive insight
Wishes and ManifestationHarnessing the energy of dandelion for making wishes, manifesting desires, and setting intentions
Healing and PurificationUtilizing dandelion for healing purposes, cleansing rituals, or promoting physical and emotional well-being
Transformation and ChangeIncorporating dandelion in spells or rituals related to personal growth, transformation, or embracing change
Table 2: Magickal Uses of Dandelion

Make a wish and blow the seeds off a dandelion head!

Household Use

Dandelion leaves are a great addition to the diet of breeding rabbits and lactating cattle and goats.

Healing Attributes

Dandelion is most often used as a diuretic and in cleansing tonics and in cases of kidney and liver issues.

For liver issues, a tincture from the flower tops and/or a broth of the leaves is said to bring relief.

For stones, make a decoction of the root and cool before straining and then sweeten with honey. Drink a mugful morning and night. This is also good for indigestion and other stomach complaints.

A very strong decoction of the herb and root is recommended for many skin eruptions as its cleansing action helps purge impurities that can cause pimples, eczema and other skin issues. Drink a mugful several times a day.

In the early spring gather dandelion leaves by the bucketful and boil them up with some sorrel, parsley, carrots and onions to make a delightful broth than you can then can or freeze as a base for any number of soups the rest of the year. Use this base whenever you are feeling bloated or have digestive issues or feel the need to cleanse.

Culinary Use

Dandelion flowers can be used in salads, to make jelly, wine, and punch. Make sure you just use the yellow flower bits as the green bits are bitter.

The young leaves can be used raw or blanched in salads or sandwiches, steamed like spinach or cooked into soup or broth.

The dried root can be ground up and used like coffee. Fresh roots can also be used in salads.

Dandelion Beer is made from fermented dried leaves, Dandelion Wine is made from flowers and homemade Root Beer sometimes includes dandelion roots.

There are lots of flowers that look like dandelion but aren’t! If the leaves are branched, if there is more than one flower on the stem or if the plant is at all hairy, you’re not looking at a dandelion! Don’t eat it unless you’re absolutely sure.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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