One thing I discovered when checking to see what I could find out about the use of dandelions in earlier times was that apparently the early colonists brought the dandelion to America from Europe. Having someone to blame doesn’t help as much as I thought it might. All parts of the plant were used; the roots were roasted and ground for a coffee-like drink, and frontier healers often recommended dandelion greens as a spring tonic. They are full of vitamins unavailable to pioneers during the winter (Carol Williams, Backwoods Home Magazine). The leaves are the nutritious part, but you can also make wine or cookies with the flowers.
Researched & written by Kathryn Auger