Dandelion Wine

bottle of dandelion wine, fresh dandelion flowers and two glasses of wine

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The dandelion is so much more than a bothersome weed in your lawn. Dandelion is thought to be originally native to the Central Asian region, but has become naturalized in many parts of the world, including North America because it literally “grows like a weed” in almost any soil and climate. 

Throughout history, it has been known as food, medicine and drink. Once known in France as Dent de Lion (lion’s tooth), the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is mostly now known as a weed. Yet, at one time, the dandelion was so prized as a food and medicinal plant that it was intentionally brought to America by European settlers.

How to Use Dandelion

For the forager, there is no part of the dandelion that needs to go to waste. In the early spring, before the flower buds have begun pushing up from the crown, dandelion greens make a special addition to meals, either raw in a salad or smoothie, or cooked in coconut oil, butter or bacon fat, like spinach. (The presence of the fat with cooked dandelions will make the nutrients in them even more bioavailable!)

Once the flowers begin to bloom and the leaves become bitter, you can pick them for eating, medicine, or wine-making (recipe below). Dandelion flowers can be added fresh to salads, sautéed, fried or steamed with other vegetables, or made into a delightful jam or syrup.

basket full of dandelion flowers

The long taproot of the dandelion is generally dug when the plant enters its second year of life. Generally, roots are harvested in summer for medicinal purposes or in autumn for roasting and grinding into a chicory-flavored coffee substitute.

Dandelion seeds can be harvested throughout the year and are have historically been taken as a supplement to heal the body of various ailments, as well as to grow next year’s crop.

Dandelion in Herbal Medicine

The dandelion is part of Asian, Middle Eastern, European and Native American traditional healing practices as well as contemporary herbal medicine. Historically, dandelion had a diverse range of therapeutic uses but today’s herbalists mainly use it as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid.

The modern French name for dandelion is pissenlit, which pretty much means “wet the bed.” That is because the leaves can be a mild diuretic, helping your body remove excess water.

Dandelion leaves can be concentrated in teas and tinctures, and used to treat conditions affecting the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. Dandelion also has anti-diabetic properties, and research suggests that it may be helpful in improving cardiovascular system function and promoting heart health.

Dandelion seeds can also be used to help reduce inflammation in the body, and they are being studied as a breast cancer supplement.

More Dandelion Recipes

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But What About the Bees?

Many people worry that harvesting dandelions for food or medicine will deprive bees of an important early spring food source. However, the truth is, in temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere, dandelions are not a preferred food source for bees, as they lack vital amino acids that bees need.

In fact, bees greatly prefer willow, maple, cherry, hazel, Oregon grape, wild violets, henbit, purple dead nettle, ground ivy, and chickweed—all of which bloom before or at the same time as dandelions.

And like all annual flowers, picking a few dandelion blossoms only causes them to bloom even more prolifically within a day or two, so paradoxically, the best way to make more dandelions for the bees is to pick them!

Dandelion flowers, leaves, and roots have been an important food and medicine source for humans for centuries. As long as we are harvesting responsibly, we should not feel guilty for utilizing a plant that has been a part of human history for so long.

bottle of dandelion wine, fresh dandelion flowers and two glasses of wine

Dandelion Wine

Dandelion wine tastes like you put summer into a glass. Early spring is the time to make it. Don't spray your weeds—give this dandelion wine recipe a try instead!
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Fermenting Time: 3 days
Total Time: 3 days 2 hours
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Fermented, Paleo, Vegetarian
Approx. Cost: $5
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 302kcal



  • Dissolve the yeast in the 1/4 cup of warm (not hot!) water. Set aside.
  • Wash the dandelion blossoms well, then separate the flower petals from the base of the blooms (sepals) so there is no green left at all.
  • Put the petals in a large pot with 4 quarts of water, and the orange, lemon and lime juices.
  • Add the cloves, ginger, orange and lemon peel, and sugar.
  • Bring to a boil and continue to gently boil for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Transfer to a non-reactive container made of glass, enamel or ceramic.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Stir in the activated yeast.
  • Let stand, covered in the dark, for three days, stirring often.
  • Strain thoroughly into a 1-gallon airlock fermenting jar made of glass or ceramic.
  • Set the fermenting jar in a darkened place for three or four weeks, or until wine clears.
  • Decant into bottles and cork, or simply remove the airlock and seal the gallon jar.
  • Allow the wine to age in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months; the longer, the better.
  • Enjoy on a warm summer night or anytime you need a taste of summer.


Serving: 8ozCalories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 43mgFiber: 1gSugar: 76gVitamin A: 45IUVitamin C: 14.6mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.1mg

Updated April 24, 2023.


50 thoughts on “Dandelion Wine”

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  1. I am so excited to learn more about this plant and have actually been doing some research on them as of late. I want my girls to know more about wild plants but first I have to learn about them myself! ? Thank you!! I am working on collecting my dandelion info and will link back to you when I am done!!

  2. My Father-in-law was the one to initiate our whole family to dandelion leaves salad – he was a Frenchman. We initiated him to eating ears of corn for humans! He taught us when to pick the leaves as you indicate in this article, and also that you can make a delicious omelet with the flowers, just avoid the stem because it contains latex. A wonderful dandelion salad with garlic, olive oil, vinegar (wine vinegar if you have some), salt and pepper, and that’s it. Let it sit a few minutes before dinner – so delicious! He lived in Montreal, in the Plateau area, so he’d take his daily walk to the Mont-Royal , the one mountain in the middle of the city, and in spring until fall, he’d come back with a bag half full of dandelion leaves for his daily fresh salad. People from the “Old countries” know more about these things and the value of land, and they don’t waste it with just green useless lawn. When I was younger, still in Montreal,but in the East-End, there was a field across the street, and the local Italian immigrants would build makeshift fencing there where they’d cultivate their summer garden. The women would go and water it with big watering cans before sundown. You should have seen all the vegetables they got each summers. Watching this, I learned the value of a patch of land also, even right in the middle of the big City of Montreal!

  3. I love this article. Thanks so much for this powerful healthful information. I’ve tried dandelion leaves in my smoothie before and boy was it bitter. But I choked it back because of the health benefits. Now I’m wanting to harvest the roots. I’m from northern Vancouver Island do you think now would be good to harvest them?

  4. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma)

    Very interesting, I love these informational posts! 🙂 Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Hope that your week is fantastic!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  5. I eat the flowers while I’m gardening…no shortage of them there 🙂
    Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you again tomorrow!

  6. Judy Sheldon-Walker

    I have been eating dandelion greens all my life and have written about them extensively also. They are more nutritious than spinach and I highly recommend their consumption.

  7. I tried a dandelion salad the other day, knowing they are healthy – but not knowing why. I’m having some liver and candida problems, so I think I’ll pursue them more aggressively, now. Thanks for all the helpful info!

  8. Rattlebridge Farm

    We have plenty of dandelions at the farm, so this post will be helpful in many ways. Thanks so much for including it at Foodie Friday!

  9. If one’s lawn was previously treated with Roundup, how many years should one wait before consuming dandelion and other weeds grown on this lawn?

    1. I can’t say for sure, but I personally would wait at least two years. Round-up is really nasty stuff.

    2. Joni Wellness

      I wouldn’t use those previously treated at all. Ask your naturally growing neighbors or community garden friends for some of their organic weeds as starters. Or wait at least three years, the amount of time required to not use any prohibited items before become a certified organic grower in California (at least that’s what it used to be).

  10. Wonderful post! Linked to it in my Dandelion Round-up today!


  11. Well, this is marvelous information – perhaps we should think of harvesting not weeding when dealing with them! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  12. Lavender Cottage

    Even though dandelions are not a native plant, I have great respect for them. Personally I find the flowers pretty and use the nutricious leaves in salads too.
    An informative post.

  13. Great post! It’s so funny to me that some people work so hard to eradicate these lovely “weeds” from their yards, and I search them out and pick them for the table. I love to throw dandelion greens and roots in my juicer. And dandelion root mixed with beet root makes a great coffee!

  14. Fishtail Cottage

    please do come over and share at the Garden Party at Fishtail Cottage! So much great info. xoox, tracie

  15. You do such a great job with your informative posts! Love it! Thanks for sharing. Dandelions scare me. I would try them but I need to get my soil tested first. My community was an old farm (probably not organic). Several trees we have planted have died, so I am guessing there are lots of nasties in the soil. 🙁

  16. Dandelions just saved my rabbit and I definitely have a new respect for them. Our rabbit was sick for a long time and wouldn’t eat or drink anything. I even took her to the vet and they gave me medicine but I was seeing no improvement. I was keeping her alive by syringe feeding her water and pineapple juice numerous times a day. Then I decided to take her outside and see if she would be interested in anything fresh out there. I noticed she ate some dandelion leaves. So I started picking some and bringing them to her several times a day and she loved them and got better. It took about a week before she was all better but I totally credit the dandelions with saving her.

  17. Dandelions are definitely on my “try asap” list. Another great post from you full of great information! Thanks so much for sharing with Hearth and Soul!

  18. Betty Manousos

    i love dandelion salad and your recipe sounds great.

    thanks so much for this interesting and informative post.
    i thoroughly enjoyed it!!

    happy thursday!

  19. Wonderfully informative post! I love greens, but never knew so much about the benefits of dandelions. I will definitely have to add their leafy goodness to my meals! 😀

  20. Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network

    I really feel I now have an extensive knowledge of the dandelion-a personal favourite as it’s our logo at Natural Mothers Network!

  21. I’ve heard of dandelion wine and salad — your recipes are very interesting and a great way to use up those dandelions! 🙂

  22. My dad made us eat dandelion greens. I wasn’t a fan then, but have become more tolerant of foods as an adult. Perhaps I’ll give them a try again. Nice shot!

    1. Dawn Gifford

      Just make sure to get the leaves before flowering or they will be a bit bitter. Also, if you remove the midribs, they are less bitter too.

  23. I have not yet eaten dandelions, but I have a huge collection growing in my yard because I don’t “weed and feed” my lawn. I look forward to trying out some of the recipes!

  24. Michelle K. @ Delectable Musings

    I was amazed to see dandelions as a seasonal ingredient for my area so I have been looking for ways that it is eaten. Your post is informative and inspiring! I would love for you to link up this recipe on my Seasonal Eats May roundup found here, which highlights posts about using seasonal ingredients in great recipes.

  25. we are neighbors @ wlw…I was sick for a number of years…I would go out and dig up dandelions and juice the roots…I do think they get a bad wrap. blessings to you~

  26. Pattie@On HollyhockFarm

    I love to pick them and feed them to my chickens. Plus, if I didn’t have them in my lawn, it wouldn’t be green! 8^)

  27. Laura @ Stealthy Mom

    It was this post that finally led me to try dandelions for supper this evening. Sauteed with a little butter and a dash of red wine vinegar… not bad. I think we’ll have them as a raw salad later this week, too. Our four-year-old was excited to try them and they were a bit bitter for him and his two-year-old brother, but at least they tried!

  28. Dandelions? I have heard of this before in regards to eating them but wasn’t sure what to do with them. Thanks for all the great info!

  29. Kelly @ Blue Jeans & Coffee Beans

    Love this post! I have a plethora of these in my yard at our new country home. Would love to give these recipes a try. Thanks for sharing!

  30. HappyMrsBass

    What a great and thorough post! I love using the dandelions from my front yard, LOL, the dogs take over the backyard so I don’t harvest them from there. I like pulling/harvesting the roots right after a good rain, they come up so easily that way! Right now I have a dandelion tonic “brewing”…I like to use it for liver support.
    Would you mind sharing this post on my new link-up…I am sure my readers would enjoy it! Thanks!
    ( http://www.likeamustardseed.com/2012/05/01/learning-herbs-rosemary-and-a-new-tuesday-link-up/ )

  31. Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z

    This is such an informative post. Thank you. I love dandelions and buy them, but despite having a yard and neighborhood full of them, all the neighbors use chemicals to control. I won’t even eat the one’s in my yard since previous owners chem lawned all..I only eat what I grow in pots on my deck..

  32. Thankyou so much for this post! I am so excited to learn more about this plant and have actually been doing some research on them as of late. I want my girls to know more about wild plants but first I have to learn about them myself! 🙂 Thankyou!! I am working on collecting my dandelion info and will link back to you when I am done!!


  33. Nicole @ Working Kansas Homemaker

    As usual, a full and informative post! This is quite interesting and I didn’t know that much about the dandelion, although I had heard parts of it used as a coffee substitute before. This may make a great leaf to juice to add to some of my recipes for juicing. Thanks for the information!

    Nicole at Working Kansas Homemaker

    1. Dawn Gifford

      You really can’t beat dandelion in a green juice or smoothie. It is one of the most nutritious greens on the planet! It is a bit bitter though, so you might need to cut it with carrot or apple.

  34. My Dad used to make wine with them. What a great post. I am hosting my 2nd blog hop and would love it if you would share this with my followers. Can’t wait to give this a try. Diane @ MamalDiane.com

  35. Sarah @ Nature's Nurture

    Great post! I found it through Fat Tuesday 🙂 It caught my eye because for the past 2 weeks I’ve been covering how to cook with dandelions over at my blog. With the flowers, I made muffins, a cream of dandelion soup, and some veggie burgers – also made other foods with the greens..this is such an amazingly versatile plant!

    Anyways, here are the links in case you’re interested. I’m also linking to your post because I love the way you organized the health benefits in such a clear, concise manner!

  36. Thank you for this post! I will go to my backyard today and will pick up some new dandelion leaves to make that salad. I doubt anyone in my family will eat the leaves, but I will :)))

  37. You have made me realize how much I don’t know about plants. It is interesting and I hope to do some reading on the topic. Thanks for linking to My Meatless Mondays.

  38. This is awesome! I love Dandelions too! I jsut did a post about them not too long and I just PLANTED some seeds in my garden a few weeks ago. I am currnetly enjoyingthe wild one’s that I didn’t plant. 🙂



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