Some view the dandelion as nothing more than an obnoxious weed. Unlike many weeds, however, all parts of dandelion are used medicinally. Harvesting dandelion roots is as labor-intensive as harvesting most other kinds of roots--you'll be doing a lot of digging. However, unless you are allergic to the plant, the free health benefits of this root are worth the effort.
Choose a day for harvesting that is directly after a rainy period, or else water the ground with a garden hose. Digging is easier when the soil is damp.
Put on garden gloves to protect your hands. Locate a dandelion clump and push a shovel blade straight down into the nearby earth, approximately a foot deep. Do this several times around the circumference of a dandelion clump.
Push the shovel in again and this time push down on the handle, using leverage to lift the clump of dandelions, root and all.
Shake the dirt off the clump and set it aside. Dig several roots at once until you've reached the quantity you want.
Cut the roots from the rest of the plant with a sharp knife and place the roots in a bucket. If you aren't using the rest of the plant, leave these leaves, stems and flowers on the ground.