In million's of back yards across the country lies a much maligned and disgraced plant that is the target numerous assassination attempts.
This plant is so disliked that it is not even given the honour of being called a plant. Plants are something wanted, nurtured and cultivated. No this special being that has the potential to bless us in so many ways is given the ill gotten name "Weed".
What comes to mind when you here the term weed?
Pest. Annoyance. Destructive. Ugly and unwanted.
That is what most people normally think of when they see, hear the name of or think about the Dandelion.
The Dandelion is also known as Lioin's Tooth, Priest's Crown and the lovely name we remember from our childhood, Puffball.
Oh the joy of a child when the come across a dandelion ready to disperse its seeds. Blow on a dandelion and make a wish. Watch as its multitudes of seeds as the wind carries them off. They resemble sparkly angelic fairies as they dance away in the wind.
Oh the angst of adults when these see the dread Dandelion popping its head up out of their rich, lush and carefully manicured lawn. The Dandelion is no longer a gift waiting to explode so that its seeds dance away like fairies, no, the dandelion is a much abhorred aberration of what a beautiful lawn should be.
A few years back while at one of the local Middle Eastern grocery stores I came across a beautiful bundle of Dandelion greens for sale. Up until that point I had not idea that these beautifully hated "weeds" could be eaten.
Being adventurous as I am when it comes to vegies I decided to buy the bundle and cook them for dinner that night. Actually they were pretty tasty sauteed in EVOO and onions.
They were bitter!
Last year I was the local Mennonite health/bulk foods store and I came across a bag of Dandelion tea.
Of course I bought it. And a few weeks later I decided to look up my new found item in my book: "The Little Herb Encyclopedia" by Jack Ritchason, N.D.
I found so many interesting and surprising tidbits of information regarding this royal weed.
Dandelions are rich in potassium and are a natural diuretic. It is also helps to detoxify the system thus benefiting stiff joints. It is known to help reduce serum cholesterol.
European herbalist use it to treat diabetes and liver ailments. The Dandelion greens is a super source of vitamin A, so high that it makes it a carrot bush. It also acts as a gentle laxative. Contains all of the nutritive salts thus aiding in blood purifying.
Juice from the stem can be used to treat acne and warts.
When you eat the greens it helps to improve the enamel teeth.
Some aliments that are listed that Dandelion may help with are:
The list above is very short. Check out the book to see more information. So before you decided to de-weed or shall I say de-flower your lawn of the beautiful majestic dandelion plant please think twice.
Pluck some up from your yard. Enjoy a fresh salad, sauteed greens or drink as a tea.
The above post is only a snippet. I encourage you to do your own research. I drink Dandelion tea every day at least one cup.
Of course you should never attempt to self medicate and if you are in need of medical help please seek a qualified medical professional. :-)