Thursday, May 21, 2009
Dandelion: one of the most valuable healing herbs, and great addition to our garden pharmacy.
Every time I hear an ad for dandelion killer I want to scream, “What’s wrong with dandelions?!” It’s bad enough that they are promoting chemical weed killers (as if the earth didn’t have enough problems), but really, why the hatred of dandelions? They are a pretty flower, great for bees and other beneficial insects, they provide food (as long as we keep the chemicals away) and dandelion is one of nature’s great herbal medicines.
There are many tales involving dandelions. It has been said that if you blow on the seed ball, you can tell the time of day by the number of times it takes you to blow off the seeds. Also, the number of times you blow will indicate how many times you will be married. If you blow on the ball three times and some of the seeds have not blown away, the one you love is thinking of you.
The flowers are loved by children; they make necklaces, crowns and bouquets for mom. If you hold a flower under someone’s chin and can see yellow, you know they like butter.
The entire dandelion plant has uses, from tea, to wine, to salads and more. The root is rich in potassium and calcium and can be dried, roasted and used as a coffee substitute. The entire plant is highly nutritious; the leaves are high in vitamins A, B, C & D.
Dandelion flowers can be used to make wine.
The flowers make a good appetizer dipped in a batter and fried.
Boil the flowers with honey for a cough relief.
The white juice is said to dissolve warts
Pick the leaves before the plant flowers and use them in salads.
Teas can be made from the root as well as the leaves. It is apt to be bitter, so add dried apples, orange slices or honey as a sweetener.
The tea can help ease liver and gallbladder problems.
It is good for digestion-drink after a meal and it is said to relieve indigestion.
Dandelion root mixes well with other herbs for healing tea mixtures, such as fennel, peppermint and nettle.
It is one of the best herbal remedies for liver and kidney problems.
The roots will make a yellow brown dye.
Dandelion can be used in making skin creams and lotions and can be added to bath water.
Guinea pigs, gerbils and rabbits love dandelions, and they are as good for them as they are for us.
Dandelion is healthy for livestock; goats love it, as do cows and others. It will help with all liver problems, sluggish blood flow, constipation and more.
A good source of copper, dandelion makes a great herbal fertilizer--use the whole plant, place in a bucket and cover with boiling water. Let sit 30 minutes, strain and use immediately.
With so many important uses, I don’t understand the big problem with dandelions, happy little flowers that they are. I love driving by fields full of them, what a beautiful sight. Besides, without dandelions, how would we know who really likes butter?