From our Gentlemen's Farm in bucolic Bucks County, PA to a home nestled in the Piney Woods of The Lone Star State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This is our journey and these are our musings as we homeschool, play and pray our way through a wonderful life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dandelions - the Misunderstood Wildflower

Only in the twentieth century have we labeled the dandelion a weed.  They have so many uses that they seem almost magical. Gardeners used to weed out the grass to make room for the dandelions!

In my work I am learning more about natural approaches to life. I am starting to routinely ask myself, "Why did God make this?" and, "Is there a way to do this without using chemicals?" Today the journey lead me to, of all things, dandelions.

Dandelions are cropping up in high end organic produce aisles and specialty grocery stores. Checl out the price tag. They are among the most expensive items, costing more than prime rib, swordfish or lobster. So what is it with these dandy plants?
  • The roots are dried and sold as a no-caffeine coffee substitute - for $31.75 a pound.
  • You can enjoy a complete meal, from dandelion wine and dandelion salads to dandelion quiche, and dandelion soup. This can be followed up by dandelion ice cream! If you over-indulge, a cup of dandelion tea is the perfect remedy, since dandelions help the liver flush hangover-inducing toxins from the body.

When it comes to traditional herbal medicine, the root and leaves can be used to treat:
  • liver disease
  • constipation
  • poor digestion
  • regulating blood sugar levels

Now let's talk vitamins!
  • Vitamin A - More vitamin A than spinach or carrots.
  • Vitamin C - More vitamin C than tomatoes.
  • Folic acid, B6 and trace amounts of B1, B2, B3 and B5
  • Vitamin E and Vitamin K - These notables fat soluble vitamins are found in dandelions.

What about minerals?
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Trace amounts of zinc, copper and selenium

The History of Dandelions Dandelions have deep roots in history. They were well known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years.

Dandelions probably made their way to North America on the Mayflower. I imagine the dandelion would have been a sweet reminder of home. In all practicality they were probably brought along for their medicinal benefits.

Historically, dandelions were world-famous for their beauty. They were a common and much loved garden flower in Europe, and the subject of many poems. In Japan, whole horticultural societies formed to enjoy the beauty of dandelions and to develop exciting new varieties for gardeners. 

In the 21st Century Dandelions are making a comeback. If you don't believe me check out your local high end grocery! To top it off, Discovery News has reported an interesting bit of dandelion news. It seems this yellow blossom and its saw toothed leaf have been studied in the field of rubber. According to new research being done in Ohio dandelion root sap could be made into a rubber of equal quality to traditional rubber from trees, at a lower cost! We should all take another look at those little yellow plants!

In my work with EveVenture I have learned so much about more natural approaches to life. For the past 7 years it has become my passion to share this information with others. Come along for the ride!

1 comment:

  1. thank you for writing this, my mom doesnt seem to understand their not bad, she insists on killing any dandelion no matter where it grows, even if its in gravel where it can't supposedly "choke out" anything. oh well at least i know and appreciate these beautiful wild flowers.

    by the way, i gotta try that dandelion meal sometime :) i hear though that too much dandelion is actually bad, but if taken right is very healthy and beneficial. i will look up how much is too much before trying the meal.

    my mom could certainly benefit from some of its health qualities, maybe she can try some too, she might change her mind about them :)