The Power of the Dandelion
I don’t know about you, but when I was little I would play in the grass a lot. Frolicking, running, playing. One of my favorite past-times was gathering all the flowers that I could find; Dandelions being the wishbone of all flowers. I would get so excited to pull them out of the ground, blow the delicate “puffball” seedlings off the stem and wish away. I’m assuming you found these vessels of wishes as irresistible as I did.
Truth be told, Dandelions are common in herbal supplements. The roots and greens are actually a diuretic and used for digestion*. The puffballs (actually the “seedlings” of the flower) bring happiness and a little bit of whimsy to your day. This wonderful flower is a rich source of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc.
Although rich in vitamins, some people still see these plants as pesky weeds. According to Lake-Friendly Gardening, it is even a wanted fugitive! Its infraction? Parachuting onto private property, [and] defacing landscapes. Dandelion accomplices lurk on every street, disguised as children making wishes, blowing off the parachuting seeds. …OOPS. I was definitely one of those said children. My bad.
On the other hand, many cultures from around the world see them differently… in a good way. Traditionally, dandelion roots and leaves have been used to treat liver problems*. Native Americans boiled dandelion in water and took it to help with kidney problems, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach*. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow*. In Europe, it has been used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, blood sugar regulation, and even diarrhea.
So far, there have not been many good quality scientific studies on the Dandelion. But, with thousands of years of usage from practically every culture around the world, this friendly flower has some powerful parts that have helped many people. As the star of many detox and cleanse products, this herb has become a natural remedy on its own across the globe. All hail, the puffball Dandelion!
1. Dandelion. University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/dandelion-000236.htm#ixzz2U8nzHRJP
2. The Ten Most Un-Wanted Pests. Washington State University. http://lakewhatcom.wsu.edu/gardenkit/unwantedpests/Dandelion.htm