Monday, March 28, 2011


I love dandelions...
Most people think of the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a pesky weed, but I love them and herbalists consider it a valuable herb with many culinary and medicinal uses. Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Its leaves are often used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. They make me think of my Daddy, because it was the first "flower" he picked and gave to my Mom when they were teens.
This little bee was loving this pollen in this flower.
In traditional medicine, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also used dandelion as a medicine, by boiling down the herb in water, to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and stomach upset. Chinese traditionally used dandelion to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, and breast problems causing inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe it was used as remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.
Note: the edges of the petels are squared off not round.
The different things I read said dandelion roots are now mainly used as appetite stimulant, digestive aid, and for liver and gallbladder function. Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to stimulate the excretion of urine. None of these are things I plan to ever try, but I am not into herbs. I still just see the dandelion as a sign of spring not something I want to eat!

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