The dandelion, a symbol of hope and love? Their yellow petals are the sun shining on all your good deeds of a life well lived and when the flower turns to seed you blow and make a wish for a new beginning or for love to find you. Each time you make a wish upon a dandelion you are sending up to 175 seeds into the air that can live for up to 5 years and if it takes root can live for up to 10 years.
It’s been said that they were brought in a golden box by our first settlers on the Mayflower because of their medicinal and culinary uses so important to survival in those early years.
The entire plant is useful. The flowers for salad, vinegar, wine, the stem boiled for its nutrients and the root ground as a coffee alternative.
The plant contains vitamin A, C, K, E, folate, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and inulin which is a soluble fiber that promotes gut health. The polyphenols help reduce inflammation as well.
Dandelion teas and tinctures have been used by many herbalists to treat water retention, fatty liver, high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, gout, acne, eczema and carbohydrate metabolism, and are now being studied for serious blood disorders and melanoma.
In many areas of our country, the dandelion is the first nectar source for the bees and butterflies emerging from a long winter. Dandelion honey is a wonderful alternative for people allergic to bee honey.
When gathering the plant avoid areas that could be contaminated near roads, driveways, septics and places where herbicides are used. Please don’t spray them with pesky poisons!
As wonderful as our dandelions are, some people with allergies to daisies, sunflowers, ragweed, iodine, and latex may not tolerate dandelions. Consult your doctor before using any alternative treatment especially if pregnant and nursing.