The Powers of Dandelion Will Blow You Away
The amount of energy and chemicals people use to get rid of dandelions growing in their lawns is something else. Did you know that it was only in recent history, sometime in the 20th century, humans decided the bright yellow flower was a weed, a blight on their otherwise manicured lawns?
Before subdivision homes and lawns were a thing, gardeners used to weed out the grass to make room for dandelions to grow! They are not only a source of food but revered for their medicinal qualities, so much that some used to believe they were magical.
A bit more about that. Dandelion tonics have been used by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese for more than a thousand years. The cheery flower helped the body filter toxins from the bloodstream in addition to being used for a myriad ailments from warts to the plague. It is still used to this day by herbalists as a gentle diuretic that provides nutrients and helps the digestive system.
Speaking of nutrients, dandelions contain more Vitamin A than spinach, more Vitamin C than tomatoes, and have off-the-charts levels of calcium, potassium, and iron (U.S. Department of Agriculture). No wonder people used to think they were magic.
According to Anita Sanchez, who wrote a book about dandelions, the flower is one of the most expensive items at the grocery store. “The roots are dried and sold as a no-caffeine coffee substitute… Dandelions out-price prime-rib, swordfish, and lobster. They appear in produce and other sections, and even at the liquor store. You can enjoy a complete meal, from salad greens to dandelion quiche, followed by dandelion ice cream, washed down with dandelion wine. 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.”
That’s some interesting health information. But what about the lawns, you might be asking? Well, it turns out that dandelions are good for your lawns! Because their roots are so wide-spreading, they loosen hard-packed soil, aerate the earth and held reduce erosion. Their roots go so deep (up to 15 feet over the years if left to grow!) that they pull calcium from the depths and make it available to other plants with shallower roots.
Not to mention the herbicides used on lawns is terrible for wildlife. It’s estimated that more than seven million birds die every year due to poisoning from herbicides. For those who really hate the sight of dandelions in their yards, simply let your grass grow three or four inches tall to shade out the sun-loving dandelions.
Let’s not forget about another one of SeaLuxe’s favourite topics – skin health. As dandelion is a great detoxifier and antioxidant, it is a powerful tool in treating acne and other skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. Many have said their conditions have improved after taking one dandelion root capsule daily or drinking dandelion root tea.
So, next time you see that cheery yellow flower, remember how good it really is!
Some of the information about dandelions in this post is provided by the book The Teeth of the Lion – The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion by Anita Sanchez.