The Gift of Dandelions

Dandelions, like all things in nature are beautiful when you take the time to pay attention to them.
― June Stoyer

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Image by Joyce Meyer

Dandelions… What? You call this beautiful aromatic flowering beauty a weed?

Children say it best as they run up to you with a fistful of freshly picked dandelions and say, “For you, Teacher!” Meanwhile the rest of the afternoon may be spent itching the eyes and wiping a runny nose, but how can you refuse a gift.

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Image by Joyce Meyer

While many people think of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a pesky weed, it’s chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines.

In the past, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Source: Dandelion | University of Maryland Medical Center 

Dandelion wine, believed to be of Celtic origin, is regarded as one of the fine country wines of Europe. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was not proper for ladies to drink alcohol; however, dandelion flower wine was considered so therapeutic to the kidneys and digestive system that it was deemed medicinal even for the ladies. Source and wine recipe: Commonsensehome.com2015_dandi-6dmv2crweb

Image by Joyce Meyer

Even the fluffy seed heads have a majestic, symmetrical pattern as they sway in the breeze, waiting to let loose the next generation. The result?  A never ending supply of dandelion wine…

That may not be all bad…

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