The Virtues of the Dandelion
Dandelions may well be the world’s most famous weed. Each spring they burst into a carpet of sunny yellow blossoms. The flowers open wide to greet the morning and then close toward evening. To listen to the media, with all their ads for weed killers, however, you’d think that dandelions were a serious threat to humanity when it’s the herbicides that really do the harm! Every year, Americans spend millions of dollars on herbicides so that we may enjoy uniform lawns of nonnative grasses, and then use 30 percent of the nation’s water supply to keep those lawns green. Meanwhile, those same herbicides poison our air, water, and ultimately our bodies.
Though dandelion today is considered by most people to be a useless weed, in truth it is one of the most beneficial and healthful of herbs. Every part of the dandelion has a use, ranging from food, to medicine, to dye.
These beneficial properties did not always go unnoticed in North America: Up until the 1800s, people would actually pull the grass out of their yards to make room for dandelions and other useful “weeds” such as chickweed, malva, and chamomile.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” The time
has come again to learn the virtues of the dandelion.Dandelion medicine / Brigitte Mars(A medicinal herb guide)