May 9, 2008

Taraxacum officinale - great healing herb

Some love them - believe it or not - they claim dandelion changed their life.

Some hate them - every spring they ask 'what's the best way to get rid of them from my lawn?'

As somebody said 'weeds are good plants, only growing in wrong places' - the same applies to dandelions.
Lately I was throwing myself from hating to loving.
You may hate them for its aggresive habit to grow anywhere at anytime and the necessity to remove them constantly (that was my reason).
You may love them for its beauty and secrets - still it doesn't mean you need to let them grow freely wherever THEY want. Without 'attention', they are so vital... almost invincible.

To which group do you belong my careful reader?

My current state could be described as 'understanding and discovering'. I am on the way from hating to loving.

When I first overtook the property 4 years ago dandelions were ruling the place. Ground was literally covered with it. It was June. Their glory time - when they are invincible, unless you hand-weed them, but at that time I didn't know about it. With no experience about gardening and proper knowlegde, I felt defenceless against this very powerful plant. But why to be 'against'? I have got my lesson at that time and understood that gardening with Nature, not against, is easier. I have learned that systematic hand-weeding works best. I do not love to do it, but do I love everything else I have to do ? This just 'a must' - it has to be done... unless you want to have your own dandelion crop :)

How I got to the idea of loving dandelions?
On the gardening forum I was exposed to others loving and admiring it, so I decided to go to the meadow and take a look into its eyes.... I have opened my head and heart... took a deep look... and it happened...
I saw something else than before. Not 'weeding object' but little sun heads covering the soil, that nobody else wants to take care of it.

I heard from Barbara at Abenteuer Garden, that it is possible to make deandelion syrup and confiture - thank you for inspiration you gave me one day in April :)
It is made of dandelion petal's and is so aromatic and tasty! Truly beautiful! Suprise is stronger, because flowers itself are not having any nice scent, also while cooking the smell you get is still very NOT convincing.
I made the version with orange and lemon.
After experiencing beauty of the dandelion syrup I understood secrets hidden in this small plant. Although its size is not big, its power is tremendous.
It is a great gift given by nature to us.

You don't suspect what is hidden in the little weird smelling flowers - sirup and confiture is known for its diuretic effect. It really works :) Sorry for this very private info, but want to share my experience on it - in 2 days I got rid of 2 litres excessive water stored in my body, that was giving me the feeling if beign little heavy - so my weight is 2 kg less!
So if you read somewhere that syrup does not have any medicinal value - I would oppose that.

Dandelion salad - I have learned, that leaves are more nutritious than anything available in the shops. They are higher in beta-carotene than carrots. The iron and calcium content is greater than spinach. You also get vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc by using a tasty, free vegetable that grows on almost every lawn. You need to pick young leaves, older ones have more bitter taste.

More medicinal use you can find here.

Dandelion inspires artists and performers - look here at very interesting project in Danmark "Hot Summer of Urban Farming" by Camilla Berner.

At this stage I would like to appologise for all spelling mistakes appearing in my posts - I am trying to eliminate them as much as I can. Unfortunately my blogger spellcheck malfunctions. I am trying to fix it, with no effect so far.
I know it might be annoying for some readers - I do not like to see it somewhere else as well. This is not my lack of respect to the readers or my sloppiness - rather lack of it knowlegde :(
I read my posts before publishing, but sometimes I do not see the mistakes. Sorry!

Complete Health Guide To Self Healing, How To Treat Any Disease, With Herbs, Herbal.


Jane O' said...

I love dandelions in the grass, just not in my garden. In a town near where I live, they have a dandelion festival. It's a little tongue in cheek as they compete with the local tulip time festival in another nearby city. Here's the link. You might enjoy it.

Carol Michel said...

Here in the U.S. most gardeners treat the dandelions as weeds, I know I do. But I know they are edible and healthy, but still, after being taught that they are weeds, it is hard to change.

garden girl said...

Ewa, I think they are very pretty. When I was a little girl I used to bring my mom dandelion 'bouquets.' She always thought they were pretty too, like sunshine. I used to love the pretty seed heads too, and they are so much fun for a child to make a wish and blow them away, like candles on a birthday cake!

They don't grow very much in our back yard and garden because there is so much shade.

The front yard is very sunny, but they don't get a chance to grow there either. My dear husband loves his beautiful lawn. He doesn't like dandelions. He used to use chemicals to get rid of them. Now he uses a 'dandelion popper' tool instead. He is cutting down on his use of chemicals on the lawn. I like to think it's because of my good influence. I hate to use any chemicals in the lawn or garden. My parents were, and still are organic gardeners. That's how I was raised, and that's how I still garden. So we have a bit of a truce - my husband puts up with my organic gardening, and I put up with the way he cares for the lawn. And he has modified and reduced his use of chemicals, much to his credit.

prophet said...

I, too, had gotten a 'change of paradigm' - where suddenly I saw the beauty of the 'little yellow sun faces' (did you call them?).

the problem with considering eating any part of the flower or leaves here, is one of chemicals (whether fertilizers or weed killers) - but I keep hoping that one day I can try to make dandelion wine. . . .

I've heard it tastes like a summer meadow.

By the way - I enjoy your occasional mispelling and word inversion - it is charming and helps me to hear your voice! I also applaud you for the courage to write in a non-native language, something not many are able - or willing - to do.

Now: is it possible to love the dandelion when the lovely little sun-heads have turned into white globes of skeletal seed death?

Philosophical Karen said...

I am laughing at the information that the syrup really works. I wondered if that's what you meant, then you confirmed it.

I will have to learn to love dandelions, since my city just banned the spraying of chemicals that would kill them. I must admit I like the yellow flowers. It's when they all go to seed that it's harder to like dandelions -- although I have seen some remarkably artistic photos of dandelion seed-heads (which I recently found out are called "clocks").

stadtgarten said...

I cannot say that I don't like dandelions in the garden, they look perfectly like spring. But unfortunately I am allergic to them, so I try to eliminate them in my garden!
But it sounds interesting to make syrup and jam out of it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am in the love/hate category. I love to see a "few" dandelions popping up during spring or summer but I hate to see a big pathc of them that I feel I have to dig out.

I like the way the birds eat them. After all that is probably why they were made. For the birds.

Aiyana said...

This is very interesting information. The weed we call dandelion here in Arizona is not the same as the dandelion you wrote about, which I've never seen. Too bad, because it sure sounds like something I would try.

Gail said...


You have elevated Dandelion to medicinal and piqued my interest in trying the leaves in a salad. We don't use pesticides here at C&L so I feel safe to eat them.


Ewa said...

jane marie,
dandelion festival - that's interesting event. I am still wondering what makes people so much fascinated with this plant?

Ewa said...

It is a very persistent weed here too. This is how I was treating it my entire life, but there must be something special about it.

Ewa said...

I checked your posts - interesting coincidence :) but when to write about them if not now?

Ewa said...

I think these are two o much different approaches to gardening. It must be hard for you... but you make a great job in spreading the idea of organic gardening and if your husband already is using less chemicals that's a good change :)

Ewa said...

syrup I made also tastes like summer meadow...

skeletal seed death - is scary to me, because I can't stop thinking how many new dandelions will grow. I think every dandelion seed produces a new plant :)

word inversion... that's probably Polish syntax I am using, as being non native :)

Ewa said...

Yes, syrup works :)
moving from fighting them to liking them it's not easy process...

'clocks' :)
'skeletal dead heads' as prophet called them :)

Ewa said...

I wonder if you being allergic to dandelions could drink this syrup. It contains pretty much pollen...

Ewa said...

Their strenghts is pretty scary if there is a lot of them to remove. I fully agree - this is what I had at the beginning in my garden: sea of dandelions.

Ewa said...

Dandelion (Taraxum officinalis) that is the plant. I am not sure, but yes, I have red somewhere that it is typical for Northern Hemisphere down to certain climate zones.
So, you don't have it?

Ewa said...

I tried salad 2 days ago and even if I picked young leaves, they were somewhat bitter. Maybe this has to be the younest of the youngest...
I wonder what will be your experience..

Anonymous said...

Fascinating post! If I could find dandelions that were completely clean I'd add to salad. I don't think I'd chance adding them to the garden. I don't think my neighbors would much appreciate it. Thanks, though. I will do more research on the drink!

Barbara said...

Hi Ewa
As promised I'm giving you the recipe of dandelion marmalade. I've just made some of it and the next post on Wednesday will be on it. So you can see to which category (hating or loving!) I belong to. I guess it is something in between!! Great post and very interesting!
Have a wonderful Whitsunday!

Minerva said...

I sooo loved the dandelion fields (public grasslands) in Sweden! Maybe because spring is sooo late coming in the north, the sunshine yellow covering the fresh green grass makes things so cheerful. And, of course, I also learned there ( from a Swedish gourmet magazine) how to make dandellion wine. An acquired taste, perhaps, but a show stopper, nevertheless. ;-)