Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dandelion: Friend or Foe???

For my birthday my mom sent me a book: A Handbook of Native American Herbs byAlma R Hutchens. I was flipping through and landed on the dandelion apparently also known as taraxacum officinale, blow ball, cankerwort, bon's tooth and wild endive.

The health benefits of this little weed are incredible. I just keep running into how great this little weed/herb is. Alma Hutchen's goes on to further impress me with the value of the dandelion. Did you know the green leaves of the dandelion contain 7,000 units of vitamin A per ounce? Lettuce contains 1,200 units per ounce and even the highly recognized carrot is weak in comparison coming in at only 1,275 units per ounce.

"Herbalists use dandelion more generally than any other herb, as it combines well with other herbal preparations for the liver and is mild, wholesome and safe. It's prolonged use can only be beneficial in all rheumatic complaints. The natural nutritive salt in dandelion is twenty eight parts sodium; this type of organic sodium purifies the blood and destroys the acids therein".

The book goes on to tout lots more benefits but that isn't really the point of this blog. I got to giggling about our society. We are surrounded by perhaps one of the most beneficial herbs known and yet we spend most of the time trying to wipe it out. We spray our yards with herbicides. The herbicides get washed into our sound and streams. The herbicides get tracked into our homes. We take pills to cure many ails, some of which do more damage than the original illness.

All the while this little herb is patiently sitting outside waiting for us to let it help us be healthy. My own yard has many dandelions, perhaps too many. I just can't put herbicides on my yard. I pull each one by hand with my dandelion puller. The other day my grandma asked me why I didn't just spray and be done with it. The fact is, I haven't the heart to kill something of such benefit while poisoning my home.

Wishing you a happy and healthy home,

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