This “weed” was familiar to me already. Everyone has seen a dandelion, although few people pay real attention to it. Like myself, till now!
As a consequence of reading about permaculture and natural agriculture (“The one straw revolution” by Masanobu Fukuoka, is a must for anybody interested in ecological or sustainable agriculture and farming!), now I pay more attention to plants.
So, I saw the dandelion, and thought, “Well, the leaves of this plant look like the rocket salad sold at supermarkets”. So I did a research on internet, and found that not only the dandelion was edible, but that it had a vast amount of beneficial uses!
But what really made me write this post was an advert that I saw for a weed killer. It had an image of a dandelion. Obviously as a “bad weed”. Sometimes we get it all so wrong!
One of the teachings of permaculture is to see your problem as a solution, and this is a perfect example. If somebody with dandelions in their lawn would stop looking at it as a problem, and more as a solution, they could save the money they spend in the weed killer and stop polluting their garden with chemicals; save money in salad; enrich their garden with minerals good for other plants; attract pollinizing insects; get all the health benefits of eating dandelion…just do a little research and you will see.
This is a summary of its uses from Wikipedia:
-Leaves can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soup or salad. The leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, carrying more iron and calcium than spinach ;
-Flowers can be used to make dandelion wine;
-The roots have been used to make a coffee-like drink;
– It has been used in a saison–ale called Pissenlit;
-Another recipe using the plant is dandelion flower jam;
– Flowers are used to make a honey-substitute syrup with added lemon (so-called May-honey);
-Root is sold as a diuretic;
-Hepatoprotective effect of chemicals extracted from dandelion root has been reported;
-Known for its ability to treat jaundice, cholecystitis and cirrhosis;
– Affects the digestive system by acting as a mild laxative, increasing appetite, and improving digestion;
-“Dandelion and Burdock” is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom;
-The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent; the milk has also been used to treat warts;
-Yellow or green dye colors can be obtained from the flowers;
-Attracts pollinizing insects;
-Enrich soil with nitrogen and other minerals…
Also, this plant seems to be a 4×4 and grows anywhere!
No further ado needed…I prepared myself a wrap with chapatti bread that my friend Rakess taught to make; potatoes, tomatoes a bit of pepper and dandelion leaves. And I am still alive!! J