Sunday, October 21, 2012

the sweet little Dandelion

The word dandelion comes from the French "dent de lion" meaning "lion's
tooth" because of its long, coarse-toothed, leaves.
Taraxacum officinale ("remedy for disorders")

Planet: Jupiter

Element: Air

Color: Gold, Yellow, Purple

Deity: Hecate, Brighid, Belenos

Folk Names: Blowball, Cankerwort, Lion's Tooth, Piss-a-Bed, Priest's Crown,
Swine Snout, White Endive, Wild Endive, Priest's Crown, Irish Daisy, Monk's
Head, Telltime

Medicinal properties: All of the dandelion is edible. Both leaves and roots
are extremely high in nutrients.
They contain protein, calcium, Vitamin A and C, sodium and potassium.
They also contain beta-carotene, choline (part of the B-complex essential
for liver function) and inulin (beneficial for diabetics.)
The white sap from the stem and root is used as a topical remedy for warts.

Magickal properties: Divination, Wishes, Calling Spirits.
The dandelion, which probably originated in Asia, spread throughout the
world before written history. When Puritans set out from Europe for the New
World, they brought the dandelion for their gardens because it was
considered an essential plant for food and health.
Dandelions taste sweet, with a honey-like flavor.

Dandelion is a deep-rooted perennial weed, and the roots stay alive and
spread during winter.
The leaves remains green year-round.
Yellow flowers appear mainly in the spring on long, smooth, hollow stalks.
A second bloom occurs in the fall.
The leaves and flower stalks contain a white sap.
The flowers give rise to a "puff" ball of brown seeds connected to downy
Seedlings emerge from late spring to early fall, with most emerging in early
Dandelion will grow in almost any soil type and is most commonly found in
sunny areas.
It reproduces by seed and from new plants that develop from pieces of broken
Hearty and remarkably persistent, dandelions remain vital throughout the
It remains the most common and recognizable weed.

Dandelions grow everywhere and anywhere, and most gardeners try their best
to get rid of them.
Why? I found these reasons:
Dandelions emit ethylene gas, which can hinder growth of its plant neighbors

Some do it just for the "manicured lawn" look.

Please be careful about where you get your dandelions - especially if you
are going to ingest them. Many of the surviving dandelions have absorbed
dangerous chemicals from neighboring land. They are not safe to eat if they
have been exposed to weed killers and pesticides. Also stay clear of
dandelions that grow too close to the road because they absorb the harmful
exhaust pollution.

HOWEVER - Good News!
Dandelions can be beneficial to a garden ecosystem as well.
Dandelions attract LADYBUGS and provide early spring pollen for their food.
In a study done at the University of Wisconsin, experimental plots with
dandelions had more ladybugs and therefore fewer pest aphids, a favorite
food of the ladybugs, than did the dandelion-free plots...

Dandelions long roots aerate the soil and enable the plant to accumulate
minerals, which are added to the soil when the plant dies.
Dandelion flowers are good if you fry them. Just dip the heads in egg (mixed with a little milk) then dip them in flour and then fry them in butter. MMMMM...takes all the "health" out of em...but pretty tasty!

You can cook 'em like all other "greens". In my castiron skillet with a little fatback and vinegar, they rock!!!!

Dandelion tea is excellent for cleansing the liver and kidneys of toxins. It's the best diuretic there is, as it negates the necessity for potassium, it doesn't deplete, it adds potassium. Medicinal diuretics are notorious for depleting potassium and causing other problems.

They are wonderful for the liver, and as a diuretic they are "safer" then others because they contain something like 300% potassium. So instead of dehydrating your electrolites they replenish them. The greens are best in the spring, you can actully buy them in a lot of high end stores.

Make tea from parsley and dandelions when  having problems with kidneys shutting down from taking prescription medicine which sents you into renal failure.

You can add fresh, young greens to salads in the spring. The young leaves can also be made into a juice and used as a diuretic (talk to your doctor first!). The dried leaves make a good after dinner tea. The large tap root can be dried, ground and used as a coffee substitute. There are dozens of websites listing the culinary and medicinal properties of dandelions but I am fond of this one.

Dandelion Wine
2 Quarts Dandelion Flowers
3 pounds of sugar
1 ounce yeast
1 lemon
1 gallon boiling hot water

Pick your dandelions on a sunny day , taking just the flowertops . Rinse them well and place in a large bowl. Slice the orange and lemon very thinly and add them to the flowertops.Pour the gallon of boiling water over the top and stir well . Cover the bowl and leave set for ten days , not any longer though! Strain off the liquid into another large bowl and stir in the sugar . Spread the yeast on a piece of toast , and float it on top . Cover the bowl and leave for another 3 days . Remove the toast , strain again and bottle . Cork very loosely at first . The wine will be ready in about three months .

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