The Gift of the Wishing Flower

Okay – we know them as dandelion in this form, but don’t they grow into the wishing flower? 

Wishing Flower

 

When I was a kid, we used to make chains from the stems, and rub the flower on our knees to find out we were boy crazy. The bright yellow flowers that sooner or later emerge into white balls of wish worthy fly away tufts are always cherished by children and adults alike.

AAaaahhh, sweet memories. 

When I learned the power of these beautiful “weeds” I learned they were far more magical than childhood wishing flowers. 

Dandelions hold amazing health properties and is truly effective as a medicinal herb. 

What would such a common weed be used for? 

Here’s a few fun factoids for you:

Aside from a delicious bitter green salad, Dandelion has been said to help those who suffer from loss of appetite or digestive upset. It’s useful for treatment of gall stones, for reduction of muscle pain, and for eczema. 

Some people use Dandelion for a natural antiviral approach or to help their body overcome infection. 

Anyone using medications should be aware that Dandelion may have negative interactions with some medications, like antibiotics. 

Dandelion, being a bitter herb, boasts cleansing and detoxing properties fit for a detox Diva and simple enough to approach for the busiest Mom! 

This herb has become so popular, you can find it in most grocery store produce departments. 

All that said, Dandelion is just great for you! These plants are loaded with Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron! Check out the resources below to learn more nutrient specifics of this green.

To learn to bring this amazing plant into your diet, consider adding it to your next salad. Start with just a couple of leaves torn into bite sized bits, until you get used to the flavor. Although, you can also lightly saute or bake with the leaves, if eating them raw doesn’t suit you. 

WARNING** These leaves can be very, very bitter. 

Once the plant flowers, the leaves are actually more bitter than before it flowers, so catching these early is a great way to ease into using them. 

One serious hint, these are NOT popular lawn plants – don’t go treading next door and pull your neighbors dandelions thinking you are doing him a favor – he may have already dowsed them with herbacide. (weed killer)

If you don’t have a place to collect these from the wild, know you can go to Whole Foods – who will happily sell you a bunch of ginormous intentionally grown and cared for Dandelion. 

On this note, I’m going to run back outside and gather myself some dandelion leaves!!

Additional resources: http://www.motherearthliving.com/in-the-garden/dandelion-uses-loathed-weed-cure-all-of-lawn.aspxhttp://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2441/2

 

 

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