Dandelion is a very common and pesky garden weed and most people have encountered it somewhere in their lives. A very easy plant to grow. It thrives on neglect and can be grown in almost any soil. It can tolerate semi shade but prefers full sun and a deep weekly watering. Most people do not want to grow it for fear of the seeds spreading all over the garden but the flower head can be snipped of as soon as they appear.
Medicinally Dandelion has a long list of uses. It acts as a bone builder, blood builder and has now been proven to be anti-bacterial. It has a vast array of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium and especially Potassium. It is an excellent diuretic and with its high potassium content prevents the potassium loss that most diuretics cause. Dandelion is a superb liver tonic that has been used with great success in drug and alcohol abuse and to treat jaundice. The calcium content of the leaves has a unique composition that will build a strong enamel over the teeth and with long term use will start to whiten the teeth. It has a natural cleansing action in the deep layers of the skin and thereby reduces acne and heals eczema. It is a nontoxic plant that can be consumed in very large quantities without any side effects. Recent studies have shown that dandelion significantly reduces the growth of yeast and Staphylococcus aureus which are now both proving to be resistant in the health care industry. For all the above-mentioned ailments dandelion can be taken as a tea by adding Â¼ cup finely chopped leaves and flowers to 1 cup boiling water stand for 5 minutes, strain and drink. Sweeten with some honey if liked. Some authors suggest eating 3-5 fresh leaves daily and it can also be added to salads or stir fries. The root can be used fresh or dried, but the plant needs to be at least two years old before harvesting roots. Iâ€™m sure next time you will think twice before pulling out a dandelion plant from your garden!!