Health · Organic · Outdoor · Yard Management

In Defense of Dandelions

What is bright yellow, cheerful, edible and can detoxify your liver?  Yes, the little old dandelion.

Last spring I watched my then 17-month-old son pick up one of those fuzzy seed pods from the dandelion and blow again and again, having such a joyful ball!  Then I watched my daughters make dandelion crowns.

Later that week I drove through the Wisconsin countryside because my hairdresser moved from Madison to New Glarus, and admired the bright yellow fields of dandelions and wondered why is it we spend money planting yellow pansies, yellow marigolds, yellow sunflowers, yellow begonias, and yet we can’t stand the sight of a yellow dandelion.

In some neighborhoods, having a yard full of dandelions is more than frowned upon.  And we will subject ourselves, our children, our pets, and our environment to toxins to get rid of this yellow, cheerful, edible flower?

In last month’s Delicious Living Magazine, Jessica Rubino highlighted the benefits of dandelions in “3 herbs to detox your liver“,

Related to chicory, dandelion’s historical uses include treating upset stomach, heartburn, and spleen ailments, pus enhancing immunity.  Some health practitioners recommend dandelion to stimulate the liver and kidneys to filter toxins out of the blood.

So… you don’t want a garden full of dandelions, I understand, I get that…..  How do you get rid of them?  Since they are magnets for kids of all ages to grab and play with, let’s not spray them with one of the many popular weed-killers.

Instead, I recommend pulling them out with a dandelion picker.  I bought one from Home Depot several years ago, and my kids really fight over who gets to use it.  It is a great gardening tool.  You don’t have to bend over, and it gets that long tap root all the way out.  At the same time, it has the added advantage of aerating your lawn!

3 herbs to detox your liver

2 thoughts on “In Defense of Dandelions

  1. Wonderful post.

    I LOVE dandelions. When I was growing up, and my Italian grandmother visited, she would send us kids into the yard to pick dandelion greens for salads, or braised dishes. I’m not sure I liked them then (I do now), but I sure liked the idea of something edible growing in my lawn.

    Fortunately, I live in the country, and am not bothered by neighborhood associaitons–or uptight neigbors in general. In spring, my front yard, which is about a quarter acre, is awash in buttery yellow dandelions. I love how their bright little faces reach toward the morning sun, and follow it all day, until nightfall, when they close up to sleep.

    Now THAT’S entertainment. Hey, it’s dinner and a show!

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