Thursday, April 23, 2009


Dandelions in the Lawn

Spring is here and as I look at my shaggy yard, I realize there are several patches of yellow dandelions blooming in the grass. However, all my neighbors have tall fluffs of white dandelion seed heads bobbing around their neatly "scalped" lawns. One of my pet peeves is when people scalp their lawns by cutting it as low as it will go. I have a tendency to mow my grass on the highest setting and thus, I have fewer dandelion problems. The few dandelions I do have are really pretty growing among the green grass, plus there are all kinds of uses for dandelions.

Dandelions is a natural herbal remedy with numerous health benefits. All parts of the dandelion can be used: leaves, roots and flowers. A few ways I use dandelions are as follows:

1.) Use freshly washed leaves in salads for an added crunch plus extra vitamins and minerals. The leaves have strong diuretic properties and are a good source of potassium.
2.) Use dandelion flowers to make dandelion oil and vinegar for cooking. Dandelion vinegar is nice light dressing for a summer salad.
3.) Ferment the dandelion flowers to make dandelion wine - a drink that is not too sweet and not too tart.
4.) A tea made from the dandelion roots is helpful in relieving muscle spasms and for calming menstrual cramps and other symptoms.

Medicinal properties of the dandelion:

1.) It has mild laxative properties and helps relieve constipation.
2.) It aids in the process of digestion and boosts appetite.
3.) It is good for the complexion and helps prevent dry skin conditions and the occurrence of black spots.
4.) It is rich in potassium, iron and other vitamins that help in the treatment of anemia.
5.) The roots help in purifying the blood and removing toxins from the liver and the kidneys.
6.) It helps in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
7.) It is rich in boron, calcium and silicon and so protects women from osteoporosis and rheumatism by boosting the production of estrogen.
8.) It helps weight reduction by regulating blood sugar and improving fat metabolism.

Other uses for dandelions I have not tried yet, but look interesting:

1.) The sap from the stem and root of dandelions is supposed to contain astringent properties and helps in the treatment of warts, blisters, corns and acne.
2.) It is supposed to be a good substitute for coffee because it contains a similar taste but no harmful caffeine content.

A few things to be cautious about:

1.) Avoid if you are allergic to plants like chamomile and yarrow.
2.) Consult your physician if you’re using antibiotics or drugs that reduce blood sugar levels or act as diuretics.

So next time you look at the yellow blossoms popping up in your lawn, think before you call your lawn service.

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