Why I Love Dandelions ... And You Should Too
There's one weed that often drives adults crazy. Many kids love it, however. When it's in full bloom, its flowers look like the bright Sun. When it puffs out into a ball, it resembles the Moon. And when kids pick it and blow it to disperse its seeds, they fly into the air like the stars of the night sky. What am I talking about? The Dandelion, of course!
Etymological Meaning of the Dandelion Flower
The Dandelion name first developed in the 15th century. It was derived from the Medieval Latin phrase dens lionis, which refers to the jagged shape of the leaves by calling them a lion’s tooth. This transformed into dent-de-lion in French, and then became Dandelion in Middle English. We still use the same name today because it’s easy to remember and definitely still applies as a description of how the plant looks.
Description of the Dandelion Flower
Everyone knows what the dandelion looks like, it is such an easy flower to recognize. A dandelion can be characterized by its long hollow stem and the yellow flower that it has on top. Depending on the season that it is, it may have white fuzz on top of it that is the pollination and how the dandelion spreads.
Health Benefits of the Dandelion Flower
What's better than a plant that gives wishes when you puff its fluff? A plant that provides health benefits! Dandelion is an excellent food and medicine!
Medicinally the dandelion has some tried, tested, and true results. Ever since country folk have been stirring pots over fires, dandelion teas have been a brewing for the purpose of calming nerves, and promoting a sense of well-being. Dandelion roots infused in hot water and then strained make an excellent tonic, because the dandelion is a natural detoxifying body-cleanser and diuretic.
Every part of this common edible weed is tasty both raw and cooked, from the roots to the blossoms. Dandelion leaves can be harvested at any point in the growing season, and while the smaller leaves are considered to be less bitter and more palatable raw, the bigger leaves can be eaten as well, especially as an addition to a green salad. The flowers are sweet and crunchy, and can be eaten raw, or breaded and fried, or even used to make dandelion wine. The root of the dandelion can be dried and roasted and used as a coffee substitute, or added to any recipe that calls for root vegetables.