Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What Is A Weed?

"A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Two years ago, when I came across a 'pin' about a dandelion salve (which I can no longer find for some reason...), I had no idea that I would be embarking on a journey of information.

If you are like me, you had to do yard work as a kid and one of my tasks was to pull weeds. My mother would offer me $5.00 for a garbage bag full of dandelions. That's a pretty rough deal if you ask me...
But think of this:

Who, exactly, decided that a dandelion was going to be a considered a pesky weed??

I mean, I understand that they *are* quite hard to get rid of, especially since their seeds get blown everywhere and digging them up is a chore with their roots being anywhere from 6-18 inches deep!
But, if you understand exactly what that little dandelion does, then you might think twice about calling it a "weed." 
"Make a wish!"
Let's start with some history.... don't worry, it's quick.
The Native Americans used dandelions to help with kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn and upset stomachs. The Chinese used it for stomach problems too, as well as, inflammation of the breast and to help with milk flow in nursing mothers (wish I knew that then...). In Europe, dandelions were known to be used for fevers, boils, eye problems, even diabetes.

image: Vintage Printable
Now, getting back to the present, I am sure most of you know that you can eat dandelions. But, did you know that it is high in Vitamins A & C and contains more iron than spinach?? 
Or how about making it in to some tea.... maybe wine perhaps?
Dandelion juice has also been known to help control insulin in diabetics!!! (taking notes for the husband) 
Use dandelion extract to relieve symptoms of PMS and lower blood pressure, or an oil/salve as an anti-inflammatory. They have dandelion cream for psoriasis, acne and eczema!
Even the milky liquid that comes out of the stem after you pluck the dandelion has uses.... treat warts by applying it daily or put it on bug/spider bites to help them heal faster.
These are all things you can get or do yourself today!!

Crazy, right?? Who knew!!

And all this time, we have been taught that they were evil..... makes me sad.
We use herbicides to kill them (cancer causing agent), yet, dandelions are being studied as a cure for cancer!! Here is an article from 2012 I found from CBC....there are many more if you Google.

Makes you wonder what else we are destroying just because we don't take the time to learn what it actually does?
I am definitely pocketing all this new found knowledge!!

Finally, to what started this all, the dandelion salve! I found a couple of posts, one from Little Seed Farm and the other from The Nerdy Farm Wife. They are two different options, I will most likely try both, but am starting with Little Seed Farm's first since I need to order beeswax still.

Last night, Carson and I plucked all the fully opened dandelions that we could find out in that yard!
There he is! Plucking away!

After we gathered all that we could, we put them on a paper towel and let them wilt overnight....

There are plenty more dandelions that haven't bloomed yet, which is good if this turns in to a learning process and not an instant success.

~*~ Stay tuned for the full process of making the dandelion salve!!! ~*~

Now that we learned all of this, let's start thinking of dandelions, in all it's stages, as more of a beautiful creation and less of pest.......

image: Piano Central Studio

For more information:

Organic Facts

NOTE: In case it wasn't already obvious, I am not a medical professional. Please speak to your doctor and do your own research before you try and/or use anything I have mentioned on here for medicinal purposes. 

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