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Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Junglekeeper, Feb 21, 2012.
Dandelion tea touted as possible cancer killer.
There is no doubt that it has value. At least it does as a food. I eat it with our salads in the spring time early summer. The average Swedish folk's lawns over here in Sweden are loaded with it and it seems to me to be a larger variety than what I remember in Southern California. People here are not at all obsessed with killing it from their lawns as people over there. In the states people want that perfect lawn and will use all manner of heavily marketed broadleaf herbicides to rid themselves of it. Amazingly, if you let it run it's course, it simply disappears in summer onwards, then reappears back in spring time. Well at least that's the way it works here.
Wonder though how many will take this seriously over there with so much dislike to the plant.
I like Dandelions, myself, and you're right. North Americans traditionally want perfectly manicured lawns. I think that ideal is changing somewhat though, in favor of letting a little wildness into their gardens. In Canada, we can no longer use chemical pesticides, so it's a bit of a forced change. Few gardeners really enjoy pulling weeds.
Dandelions have a long history as herbal cures with lots of benefits. They shouldn't be eradicated.
This thread reminds me of a Ray Bradury tale, where the hero of the piece heard the boy mowing his lawn and he had to rush to tell him, NO! Else there would be no dandelion wine that year. Wine might not be as good for you as tea, though.
as a cancer survivor of 18 years, i had not heard of using dandelions as a cure. I don't like the thorns they put out, as i enjoy walking barefoot in my yard. As a tobacco farmers daughter I rarely speak highly of the plant, but it makes a wonderful weed killer. I use a 25g pouch or 5 fresh leaves, boil them on med heat for 2 hrs in 2 quarts water. when done strain the leaves from the remaining water. put 5 mls tobacco water into a 1L spray bottle and hit the weed at its root base. best done on a sunny day. within the day, it will begin dying and wont ever return. same is said for grass and weeds that grow in cracks in driveways and moss on the roof. washes away with rain. I always try to use fresh leaves from an organic source, such as the nicotiana rustica, plant which has the highest concentration of nicotine and has been used as an insecticide, as well as a ceremonial cleansing herb and a weed killer by south american people for years. I do have a good stock of viable seeds if anyone is unable to find them, please message me and I will send you some. the white flowers it puts out are very beautiful, and have a surprisingly sweet smell. they will flower all summer long, and do well in all conditions.because the seeds spread easily, expired blooms need to be removed before the seeds spread and take over the garden. peace.
Although the seeds might have some rough edges, I don't find thorns on the Taraxacum officinale or Dandelions in my yard of which to my neighbors chagrin I have a few. I only mention this to make certain that if you are making tea or wine from Dandelions that you are sure that the you have gotten the right plant. It would be terrible to not at least get the right leaves in your tea if you are using for its therapeutic value. It might be that some other varieties of it that don't grow in this area might have thorns, but in a very small search (so I might be mistaken) I didn't find it mentioned on the web if that is the case.
There are a lot of posonous plants so if you are going to use wildflowers to add to your diet, some care must be be taken. The Native Americans in this area as part of their diet ate Camas bulbs they dug before the plant was in flower. Along with Quamassia quamash there is a plant called Grassy Death Camas (Zigadenus), that has a very similar bulb but with white flowers rather than blue. I dug them both and compared the bulbs side by side. I couldn't tell the difference as a casual observer. It occurred to me then that perhaps a trip to the grocery store was a better choice for me than trying to forage wild plants. I'm not trying to convince you that you shouldn't garden and reap the many rewards (exercise, healthier diet, better tasting food just to name a few). I'm just saying that some care should be taken in using wild plants to augment your diet.