The lowly dandelion

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, April 19, 2017

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herbs for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth. -— Psalm 104:14

Dandelions! Seen any of these lately? Usually this time of year they are beginning to grow and shoot out their greens and flowers. Most people esteem this herb a common weed and usually spend a lot of money trying to get rid of it. There are actually pesticides for lawns devoted particularly to getting rid of the dandelion. I intend to get outside and cut some leaves for drying, eating and making tea. You say, “Why would I go through all the trouble to harvest this weed?”

Fact: The dandelion is a perennial herb, which is native to Europe and Asia, and occurs widely in temperate regions of the world, often found in nitrogen-rich soils. The parts used are leaves and flowers fresh for culinary use or dried for medicinal preparations; the roots are dried for medicinal purposes. It is one of the best blood purifiers and builders available. It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium. It restores and balances the blood so that anemia caused by deficiencies disappears. This is the herb for improving low blood pressure and it helps build energy and endurance. It is also one of the best liver cleansers and is therefore great for skin diseases. It is taken internally for urinary infections and considered beneficial for rheumatic complaints and gout. It is also said to improve appetite and digestion, and is of great benefit nutritionally, as it is high in vitamins A and C. It is also a rich source of iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Young leaves of dandelions are added to salads, often blanched first to reduce bitterness or cooked like spinach as a vegetable. The roasted root makes a palatable, soothing, caffeine-free substitute for coffee.

As I sit here writing about this herb, I am kicking myself around the block because I have had so many dandelions around me in the past and have allowed other things to keep me from harvesting these vitamin-packed herbs. I have actually been in the grocery stores (Whole Foods and Kroger) where they sell organic produce and found dandelion greens being sold for about $1.95 per bunch. Then I start thinking about how many dandelions are growing in my yard and how much I could sell them for. I just started laughing at the fact that people are paying money for dandelion greens because they know how nutritious they are and there are others spending money for poisons, such as Roundup, to destroy them. Then I wonder what the Lord thinks about this? Until next time!

Genesis 1:29 — And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Alice Russell, also known as “Me Me,” is a guest columnist who resides in the Randolph/Saxe area. She can be reached at

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