In recent years I have come to know the Dandelion plant more closely and continue to marvel at its magnificence. Angus has been picking Dandelion leaves to add nourishment to our salads for some time. We have dedicated a patch in our vege garden where we let the Dandelion grow for harvesting for salad greens.
Earlier this year I attended a herbal medicine workshop and was introduced to even more amazing properties of Dandelion plants. Herbalist Susun Weed refers to Dandelion as Dr Dandelion due to its amazing healing and nourishing properties and because the plant itself brings so much joy to our lives. Dandelion grows prolifically here at The Oasis and according to the principles of herbal medicine, plants growing naturally in your environment are bringing in what you need. I have since started collecting and drying dandelion flowers and I am infusing them in oil to make a salve.
Dandelion Preparation (505) is a compost preparation used in biodynamics. According to Biodynamic Agriculture Australia’s Biodynamic Resource Manual dandelion preparation is related to Jupiter. “It is thought to stimulate the silica containment and transport and the potassium nutrient mobility in soils and plants. These two activities relate to sap uptake, integration and transport, enabling highly refined and efficient plant growth. Among other things this is believed to optimize the early cell division of the embryonic fruit so it later attains large size, strong structure, resilience and high quality. It is believed this process, which is related to Jupiter is what brings nourishment into our foods.”
Rudolf Steiner claimed the Dandelion flower was a messenger from heaven and that just to have Dandelion growing on our farm is beneficial (Agriculture lectures). Yet how many conventional farmers spend money, time and effort trying to eradicate Dandelion from their crops and pastures? How many people fight to keep it out of their lawns? Apparently up until the 1800’s people would pull grass out of their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful plants we now view as weeds such as chickweed and chamomile.
"If Dandelions were hard to grow they would be most welcome on any lawn" Andrew Mason
1. Dandelion is the most recognised weed by laymen who are unable to identify other plants.
2. The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.
3. The seed arrangement is the archetypal pattern called the flower of life.
4. The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening to go to sleep.
5. Every part of the dandelion is useful: roots, leaves and flowers. The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant are used fresh or dried in teas, capsules, or extracts. Dandelion leaves are used in salads or as a cooked green, and the flowers can be fermented to make wine.
6. Dandelion can be used for food, medicine and dye for colouring.
7. Dandelion has been used as a herbal remedy to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, spleen problems, digestive problems and skin conditions.
8. Dandelion leaves and flowers are nutritious to eat in salads with more vitamins and minerals than some vegetables. They are rich in Vitamins A, C & Potassium. The leaves also contain Vitamins B, D and Iron.
9. Dandelion flowers can be used as a beautifier, a pain reliever and a friend to your heart.
10. The fresh sap from dandelions can be used for removing warts. It must be applied fresh each day for several weeks for the wart to drop off and is a pain free way of getting rid of them.
11. Dandelion roots grown down as deep as 1 metre, transporting calcium and other minerals to the surface.
12. Dandelion detoxifies the soil of heavy metals.
13. Earthworms love the vicinity of dandelions.
14. Dandelions indicate calcium and organic matter are low in the soil.
15. Dandelion seed can fly up to 10kms.
Gardeners, let dandelions grow in your lawn and enjoy their stunning beauty as well as their nourishment in teas and salads. Farmers, let dandelions grow in your paddocks and heal your soils and nourish your livestock.
Biodynamic Agriculture Australia Ltd (2015) Resource Manual. Vol II 5th Edition
Steiner, Rudolf (1924). Agriculture. Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture.
Walters, Charles (1999) Weeds: Control without poisons.
Weed, Susun S (1989) Wise Woman Herbal: Healing Wise