The health benefits of dandelion include relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, cancer, and anemia. It also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care, and weight loss. All these health benefits are currently being studied for complete validation by a number of international institutions.
Despite the health benefits of dandelions, they are traditionally more popular as ornamental flowering plants than as medicine, because the flowers look brilliant and are frequently seen in gardens and parks. There are many varieties of dandelion, but the common one is scientifically known as Taraxacum officinale. In terms of history, the plant is believed to have evolved about 30 million years ago in Eurasia.
Embraced throughout human history and across cultures and cuisines, the dandelion has been cast as public enemy No. 1 in postwar, suburban America. An estimated 80 million pounds of pesticides are used each year on home lawns to eradicate them. Yet each year, the scrappy plant returns, thumbing its sunny yellow nose.
For me, letting my dandelions grow wild and pesticide-free is not just about frugality and ecology, but also gastronomy. Food writers often say that the best foods are those with a sense of time and place. I love these bitter greens as much as I do because I know the ground they come from and appreciate that they only come once a year. They also serve as a useful reminder that good foods are closer than we may think, even as close as our own back yard. - Mother Earth News
Should we change our definition of weeds? The ecologists definition of “weed” is a pioneer species, one adapted to growing on disturbed ground. As such, native “weeds” are an essential part of ecological succession. It’s only the invasive that shove out natives that are a problem, and if they’re edible, well, we can eat the problem! -K. Bledsoe
Dandelion Recipes to Try