Every man I've ever known has glowered at the dandelions in spring. Every one. They reach for their bottle of poison, going after these beautiful plants like they were going after an enemy, extermination on their mind. Dandelions are one of my favorite plants, and as versatile as they are, I'll never understand why they're considered a weed: the leaves are edible, akin to spinach (but the earlier you gather them, the better, they get bitter as the season wears on); you can make wine from this plant; and they are a good medicinal plant.
"While many people think of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a pesky weed, it's chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines.
In the past, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.
So far, there have not been any good quality scientific studies on dandelion. Today, the roots are mainly used to stimulate the appetite, and for liver and gallbladder problems. Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to help the body get rid of too much fluid..."
This photo was proudly taken yesterday, in our backyard. My husband Joe picked up his bottle of herbicide, ready to do battle with our crop of dandelions, but it wouldn't work. The sprayer thingy wouldn't spray...I say it's a sign. :)
The medicinal info for this post was taken from the following site, and there's lots more reading there if you have the time and inclination: