Greetings Friends, Neighbors and Strangers,
Sending this digital letter out into the world is not unlike holding a mature Dandelion seed head to the Wind. A couple of weeks back we were in the lion stage here; yards in the neighborhood glowed with that stubbornly cheerful yellow color. I noticed my neighbor Pat mowing his lawn as often as he could, attempting to tame it back to straight green. Within hours, however, they’re back out. Now we have entered the time of dispersing seeds, to the delight of some, and the agitation of others. I, along with the Sheep and Cows here at the Farm, adore those tender Spring Dandelion leaves—mildly bitter, tonic, digestive. The sight of Dandelion fuzz drifting on a Spring breeze makes me smile. Stubbornly cheerful, persistent, alive.
Every once in a while, the digital wind blows this weekly story-plea to a patch of disturbed, fertile ground. Seeds know how to get to work in places like that. Stories too. This week, I’ve got a couple of heart-warming stories for you. But first, this week’s invitations and requests:
Call the Dogs off the Lions
Why do we hate lions? For reasons that are beyond any logic I can see, we have been convinced that dandelions are posies non grata in our landscapes. Yet they are a critical food source for native pollinators, vitamin-packed culinary delights, and multi-purpose herbal remedies. I’d say that’s not bad for a “weed.”
In fact, dandelion is so well-respected that it bears the Latin name Taraxicum officinale, roughly meaning “the official remedy for all disorders.” It has many reported health benefits, including as a liver support, for alleviating kidney and bladder stones, and as a poultice for boils. I don’t pretend to know every past and present medicinal use of the plant, and I recommend consulting an herbalist, as well as your doctor, before trying to treat yourself.
That said, the University of Maryland Medical School website says this about dandelions: “Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.”
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