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The Dandelion - A Different Perspective
Most of us think of the dandelion as being the nuisance weed, the one that keeps sprouting in the pathways and popping up in our lawns - the one we can’t wait to get rid of!
If we look beyond the fact it’s classed as a weed, we find some surprising facts and also a very beautiful flower.
The dandelion is a multi-functional plant, as every part of it is useful for something. The root, the leaves and the flower.
It’s food, it’s medicine and it’s also a dye for colouring.
If you look at the close up picture, you can see the jagged edges of the petals - these gave the plant it’s name which is from the French word ‘dent de lion’ meaning ‘teeth of the lion’
The dandelion represents three celestial bodies.
The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seed resemble the stars.
As a child there was always something quite magical about picking a seed head and blowing the soft, fluffy dandelion seeds into the air. As the little white parachutes floated into the air, we would make a wish.
10 Interesting facts about the Dandelion
1. Dandelion ‘parachute’ type seeds can float away as far as 5 miles.
2. The white substance in a dandelions root is effective for the treatment of warts.
3. The leaves can be boiled, fried or eaten raw.
4. The yellow flowers are edible.
5. Dandelion tea made from the flowers or leaves gives a calming effect to the body. It’s also excellent for stomach cramps and headaches.
6. Dandelions love the sunshine and open wide to absorb the sun’s rays, as the sun goes down it closes up again at night.
7. The dandelion can be used to detect pregnancy! Although there is no medical backing to confirm this.
It’s believed if you pee on the underside of a dandelion leaf and it breaks out in tiny red blisters a woman is pregnant, if nothing happens to the leaf the test is negative!
8. The dandelion seeds are food for birds.
9. At least 93 different kinds of insects use dandelion pollen as food.
10. As a child I always believed coming into contact with a dandelion makes you wet the bed - is it true? It is only a myth, but there is some truth behind it.
The dandelion is a diuretic, this increases the amount of urine that is released by the body. If you consumed and digested a certain amount of dandelions before going to sleep, you may wake up to find your bed is wet!
Dandelion root tea recipe
1 Tbsp roasted dandelion root
½ Tsp minced fresh ginger
1 cardamon seed
12 oz water
Honey or sugar to taste
Combine all ingredients except the honey in a pan and bring to the boil.
Continue boiling for 5-10 minutes
Strain then add the honey and serve.
Dandelion soup recipe
6 cups of washed and trimmed dandelion leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock
2 leeks cleaned and sliced
1 diced carrot
2 ½ cups milk
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Dandelion flowers for garnish
Chop the dandelion greens.
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat.
Add the dandelion greens, carrot and leeks and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
At a medium heat, whisk in the milk and cook until thick, stirring frequently.
Puree mixture in a blender or food processor in batches, being careful of the hot liquid.
Pour all the puree back into the cooking pot, season with salt, pepper and Dijon mustard.
Serve in bowls garnished with a beautiful, bright yellow dandelion flower.
Creating a Kaleidoscope Dandelion
Creating a kaleidoscope pattern from your digital image is fun and easy to do.
I used Corel PaintShop
All you need is a close up digital image of a flower.
Open your image and click on ‘effects’ in the tool bar
Click on reflection effects
Click on kaleidoscope
Adjust the settings for your desired effect, have fun experimenting!