The Dandelion and The Cactus
Dent de Lion or Dandelion
Two Undesirable Plants
There are two undesirable plants that we call “weeds” that are very healthful and nutritious. We spend time, energy, and thousands of dollars each year trying to remove them from our lives. These two weeds are the Dandelion and the Prickly Pear Cactus. Both of these plants are consider herbaceous plants and have medicinal purposes.
The Puritan’s Plant
The dandelion is said to have arrived with the Puritans on the Mayflower in 1620. It made this voyage, because of its many uses both as food and medicine. The Native Americans have used one type of dandelion that is native to the United States for many generations both for food and medicine.
Medical Uses for the Dandelion
It is used medically to treat fevers, eye problems, diarrhea, liver problems, skin ailments, breast problems, digestive problems, hepatitis, malaria, gallstones, jaundice, weight loss, cancer, diabetes and more. Dandelions are full of vitamins, minerals and other natural chemicals such as; calcium, iron, vitamins H, C and K, potassium, beta carotene, insulin, it cures acne, and more.
The dandelion is a green plant with a blooms that is bright yellow on the outside to a dark orange in the center. It is food for small birds, pigs, goats, rabbits and humans. Three parts of the dandelion are editable; the leaves, the flower and the root.
Taste and Uses of the Dandelion
Dandelions are described as tasting similar to chicory or endive. They have a bitter tinge. They are used in salads, jellies and/or jams, fried, mixed in pancakes, stir fried, made into teas, wines, and a coffee type drink.
Armor of Spines
The Prickly Pear Cactus
This cactus has flat-round pads armed with two kinds of spines, large, smooth, fixed spines and small hair like prickles that easily penetrate the skin. It is lime green to forest green in color. It produces a delectable fruit that is chartreuse green, then matures to red, pink or magenta in color. They bloom a beautiful pink flower. It is food for moths, rabbits, pigs, cattle and people. Three parts of this plants are editable; the pad (nobal), petals of the flower, and the fruit (tuna).
Natural Agricultural Fencing
The prickly pear cactus is native to the United States. It has been transplanted to several other countries. One country in particular is Australia where it is used as a natural agricultural fence and produced for its dye.
The Taste and Uses of the Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear tastes like a combination of bubblegum and watermelon. It is used to make food coloring, cosmetics, salads, jellies and/or jams, candy, drinks and eaten raw. The flesh of the cactus is an excellent water purifier.
Medical Uses of the Prickly Pear Plant
It is used on wounds, for inflammation, urinary tract problems, the pectin helps control cholesterol and it has insulin that stablizes diabetes. It contains fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and more.
The weed roses
Both of these plants are called “invasive weeds”, but they are both healthful as food and practical as medicine. The rose smells and looks beautiful, but is protected with a wicked thorn. The thorn of these two plants is that they grow easily, spread widely, and die slowly, but the rose is that they provide two fundamental needs of humans in food and medicine.