Dandelions: A Healthy Herb

By Reiner Geiling

Have you ever seen a dandelion and thought it was a weed? A common misconception is that dandelions are a nuisance infesting your backyard. However, this isn’t the case. In fact, dandelions heal the body and help the heart! Despite these undeniable benefits, they are killed with harmful herbicides.

In the movie Ice Age, Sid the Sloth ate the last dandelion of the season in its entirety. Although this may seem silly or unimportant, Sid was doing the right thing for his body, after all dandelions are completely edible. 

Sid the Sloth picking the last dandelion of the season.

These plants can provide extraordinary assistance to your body. Dandelions fight diseases  and cancers by boosting the immune system. Dandelions can also fight infections, as they protect the viral and urinary tract. They also help your digestion, blood, and circulation, while containing high amounts of beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A. This is a plant pigment that helps maintain skin health and appearance, memory, and even reduces symptoms of Alzheimer’s. They also can be eaten raw, made into tea, used as skin toner, and are eaten in a large variety of foods, such as salads. When fermented, they can even be made into an alcoholic drink! These miracle workers even filter potentially harmful chemicals out of our food! Moreover, dandelions revitalize and support your body naturally. 

There are many natural, edible plants you can use to help your well-being. For example, bananas have double the amount of potassium as kiwis, but bananas help pack on weight, while kiwis keep you lean. Kiwis have more vitamin C than an orange or serving of strawberries, more fiber than an apple, more vitamin K than spinach, and a significant amount of water and less impact on your insulin levels. Nevertheless, these other plants have some nutritional values that kiwis don’t. Either way, they are all generously healthy, when organically grown. Despite all of these natural benefits, very few consumers know of them, or even the benefits of dandelions. However, with a bit of research and an appetite, the next meal on your plate can be a healthy one. 

As a flowering plant, dandelions go through numerous stages of life. First, they grow as a plant does, and bloom into the yellow dandelion we all know. However, it does not die after. The dandelion reforms to create a white puffball of exposed seeds, ready to germinate– that all the little kids make wishes on as they blow the seeds away. After the seeds are carried away by the wind to eventually aid new generations, the dandelion finishes its life process. 

There are various stages of a dandelion’s life.

Even with all of the dandelion’s benefits, they are still classified as weeds. In fact, companies instruct people to use Roundup in order to kill dandelions. Roundup is a very toxic herbicide created by Monsanto, an agrochemical Company. The benefits of dandelions are ignored, and consumers use noxious substances to kill one of the best flowers in their backyard.

To make matters worse, Roundup causes cancer after ingested or inhaled. Glyphosate is linked to cancer of the colon, liver, pancreas, kidney, skin, thyroid, bone, and breast as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Consumers are encouraged to use toxic substances to eliminate one of the healthiest plants in their backyard. This is why we need to dine on dandelions instead of diminishing them!