Debunking the myths around Dandelions
I feel as though I am still making up for all of the time lost with them being afraid that they would make me wee the bed. The French name for Dandelions is ‘Piss en lit’ meaning to wet the bed so there is clearly a long history of incorrect myths around Dandelions. Dandelions do not make you wet the bed but they do support bladder function and they are a diuretic so maybe that’s why they have this name, so that it’s easy to remember what they help with, medicinally.
Sun and Dandelions
Dandelions have long been associated with to the Sun, Lions and the astrological sun sign Leo. The word Dandelion is from the French ‘Dent de lion’ meaning Lions tooth, describing the tooth like outline of the leaves. Dandelions have a strong connection to the sun also as they open in the sun and close at night.
Grounding and detoxifying
Personally, when I think of Dandelions I feel a grounding energy, probably due to their long roots that work their way easily into the Earth. Dandelion root supports liver and gallbladder function and they give the digestion a good nudge. All these things are very ‘earthy’ qualities and so help us to be aware of our bodies and thus make us feel grounded. Dandelions actions on the liver, gallbladder and digestion also help to cleanse the body of toxins. Dandelions diuretic action also helps to cleanse the body and it even puts back more than enough potassium that we might have lost with other diuretics that flush the body. You can dry and roast Dandelion root and then decoct it by boiling it in a pan and it makes a lovely drink which is very similar to coffee (minus the caffeine).
Dandelion leaves make a great addition to a salad and the sap can be used to remove warts and freckles. I learnt recently that Dandelions help to break up the soil and put nutrients back into it. You can tell how well it is doing its job by how it holds its leaves. If they are low to the ground then it’s got a lot of work to do but if the leaves are raised up then it’s about finished its job. I find that fascinating! They are beautiful little plants, happy and amazing for the wildlife.
Learn to Love Dandelions
Recently, I saw an older gentleman spraying weed killer on individual dandelions in his lawn. It made me really cross until I turned the corner and saw literally hundreds of Dandelions on the shared green. That gentleman has his work cut out as they are so adept at spreading their seed on the wind. Ahhh Dandelion clocks! Takes me back to my childhood in a heartbeat! I still have a lovely book called from my childhood that has an illustration of a hedgehog with a beautiful Dandelion clock. I just love them.
How I use them in herbal medicine
I use them in herbal medicine for people who aren’t grounded, perhaps feeling dizzy and a bit disorientated in themselves. People with eczema, psoriasis, itchy skin conditions and acne. I also use it for constipation, sluggish digestion, anything that is caused by toxin accumulation and to support bladder function. It’s even good for the heart and oedema as it helps to remove the fluid from the body.
Junior Herbalist Club
In this session we made detoxifying dandelion lotion bars. The children loved making these and they looked good enough to eat when we were finished. The bars are great use on rough, dry skin or for joint or muscle ache. They smell beautiful too.