Guest post by Tori
Dandelions are everywhere and many find them to be a nuisance. They are easy to find anywhere, at least in northeast America. And they are free! Which is certainly not the case with many herbs. So why not find a use for them?
In USDA Bulletin #8, dandelion is listed as one of the top four green vegetables when it comes to overall nutrition. They are rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin, beta-carotene, and Vitamin A. Most surprisingly of all, they are also good for protein. And these are just what American studies through the USDA say! Russian and Eastern European studies also give dandelions credit for nutrients like copper, cobalt, zinc, boron, vitamin D, and molybdenum. Imagine finding all that in a week in your yard. Each one of these nutrients is important for various things and I could go into it, but what else is Wikipedia for? If you want a more intense list of studies, uses, and other such information, here is a good website: LeafLady.org.
There is a bit of a caveat here. For some people this won’t work as well. Just like with any chemicals (and that’s what this all boils down to) it will interact with everyone’s bodies differently. It may not work as well for you as it does the next person. Also, check with your doctor before adding anything to your diet if you are sick. Reactions with conditions or medications are always possible.
Now that you know all that you can go harvest some dandelions for your salads and sandwiches. It’s like Popeye picking free spinach out of his yard!
Dandelions are an air herb, which makes sense considering how you make a wish
when blowing on them. They are also masculine*. According to Cunningham, dandelions are used for divination, wishes, and calling spirits. The seed heads can be used for both divination and wishes. Set your parameters before you blow and see what happens. You can also add bits of the plant to herb pouches, oils, or any of that. Dandelions are also useful as decoration to set the mood for a divination or wish spell or ritual.
I would say that they would also be good when you are casting a spell to leave a situation gently. If you do not want to make a big fuss, but float away to something better or just different. The seed heads would be an excellent symbol for that.
*I can’t find anything that tells me what decides this, so if any of you know PLEASE tell me (via the comments or the site’s feedback form). I have lots of plants I want to find associations for that are being slippery.
- Scott Cunningham’s Herb Encyclopedia
- Leaf Lady: www.leaflady.org/health_benefits_of_dandelions.htm