We all know them: the hardy little plants with sunny flowers that turn into the soft, downy umbrellas our kids love to blow into the wind. I’m talking about dandelions.
I have a confession to make: I delight in breathing on dried dandelion seed heads and watching them drift off. Footloose and fancy free. I love the bright, nodding flowers too, that add pops of color to my garden and so often make their way into the somewhat crushed bouquets of wildflowers my babies pick for me.
As it turns out, I have some solid excuses for not pulling these plants out when I’m weeding. Dandelions are deeply healing and rejuvenating for the body, and bring fresh life to your garden soil.
In this post, I’m going to share everything I’ve learned with you.
Dandelions are excellent for your body.
It turns out that people have been using dandelions as a potent health booster for centuries, and I can see why.
Dandelions are highly nutritious, full of vitamin A, C, and K, as well as some vitamin E and B. They’re also loaded with minerals, including Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium.
They’re a generous source of dietary fiber.
They’re effective antioxidants and detoxifiers, and can help reduce inflammation in your body.
Eating dandelions may aid blood sugar control, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
It encourages good digestion, helps grow healthy bones, boost the immune system and strengthen the liver.
Dandelions benefit your eco garden, too.
They’re lavish fodder for garden pollinators, including the honeybee – which means they benefit the environment, too!
Their spreading roots help loosen and aerate the soil, while their deep-reaching tap root brings nutrients up to the surface where the other plants in your permaculture garden can enjoy them too.
Kids absolutely love them, because wherever they are, they can be picked without impunity. Growing them in your kids’ natural play spaces means they’ll be able to observe the fascinating miniature wildlife that congregate on the bright flowers. The dried seed heads are fun natural materials for play.
The entire dandelion plant is edible.
How to plant dandelions (if you don’t have enough already).
There’s more good news – dandelions are hardy and refreshingly easy to grow. So if you’re new to organic gardening, you’ve got an extra reason to give them a go.
If you’re an indoor gardener or would still kinda like to keep this tough little overcomer off your lawn, you can plant them in pots. We like biodegradable plant pots like peat pots, or reusable ones like clay or terracotta pots.
Hey, you there… yes, you, the adult with the pink cheeks, guilty expression, and half blown dandelion puffball in your hand… you’re never too old to enjoy children’s games. In fact – move over, I’m joining you!
Written by Rifke Hill
About the Author
Rifke Hill was raised on the sort of farm your grandparents told tales about – milking cows, gathering eggs, hoeing the soil, and building fires to heat water. She now spends part of her time copywriting online as a freelancer. The rest of it is spent nurturing and teaching her four energetic children, growing vegetables, baking bread, reading voraciously, having coffee with the neighbors, and enjoying the sunny slopes of the smallholding where she lives, in the Garden Route, South Africa.