Dandelions are one of the most recognisable plants/weeds in the garden. Their bright yellow flowers open and close with the sun and the whole plant is edible. I have chose Dandelion to represent new beginnings as we move from 2014 to 2015 – most people I know have found 2014 a difficult year so for this reason Dandelion is a cleansing plant, its leaves and roots are still accessible in Winter and for me the closing and opening of its sunny flowers represent the passing of time and the closure of one chapter into another, and hopefully the end of some of the troubles of the previous year and the hope of sunnier times to come. Dandelion ‘clocks’ when the plant is full of those beautiful seed heads also seemed appropriate to represent the passage of time.
Heritage; The name Dandelion comes from the old French name for the plant ‘dent-de-lion’ meaning ‘lion’s tooth’ and referring to the jagged edges of the leaves.
Medicinal; Dandelion is a diuretic so is therefore excellent for cleansing, general water retention and cellulite – remember all those old wives tales about Dandelion making you wet the bed, well there is some truth in them. Dandelion will flush out toxins including uric acid easing rheumatism and gout and will also give your liver a cleanse (much needed at this time of year)
‘it is of an opening and cleansing quality, and therefore very effectual for the obstructions of the liver, gall, and spleen, and the diseases that arise from them’…..Culpeper
Dandelion contains Iron, Copper, Vitamins A and E, Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Silica and Potassium.
How to take it; You can eat the young fresh green leaves in salads. You can consume the older bitter leaves (the only ones you will find now) like spinach – wilt them gently and serve with garlic, lemon and toasted seeds. Dandelion tea is simply a handful of washed leaves in a teapot, add boiling water and steep for 5 minutes – add honey to sweeten. If you are taking Dandelion as a diuretic consume it like this – half a cup – 3 times a day for 1-2 days. In the summer you can also eat the flowers and they look very pretty in salads, pastas and jellies.
New Year; I will be gathering a handful of old leaves today from my garden to make a tea. As I drink the tea I will be visualising the Dandelion moving through my Liver and taking with it all the toxins and negativity of 2014 and leaving in its place the golden glow of Springs first Dandelion buds, and it is this promise I take into the bright dawn of 2015.
Happy New Year to you all – may 2015 bring you happiness.
Image ‘Dandelions at Dawn’ Fine Art America – Emily Stauring