He took the gold home, placed it in a sack and went to bed. During the night a mouse gnawed a hole in the sack. The next morning the miser carried the sack into the woods unaware of the hole in the sack. Coin by coin the gold dropped out. When the miser realized this he retraced his steps and found that the coins had been turned into beautiful yellow flowers, rooted to the ground. The wood sprites had overheard his plan and to punish him for his selfishness they turned the gold into dandelions for everyone to enjoy and share.
The dandelion leaf is a powerful diuretic. It’s used as a cleanser and to treat high blood pressure by reducing the volume of excess body fluids. Unlike pharmaceutical diuretics, which cause a loss of potassium, dandelion leaves contain high amounts of this important mineral and provide a net gain.
Dandelion leaves are more nutritious than spinach. The leaf is best harvested in spring or early summer and preferably before flowering. Later in the year the leaves become tough and bitter. Even young leaves are bitter [that’s the medicinal part]. Cooked or served raw in salads, it’s advisable to combine dandelion with other greens. Don’t cut or tear dandelion leaves until you’re ready to use them. When cut, the cells are damaged, releasing an ascorbic acid oxidase. This chemical destroys the herb’s vitamin C.