You have a choice. You can be a horticultural extremist, using toxic chemicals to botanically cleanse your yard of the pesky dandelion, or you can thank the universe for this abundantly free harvest of nutritious food and medicine.
Or you could go a step further and plant a crop. Just think of the fun you’ll have when you calmly announce to your neighbour that you’re about to do just that.
Dandelion leaves (Taraxacum officinale) are more nutritious than spinach, and the whole plant–leaves, flowers, roots, and the milky latex fluid from the stem–has medicinal value. James A. Duke, PhD, herbalist, botanist, and author of The Green Pharmacy (Rodale, 1997), has built a phytochemical database for the US Agricultural Research Service. For the humble dandelion, he lists the following compounds and their functions:
Download PDF version: Dandelions