I was exploring the WCC campus the other day, when I noticed something from the corner of my eye, it was a dandelion! I have always been a kind of dandelion plant lover; I have always found its history to be quite spectacular. The dandelion is known to be a weed that infiltrates almost all of the gardens throughout most of the temperate states of America, but the dandelion wasn’t really named a weed until the 20th century. The dandelion, before named a weed, used to be praised for both a source of food and medicine.
The dandelion has plenty of different names: The common dandelion, the Lions-tooth, the Blow-ball and Cankerwort, but the scientific name of a dandelion is called a Taraxacum Officinale. The dandelions were named after lions because their lion-toothed like leaves healed so many ailments in the past. Dandelions have sunken their roots into the history of medical healing from so far back that tracing its history would be like devoting your entire life’s work to it. According to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association “dandelion tonics have been used to help the body’s filter, the liver, remove toxins from the bloodstream. In olden times, dandelions were prescribed for every ailment from warts to the plague. To this day, herbalists hail the dandelion as the perfect plant medicine: It is a gentle diuretic that provides nutrients and helps the digestive system function at peak efficiency.”
It’s been shown that dandelions have been well-known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years, and said that the dandelions were brought to North America for their medical benefits. The dandelion has been a part of our history for many years. Its leaves were used to help with baldness, dandruff, toothache, sores, fevers, rotting gums, weakness, lethargy and depression. It wasn’t until the twentieth century when the causes of these symptoms were finally realized: the answer was vitamin deficiencies. In the past, vitamin deficiencies killed many of people, and at that time we didn’t have any vitamin pills. It is believed that dandelions have “helped alleviate many ailments” because of the amount of Vitamin A, C, iron, calcium, and potassium it contained.
Dandelions are not just used for medical reasons, but they have supplied us with food just as well. Dandelions roots are dried and put in a non-caffeine coffee as a substitute, They appear in produce, and can also be found in the liquor section as dandelion wine. Dandelions have made plenty of other types of food we can consume; like dandelion quiche where most people use when substituting salad greens, dandelion tea used to relax the body and are plenty useful to drink if you happen to be hungover (After all dandelions help the liver release hangover-inducing toxins from the body) and if you happen to have a sweet tooth, you can make dandelion ice cream and dandelion green cornbread as well. Dandelion cornbread, click image to visit cite
Dandelions have been around for so long that you could say they are the most successful plant to exist on earth! I enjoyed finding one on WCC campus grounds and was over thrilled to have noticed that there were plenty of others growing in the fields and forests of the WCC campus. In my opinion, I have found the WCC campus to be of a great source of environment where you can find all sorts of amazing plants, trees, and mushrooms with just as interesting life spans as a dandelion. If ever walking among the WCC campus grounds, I advise you to take in the scenery and to look in too some of the plants you see there, because you never know what you may be passing up.