My Many Relationships with Dandelions: From Free Toys to Must Destroy to — WHAT, every part of you is NOURISHING? oops

As a little girl I was mesmerized by those yellow flowers in our little back yard. I would look out the back door requesting — as an 8-month old does — to go out to explore the flowers. They seemed to move around every night. My Mom would put me out in the yard and I would move from Dandelion to Dandelion, picking a flower and studying every part of it. Then I would pluck off each pedal, one at a time, creating a pile of yellow. As I moved from flower to flower my Mom would be able to follow where I’d been. She enjoyed my love of Nature and the benefit of free toys. As an adult I wish I knew what the conversation was all about. I assume it had something to do with the relationships we would go through and that they would be waiting for me as I evolved.

Fast forward my Grandparents lived next door and my Grandfather had a stick full of some liquid he would walk around the small side of their yard and poke the Dandelions so that the next day they were dead. He saw them as annoying weeds.

Oddly my Grandmother had the other larger side of their yard and she would pick the Dandelion flowers to pan-fry and add the leaves to salad or other things she was cooking. Grandfather was not allowed near her Dandelions.

Hummmmm but when it came to this older generation, “children were to be seen and not heard” so out of respect you would just observe. As I grew up and had my own yard to care for I picked my Grandfather’s way but used Weed and Feed. I loved a green lawn and Dandelions be gone! With no internet or anyone to ask it seemed like everyone was going to the perfect green lawn.

For decades . . . . my Dandelions were so forgiving, plotting, and planning to make me move to Boulder, Colorado to attend the herb school. It was so expensive to live there, attend school, all the studying and herbal experiments, oh and a part-time job, that there was no extra time or money for a lawn or Weed and Feed.

As I learned about many herbs, yes Dandelions were one of them. Oh Dear . . . I’m going to have to make amends. I have no idea where to start. The plants are so smart they are just waiting for you to even have the thought.

With one foot in Western Medicine and one foot in Herbal Medicine I started having insights and downloads from the plants. We experimented with lots of herbs in Herbal Pharmacy. The school was very experiential. You had to write up your experiments and your experiences.

Three days a week I was at the herb school and three days a week I was working at Boulder Community Hospital. On my lunch break at work I would walk along the blocks west of the hospital. There was a Radiation Therapy building with the most beautiful and uplifting flower beds. One day I walked by, looked down, and there was the most magnificent Dandelion flower in the middle of the flowers. I had to laugh because the gardener didn’t pull it out as a “weed.” I poured some water on it and told it how beautiful it was. So beautiful it fooled the gardener. We might have had a silent conversation from my little girl days, but then I moved on. Each of my three days that week I repeated my admiration.

The beginning of the next week I was back at the herb school. That Thursday I hurried out at lunch to check on my new Dandelion friend. WOW she was bigger than ever. I knelt down to give her more water. Then the following conversation took place:

Dandelion: “What goes on in that building?”

ME: It’s radiation treatment for cancer patients

Dandelion: “But they look worse when they come out”

ME: Well it’s a process and not everyone gets better

Dandelion: “If I could just get inside maybe I could help?”

ME: . . . . Am I having a conversation with a Dandelion? What would the Dandelion do in there?

Next thing a patient and family member came down the walkway so I looked back at the Dandelion and smiled.

The next day the Dandelion was gone! I was so sad because while I had had insights from other plants, never in this form of a conversation. Mind you, I was talking to the Dandelion. The Dandelion was downloading it’s conversation to me somehow. I was so fascinated. Just like the little girl in the back yard.

I had no idea the many medicinal benefits of a Dandelion – all those decades of Weed and Feed.

Where do you start. Chapters of books have been written! As long as no one has hit them with chemicals. Yes I’m still making amends.

Roots: such a liver ally, and your spleen, stomach, pancreas, kidneys, skin, digestive, urinary, circulatory, immune, and lymphatic systems. Oh roast some Dandelion roots along with some other vegetables and don’t tell your dinner guests.

Leaves: are fantastic for digestion / a wonderful digestive bitter. They are also used as a blood and lymph mover. Oh so important. Also helpful for chronic skin problems, eczema, and acne. Haha now people buy them in the grocery store. Who knew we have been killing free food.

Flowers: while my Grandmother loved to pan-fry them you can add to salads. My favorite is the flower essence of Dandelion which helps with emotions held in the body. It’s great for those hard-driving and over-striving individuals. It helps you relax and connect to the emotional messages and body’s needs. As it eases tension it allows for better flow of life force energy.

This is so my plant!!

I now have dried Dandelion leaf and root and the flower essence of Dandelion in my place all the time.

At the end of the clinic year Paul Bergner, head of our clinical herbalism program, sat in Nature thinking of each of his students and asking Nature for the Spirit Plant for each student. You guessed it, without knowing any of this story, my Spirit Plant is the Dandelion.

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Wendy Warner

Being sick for 18 years changed her life and now Wendy passionately shares about and the power of plants. With a deeply holistic, intuitive approach and decades of experience as a clinical herbalist, Wendy is a delightful story-teller and trusted guide on your journey to vibrant health.

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