Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dandelions 2010

According to Edible Weeds, by James a Duke, (1992, pg 7) soy-lecithin has been found to prevent cirrhosis in gorillas.  If lecithin does have the ability to cleanse the liver, then the dandelion should indeed be revered, not poisoned killed, dug up or despised.

Those glorious fields of yellow that children so adore, for only a short time in the spring, should be celebrated.

Indeed, after looking up some links on the efficacy of lecithin in relation to liver health, it seems to be a rather well-known hero.

I know my chickens will wander the yard, first devouring the yellow heads fast and furiously.  Later, they seem to tire of them and walk past them.  A while later, when the yellow heads have turned to fluffy white seed heads, the chickens will once again wander around the yard plucking one white head after another, consuming what seems like to me, copious amounts of this fluffy, stick-to-your-tongue stuff. In fact, just two days ago I watched the largest of my roosters walk past the yellow flowers in favour of the new, fluffy, white seeds. And interesting turn of events, to be sure.

Latin NameTaraxacum officinale


Some testing may catch a chrysanthemum allergy but miss a dandelion allergy.
All were positive to dandelion extracts but only 2 reacted to the sesquiterpene-lactone-mix. Although the mix is a useful screening test for chrysanthemum dermatitis, it may miss dandelion allergy..."

Here's a great note not just on the different forms purchaseable but how to pick and use it right from your own yard.


An article I found at the Plant Physiology site talks about the herbicide 2,4-D (author Lowell W. Rasmussen: 1946) and how it kills dandelions by reducing the sugars and affecting protein-nitrogen ratio.

For lay people like us, it does make one wonder about these herbicides being ingested from fields that have been sprayed with this chemical in order to increase the 'food' output of the field.  I speak to so many people who do not process sugars very well.  Are our systems so full of these chemicals that skew proper sugar 'shifting' within our bodies?

Of course I always stand by my opinion that we are eating far to many sugars anyway... all studies I've seen indicates that the consumption of complex sugars has increased multi-fold (different ratios depending upon the study).  And in more vegetarian Asian populations, (China, India) Type II diabetes is on the rise even in younger children... as it is here in North America... but more so in other countries.

WHO Obesity
"...obesity rates that have risen three-fold or more since 1980 in some areas of North America, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and China..."

"...The obesity epidemic is not restricted to industrialized societies; this increase is often faster in developing countries than in the developed world... (bolding is mine)

Grain Consumption
Honestly, rice is probably my favourite grain.  But I know that some rices actually sit higher on the glycemic index than table sugar.  Jasmine rice, my absolute favourite is saved only for my birthday and no other time of year because if I eat too much of it, which invariable I do because it's so delicious, I will end up with a general kind of headache that I've come to associate with consuming too much sugar.

Grain production boosts GDP.  So is the big whole whole-grain push coming more from economic sources but via a manipulated health angle?  Not a popular question, I know.  But someone's got to ask it, might as well be me, I guess...

So there you have it.  All that knowledge just from thinking about dandelions. :)


Some extra personal notes:

More information on 2,4-D.
24d Website

Notes:  This is not a slam on the makers of 2,4-D.  Really, it's the consumers who drive the fact that we, humans as a single entity, decide what we do to this planet.  There may be some really good things about using 2,4-D.

However, this article is about dandelions and why we shouldn't kill them on such grand scales.  These thoughts, invariably, lead to question what we are doing to our planet and our bodies.

It's supply and demand folks.  Don't blame the suppliers.

Example, I sell cookies.  I like cookies.  I think everybody needs cookies sometimes.  I don't think people should consume them as much as they do but it doesn't mean cookies, or me are inherently evil.  It means that humans often have issues with usage abuse.  Do you want me to start controlling what you decide to put in your kitchen cupboards by limiting cookie access?  Didn't think so. ;D.

Start demanding something and businesses/humans will develop/sell it.  Because that's the way we work.

So don't take the sales pitch, from me or anyone else... because I survive partly due to cookie sales.  Look up the information.  Get both sides.  Think for yourself:  Do I really need to buy/ingest this stuff?  Would something else be better for me to consume?  Each of us needs to be responsible for ourselves.

:Kim steps off soapbox:

AL: Plant Chemistry: Table of Contents

If you can't click on the plant, it's because I haven't written the note yet but am collecting information so as to write the note a.s.a.p.  Why do I do this?  Because sometimes I come across something so amazing about a plant, that I want people to know, right away, that it's worth looking into that plant.

As always, allergies and sensitivities must be accounted for.  If you have a sensitivity to one plant.  I suggest that you avoid the family.  Or continue with caution under the guidance of a personal medical practitioner.

Scroll down to the bottom for a book list and reviews that I will build as I can eek out the time for it.



Book Reviews 

Edible Weeds by James a Duke (1992)

     I really like him because he doesn't just copy what other people say.  Even if someone else says that a plant is toxic, he'll still try it.  As a result, he notes that others publish high toxicity and he publishes what happened when he ate it.  Of course that would appeal to me, a person who's always creating new experiments to pursue. :)