Did you know that dandelions are fully edible? Both the roots and leaves are considered to be a mildly bitter vegetable. In many parts of the world, primarily in Asia and Europe dandelions are regularly eaten and part of the traditional cooking. Not only that, dandelions are good for you! One cup of chopped dandelion greens contains 428 mcg (535% DV) of Vitamin K, 5588 IU (112% DV) of Vitamin A, 19.3 mg (32% DV) of Vitamin C, and 1.9 mg (9% DV) of Vitamin E. One cup also contains 103 mg (10% DV) of calcium, 1.7 mg (9% DV) of iron, and 1.5 g of protein (See the complete nutritional data and information at http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts /vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2441/2). Boiling rinsed dandelion flower petals and adding some sugar, citrus slices and yeast to the strained liquid make dandelion wine. If you roast the roots and grind them, you can make a dandelion coffee which is caffeine-free. Finally, you should know that dandelion has been used since ancient times in the preparation of medicines. Modern herbal pharmacology books identify several uses for some of the active compounds found in the petals, leaves and roots; still used today as an herbal remedy in Europe, North America, and China.
I only bring this up because I mowed my lawn on Thursday and I have an overabundance of dandelions. We buy and apply, or pay someone else to apple a variety of fertilizers, and weed control products for the primary purpose of removing these plants from my yard. But imagine how pretty it could look to have a yard full of dandelions. They would bloom in early spring, and throughout the summer and early fall you could see waves of green, yellow and white across your lawn—and pretty soon across the lawns of all of your neighbors. Sometimes I wonder if God actually wants me to have a lawn full of dandelions? After all, they grow and spread without any trouble, while plain green grass takes a ton of work!
I think we can learn a few great lessons from dandelions. One, it is amazing how much we spend to try and get rid of a plant that is good for us, good for the environment and has so many versatile uses. You know, I haven’t even mentioned the benefit dandelions are to birds, gardening, and even the tire manufacturing industry! Go ahead and google some of those. Similar to how many approach life—we don’t want what is good for us. We eat junk food instead of vegetables, fast food instead of home-cooked food, and watch TV instead of reading, studying our bibles or exercising. Two, when you leave a little bit of the root, a dandelion will regrow. If you don’t remove them as soon as you find them they will spread. This is a lot like sin. Little sins, untended will get bigger and spread—one of the reasons Jesus is thought to be overly dramatic by some, when he said cut off your hand and pluck out your eye! (Matthew 5:29-30)