The ubiquitous dandelions have been well known to mankind since ancient times, because these seemingly ordinary flowers have a number very useful features. But, of course, most of us know them from childhood, when it’s so fun to blow off their fluffy seeds and watch them fly in the wind. But ancient scientists quickly recognized the healing properties of this plant, and learned how to use it in medicine. However, these flowers can boast of a really wide range of their uses.
Interesting facts about dandelions
- The dandelions we are used to are quite officially called «medicinal», since it is they have been used in folk medicine for many centuries.
- The roots of some dandelion species contain rubber, which is why these species were once bred to produce rubber. Then rubber trees were forced out, but now developments are underway to produce rubber from dandelion juice.
- When a bee stings, the milky juice of a dandelion relieves pain and swelling (interesting facts about bees).
- On one dandelion head has about 200 fluffy seeds, and their total number from a bush can reach 7000.
- Dandelion petals are used to make jam and wine.
- Dandelions can be used to keep track of time. At dawn, around six in the morning, these flowers open, and close at three in the afternoon, to within a few minutes.
- In China, dandelion is called a vegetable, because here it is often used to prepare various dishes.
- Roasted common dandelion roots are used to make a drink that can serve as a substitute for coffee.
- Dandelion is a very popular food in Italy. In many restaurants, you can find dandelion dishes on the menu, which are even served at celebrations. For locals, this flower is considered a delicacy (interesting facts about Italy).
- Getting rid of dandelions is not easy – this plant has amazing regeneration abilities, and can restore the population even from part of a badly damaged root system.
- In the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains there is an unusual species of dandelions, with purple petals.
- Dandelion has long been used as food by various peoples, it was used by both the Indians and the first colonists in North America (interesting facts about North America).
- In the United States, Ohio, Dandelion Day is celebrated every first Saturday in May. On this day, people decorate their clothes with dandelions and prepare various dishes from these flowers.
- In the Belgian city of Oi, beer is brewed from dandelions. Here, these flowers are even added to pate.
- Dandelion is also widely popular in folk cosmetics: a mask of its fresh leaves nourishes, moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin, and an infusion of flowers whitens freckles and age spots.
- Dandelions, of which there are over a thousand “small” species and about seventy so-called “large” ones, are distributed everywhere, with the exception of high mountain regions and arctic latitudes.