Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Yard Is Green...with Dandelion Leaves

Thanks to the much cooler weather, rain, and my lax front yard maintenance schedule, the dandelions are all abloom in my yard. Thankfully, my neighbors do not seem to mind.  I do not mind either; dandelions are my favorite flower.  They are so useful.

Every morning you can find me outside with a bowl picking the day's crop of greens.  It's the best kind of vegetable garden, growing with absolutely no meddling from me. To be honest, I would probably mess it up anyway.

Dandelion leaves have long been known to be good for rabbits.  My rabbits go crazy for them. Feeding greens is a part of my anti-woolblock regime. 

Most of the information I could find about dandelions refers to human consumption, but it probably isn't too far off base for rabbits either. Here are some interesting facts about the little dandelion leaf.
  •  Dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value.  
  • Dandelions leaves are a diuretic. I did not know this, but find it interesting. 
  • The dandelion's scientific name, Taraxacum officinalis, means disorder remedy of pharmaceutical value 
  •  There is a website out there totally devoted to dandelions, http://mydandelionisaflower.org
The rabbits really enjoy their treat and I get a bit of exercise. 

Sources:
 USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984)

 Clare BA, Conroy RS, Spelman K. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):929-34.

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