A few herbal remedy images I found:
Image by brian glanz
The humble prairie dandelion is regarded by most modern American backyard makers as an invasive weed and enemy of cultivation. In my yard — as above — I let a few dandelions grow in a patch of long grasses, as a reminder of why and how early Americans made their way here to Cascadia.
When American pioneers were settling this frontier, the dandelion was not a nuisance, it was a life saver. Prairie dandelions’ yellow were a sign of settlement that could be seen from great distances. It showed other pioneers which land was taken, or where they could go for help or company. Dandelion greens were a source of desperately needed nutrition after long winters.
American independence was declared 232 years ago today. Then and for a long time after, American pioneers carried dandelion seeds on their journey from sea to shining sea. In spring time, it was typically a chore for young pioneer girls to collect dandelions. They were not only nutritious food but also used in herbal remedies.
The type of dandelion shown here was brought from Europe and spread by pioneers, but it was used by many Native Americans, too. The Cherokee drank a dandelion tea to calm nerves and the Iroquois chewed dandelion greens like gum for nutrition.
Let the simple but storied dandelion remind us: America must reclaim our pioneering spirit and our humility.
Post not related to The Dandelion Collective, "a Seattle based group of artists, programmers and thinkers using new media to help understand our world," and "Dedicated to the positive and creative use of technology." … although it looks like they could use some new material 🙂