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The Dandelion & Other Good Things We're Taught Not to Love

As the lush growth of spring expanded all around us, the concept of weeds was something I found myself pondering. "Our yard is so vibrant and alive!" I thought, gazing at the first cheery blooms of dandelions resembling sunshine. The first bees and butterflies had found us, and I treasured being a haven for these happy pollinators flitting from the golden yellow dandelion flowers to the bluebells and lilac blooms.


I recalled being my daughter's age and picking handfuls of dandelion bouquets to give my mom. They were the most beautiful and happy thing I could find to gift and I treasured her excitement at receiving such a heartfelt gift. This same experience was being repeated, though this time I was the mother. Our children were joyfully picking dandelions from the yard to bring me, giant grins on their faces. As we walked to the park later that day I noticed several individuals in the neighborhood with entirely different expressions on their faces. They were spraying the very blooms our children and local pollinators were just celebrating.


If you're someone who enjoys a well-manicured lawn, I get it. This isn't a bashing-of-grass-lawns kind of post. This is an invitation to consider why we believe what we believe.


Let's take dandelions for example. Most of us were taught to believe they are "bad"... an annoying weed that detracts from the beauty of one's yard. But why? Why were we taught that a naturally occurring plant was of more harm than the unnatural chemicals that pollute our water systems? Let's consider the plant itself.


The dandelion is considered one of the best herbal remedies of kidney and liver complaints. All parts of the plant can be used medicinally, from the root and flowers being used in tea as a tonic with strong diuretic properties, aiding in digestions, liver disorders, rheumatism, and arthritis. Pressed juice from the stalks or leave can cure warts, and the young leaves can be eaten raw in a spring salad rich in vitamins A, B, and C. The flowers can be boiled with sugar for coughs or made into wine. The roots can also be roasted and ground for a caffeine free coffee substitute. And these are just the benefits to humans!



From being among the first blooms to offer sustenance to life-giving bees, to the dandelion's ability to enrich compacted soil through aeration and reduce erosion, they're beneficial to more than just human wellness. They have a long taproot that we may consider a pain to dig out of our gardens, but this root also draws nutrients such as calcium up further in the soil to be available for other plants including lawn grasses.


Spiritually, these plants are the only kind to represent the sun, moon, and stars all together in one. The sun is most apparent as its bright golden blossoms, giving life to the many creatures that feed on its nectar. The moon is represented with the silver orb of of fluff when it goes to seed, and the stars can be witnessed in the wind as those seeds are scattered upon the breeze. This balance of representation also brings a visual to the balance of masculine and feminine energy, for both are equally needed to create new life.


What if instead of being taught that these are "bad" plants or somehow wrong for growing where they do, we were taught to appreciate them for their many benefits? This is just one example of a natural living thing that we as a society deemed unworthy of appreciation. Consider how often spiders get squished and screamed at as they do no harm. They are simply creating little webbed homes in unbothered corners and attempting to eat bugs that can actually be harmful to us and spread diseases, such as mosquitoes.


I suppose I empathize with the dandelion, and other creatures too often dismissed or spoken poorly about just for existing as themselves. Growing up I didn't understand why my spiritual beliefs seemed to make me feel as though I was the weed. And as much as I may try, I couldn't force myself to grow in tall, smooth blades. I saw the beauty of their lush green, but felt different. Then as a college student studying Health Sciences, I knew that the healing work I was here to foster was different. Once again my blossoms didn't quite fit in with my fellow classmates bound for nursing or medical school.


It took self-discovery of my own "medicinal uses" and learning how to use them for me to recognize that I wasn't just a misplaced weed. Spending time with those who saw my value and supported my growth, cheering me on as I bloomed reminded me that I was worthy of love just as I am.


My friend, if you're feeling as though you are a dandelion weed struggling to be seen and appreciated for who you are, know that you are of great value. Not only because what you do for others, but because of who you are. After all, the dandelion doesn't measure itself based on the plants it grows around... it spreads its leaves, raises its stalk to the sky, and blooms toward the light.


golden dandelion blooming in yard

Enjoy this poem of inspiration:


Some may have you convinced

You're a weed

For they fear your ability

To release and spread seed


Of beauty, sunshine, and love

Upon their manicured lawn

Which has been groomed immaculately

To appear perfect

Diversity gone


For a world that is well

We need more than one grass

For the bees and the butterflies

And birds as they pass


You're not meant to be full

Of just one thing

For within you, you hold

All the unique blossoms of spring


Don't let them tell you

Your blooms don't belong

Your flowers are perfect

Not less than or wrong


For too many wish to eradicate

What they don't understand

The healing medicine you're capable

Of spreading across this land



The dandelion has no fear

Settling in hardened ground

Softening the soil

By existing in joy, so profound


What one may walk past

And turn up their noses

Fresh eyes will find beautiful

As the finest of roses


If you're feeling full

Of uncertainty, self-doubt

And growth to blossom feels hard

Remember there's nothing wrong with you

You may just belong in a different yard


Written with love, by Ashley Kay Andy


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I'm a writer, energy healer, and plant-obsessed meditating mama on a mission of guiding women to Heal & Rise! For more about my story...

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