Saturday, June 1, 2013

Naturopathic Lawn Care

For many suburbanites, social pressure regarding those bright yellow flowers which relentlessly pop up in their yards drives people to spend a lot of time, effort and unfortunately resort to risky pollutants to eradicate them.

Recently, a salesperson from a popular "lawn care" company knocked on my door and informed me that there were some terrible plants growing in my yard and that he had the cure.  When I asked him to point out which plants he was referring to, he walked me over and pointed, "see this terrible broad leaf plant, we need to get rid of those."  "Taraxacum officinale" I asked?  "You mean Dandelions?"

Yes, it seems like Dandelions are the bane of some people's assistance!  And, the cure according to this salesperson was 2,4D (2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyactic acid) which he didn't know much about other than his company was 28 years old and they would not be able to sell anything that wasn't safe for the public - including his young daughter who he reportedly lets play on the lawn after applying 2,4D. 

Unfortunately, as with most lawn pesticides and herbicides, the track record for 2,4D is not so clear.  In addition to being a major ingredient in Agent Orange, there are several studies indicating cancer risk as well as ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

The Dandelion may be better utilized as a barometer for the internal health of your lawn.  When present, they indicate that your soil is not sick, you are not polluting the groundwater and it is safe to enjoy walking on and touching the grass.  Otherwise, artificial turf seems to become a better option than chemically induced fields of green.

Or, if you really detest the Dandelions, how about eating them?!  After all, they are a tremendously healthy vegetable.  The young leaves in the spring, included in a salad, are part of an excellent cleanse that I often recommend to my patients.  Less healthy, but more tasty, how about Dandelion syrup made from the flowers?

Here is a Recipe:

Start by washing 250grams to 280grams (about two heaped double handfuls) of Dandelion flowers and cut their base to help detach the yellow petals from the green leaves.

In a saucepan, cover the dandelion petals with water 1 Litre of water. Mix well until all petals are covered. Bring slowly to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let infuse in the fridge overnight.

The next day, filter the mixture using a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a pot – be sure to get as much of the liquid as possible.  Add 1kg of raw sugar into the liquid and place the pot on the stove without a lid to simmer on low heat.  Simmer until the liquid is slightly thinner than maple syrup at approximately 219 degrees Fahrenheit (which when cooled will be the same consistency as maple syrup).  Half a sliced lemon may be added when the liquid is nearing the desired consistency.

Remove from heat and store in a glass bottle until the next occasion for use.



Megan said...

I am so happy to have found your blog! I have a personal experience I would like to share with you.

In January 2012 I contracted bacterial Meningitis and almost lost my life. I was put in an isolation room for 10 days and was administered heavy doses of powerful antibiotic through IV every twelve hours. I luckily survived, with no major after-effects aside from minimal memory loss and slight changes in behavior. Since being through that, I have had many infections; ear, throat, bladder, lung, you name it. Of course, all had to be treated with antibiotics. However, I have noticed that now these medicines do not work as optimally as they once did. A few months ago I was put on one weeks worth of antibiotics for another lung infection. After my weeks supply was gone, I noticed barely any change in my symptoms. So, I decided it was time for me to look for a different method. After a quick google search I found a list of herbs that were used to treat tuberculosis way back when it was prevalent, and which are great for encouraging expectoration. I sent my cousin to town while I was at work to look for tea with those herbs. She brought me back a bag with a blend of five of the most effective herbs on my list. After my first cup of tea, I was already feeling better, the tighness in my chest was gone and I could breathe slightly better. after 5 days of drinking the tea as often as I could, my lung infection was completely gone. A few weeks following this, I felt the beginning of a urinary tract infection and went straight to the store that sold the lung tea, where I found cranberry powder and another herbal blend meant to cleanse the kidneys and bladder. Within an hour of drinking the tea and some of the cranberry powder, I already felt relief.
These incidents fueled a burning desire to learn more about natural medicine, and ultimately led me to find my calling in life. I am now making plans to return to school to finish my high school diploma and continue my education to become a naturopathic doctor. I have never been so passionate about something in my life as this new goal and lifestyle change that I am about to undertake.
Again, I thank you for your blog posts and hope to one day make a difference in the world of healthcare, just as you are.

Dr. Richard Mountain said...

Wow Megan, what a story!!

Welcome to the world of integrative and complementary medicine.

By the way, in addition to the herbs you have found, you may want to also seek some advice on specific strains of probiotics to replace gut flora after repeated antibiotic use.

Best in health

Karen said...

You'll have to excuse my ignorance. I was totally unaware that you can eat dandelion leaves, let alone make a syrup as well. I certainly learnt something today.

Moira J said...

Glad to have found your blog - loads of interesting articles as I am interested in natural remedies for healing.

As a gardener I know how irritating it is to have one of those dandelions growing out of place - ie as a weed - in the middle of your paving - they are notoriously difficult to get rid of - so I say just let them flower, enjoy them and remove the seed head before it matures the seeds. At our allotment we get huge flowered dandelions - which I have picked, washed and cooked in a pancake type batter - they are delicious!

John Peter said...

By the way, additionally to the herbs you've got found, you will need to additionally request some recommendation on specific strains of probiotics to exchange gut flora once continual antibiotic use

Gloria Conorou said...

First of all I was not aware that Dandelions can be eaten! But the solution to clear them out of lawn is really interesting and the recipe.Valuable...

Jana Taylor said...

I have heard that you can also eat purslane. This is something that I consider a weed, it seems to love invading my garden. Have you ever tried it? I have not been daring enough to try, never having heard from anyone personally who has experience with it.

Puremedy Fungus Relief said...

I am not expert with this, but I am spraying monthly, a solution containing beneficial soil bacteria and other microbes. And therefore, there are many total strains at all. It comes as a powder and I use an ortho sprayer to apply. This is my first summer and it appears to be making a difference. I would be so glad if I hear your thoughts.

Unknown said...

Hello, I love dandelion, I even love it's musical name , dandelion , it is the best.

Unknown said...

Interesting post! I find neighbours frequently using pesticides to keep pests and weeds under control. However, I am into organic farming and gardening. I even have a roof top where I grow my own organic veggies and certain fruits. I learnt about clean eating and organic food at a naturopathy centre in India where I underwent treatment for my menstrual problems. I learnt about the goodness of fruits and veggies there and the importance of a healthy and balanced diet and how it can impact one's lifestyle. Ever since then, I grow my own produce :)

Unknown said...

Hello, wondering if ground stevia can be used in place of the sugar do you know?

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