Comments and Queries:
John Parkinson wrote in Theatricum botanicun, (1640) about the lowly dandelion: “It wonderfully openeth the uritoric parts, causing abundance of urine, not only in children whose meseraical veins are not sufficiently strong to containe the quantitie of urine drawne in the night, but that then without restraint or keeping backe they water their beds, but in those of old age also upon stopping or yeelding small quantitie of urine.” I remember, as a child being told that if I smelled a dandelion I would wet the bed — now I know why!
“There are four or five Species of this Genus, which grow naturally in the Fields, so are not cultivated in the Gardens; but some People in the Spring gather the Roots out of the Fields, and blanch them in their Gardens for a Sallad Herb; however, as they are not cultivated, I shall forbear saying any Thing more of them, than that they are very bad Weeds both in Gardens and Fields, so should be rooted out before their Seeds are ripe.”. so says Phillip Miller in The Gardener’s Dictionary, 7th ed. (1759). He continues: “Early in the spring, whilst the leaves are hardly unfolded, they are not bad ingredients in salads. The French eat the roots, and the leaves blanched, with bread and butter. Its diuretic effects have given it a vulgar name, not only in England, but other European nations”.
Source: ‘Colonial Gardens’, by Rudy F. Favretti and Gordon P. DeWolf, Barre Publishers, Barre, MA 1972
Submitted by Hazel Dickfoss.