One of those curious bits of information I stored in my mind once was the apparent connection–as far as occupational health hazards are concerned–between iron workers and potters. It might even explain my periodic craving for eating dandelions. Could it possibly be more than thirst and the heat of smelters or kilns that made author Audrey Wynne-Hatfield (Enjoy Your Weeds) call dandelion beer “the drink most favored in the past in iron foundries and potteries”
Dandelions have been known since ancient times as a tonic to the body’s system and as a remedy for many ailments. They are recognized as a blood builder and purifier; they stimulate the entire system, the liver, digestive organs, especially the kidneys and bladder. They are higher than most fruit or vegetables in vitamins A and C, as well as in vitamins B, C and E. They contain sodium, potassium and magnesium salts, chlorine, as well as large amounts of calcium, copper and iron. They are a diuretic and mild laxative.
Dandelions are used for treatment of anemia caused by a deficiency of nutritive salts. And iron deficiency anemia is known to play a role in susceptibility to manganism. A body system low in iron seems to be more likely to absorb manganese than one with a sufficient iron supply. So, when a sudden urge hits you to eat dandelion fritters and quench your thirst with a bottle of dandelion wine, or to dig into a bowl of dandelion greens, take the hint. I don’t think it can do any harm and it may be your body is telling you something!