This weed is much more than just a pesky plant. 

While the dandelion may be considered a weed, home gardeners should think twice before discarding this small flowering plant. Long used as an herbal remedy in both Native American and Eastern medicine to treat everything from kidney disease to upset stomach, the dandelion is high in essential minerals like potassium, magnesium and zinc, as well as B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene and vitamin C.

As a natural diuretic, the dandelion can also help improve kidney and liver function and lower blood pressure. Although the entire dandelion is edible, we prefer the root, which can be taken in supplement form or as an herbal tea whose slightly bitter taste has led some to use it as a caffeine-free coffee substitute.