Preparation and dosage: Tincture: take 1 teaspoon, 3 x daily. Capsules: take 2 caps, 3 x daily. Tea: blend 1 or 2 teaspoonful of the herb into 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. Drink 3 x daily.
Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) Cut and Sifted Bulk
Asteraceae (Daisy Family)
Opinions differ on the origin of dandelion's genus name, Taraxacum. Some believe that it derives from the Persian talkh chakok, "bitter herb." Others propose that it derives from the Greek taraxos, "disorder," and akos, "remedy." Still others believe it could be derived from the Greek taraxia, "eye disorder," and akeomai, "to cure," as the plant was traditionally used as a remedy for eyes. The common name dandelion derives from the French dent de lion, "tooth of the lion," in reference to the jagged shape of the leaves.
Range of Appearance
Dandelion is a native of Eurasia but is now naturalized in many regions around the world. Growing from 2 to 18 inches high, the plant has a hollow, unbranching stem with a basal rosette of shiny, hairless, coarsely toothed green leaves that are broader toward the top. The teeth are usually downward directed. A plant bears a single yellow flower, which is actually composed of many tiny bisexual florets. Each floret has five tiny teeth on its edge. Dandelion has one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant, and when a warm spell occurs in an off-season, it is not unusual to see dandelion in flower. Beneath the flower is a green calyx with downward curving outer bracts. The seeds develop as achenes bearing a feathery pappus; they are dispersed by the wind, often as many as five miles from their origin. In addition to Taraxacum officinale, there are more than one hundred and fifty useful species, including T. magellanicum, T. erythrosperum (red-seeded dandelion), T. autumnalis (fall dandelion or hawkbit), T. ceratophorum (horned dandelion), T. eriophorum and T. scopulorum (both known as Rocky Mountain dandelion), T. ceratophyllum (tundra dandelion), and T. lyratum (dwarf alpine dandelion).
Dandelion is one of the planet's most famous and useful weeds. This wonderful plant is a blood purifier that aids in the process of filtering and straining wastes from the bloodstream. It cools heat and clears infection from the body. It is especially useful in treating obstructions of the gallbladder, liver, pancreas, and spleen. Dandelion is also used to help clear the body of old emotions such as anger and fear. Women who are pregnant will find it useful in preventing edema and hypertension. The leaf aids in the elimination of uric acid and is used primarily for liver, kidney, and bladder concerns. It can be used to treat amenorrhea, anemia, anorexia, appetite loss, arthritis, bedwetting, breast cancer, breast tenderness, bronchitis, candida, colitis, congestive heart failure, cysts, debility, diabetes, dropsy, dyspepsia, edema, endometriosis, fatigue, flatulence, gallstones, hangover, high cholesterol, hypertension, hypochondria, insomnia, kidney stones, mastitis, mononucleosis, muscular rheumatism, nervousness, obesity, poison oak and ivy, prostatitis, rashes, rheumatism, scrofula, scurvy, sinusitis, spleen enlargement, stomachache, tonsillitis, ulcers, urinary tract infection, and uterine fibroids. The root is used primarily for problems related to the liver, spleen, stomach, and kidneys. It is used to treat abscess, acne, age spots, alcoholism, allergies, anorexia, appetite loss, arthritis, boils, breast cancer, breast tenderness, bronchitis, candida, chickenpox, cirrhosis, colitis, congestive heart failure, constipation, cysts, depression, diabetes, dizziness, dyspepsia, eczema, endometriosis, fatigue, flatulence, gallstones, gout, hangover, hayfever, headache, heartburn, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hypochondria, hypoglycemia, jaundice, kidney stones, mastitis, measles, mononucleosis, morning sickness, mumps, obesity, osteoarthritis, ovarian cysts, poison oak and ivy, premenstrual syndrome, prostatitis, psoriasis, rashes, rheumatism, sinusitis, spleen enlargement, tonsillitis, tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers, uterine fibroids, varicose veins, and venereal warts. Dandelion flowers are used to treat backache, depression, headache, menstrual cramps, and night blindness. Topically, the flowers can be used as a healing poultice for wounds. The sap from the fresh stem can be applied to warts to get rid of them. The leaf can be made into a wash to treat fungal infections.
Dandelion is considered one of the five most nutritious vegetables on Earth. The young leaves, gathered before the flower stalk achieves full height and the flowers have not yet formed, may be eaten raw, used as a potherb, or juiced. The young flowers, with the green sepals removed, have a sweet, honeylike flavor and can be eaten raw. The root can be cleaned and prepared like carrots or pickled. The roots are sometimes roasted and used as a coffee substitute. Dandelion wine and beer are most enjoyable.
Dandelion is one of the bitter herbs of the Passover tradition. It is an excellent herb for weight loss as the leaves are diuretic and the root improves fat metabolism.
Dandelion is generally regarded as safe, even in large amounts and even during pregnancy. However, as is the case with any plant, there is always a possibility of an allergic reaction. There have been a very few cases reported of abdominal discomfort, loose stools, nausea, and heartburn associated with dandelion. The fresh latex of the plant can cause contact dermatitis in some sensitive individuals. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner prior to using dandelion in cases of obstructed bile duct or gallstones. Some individuals that have gastric hyperacidity may find that excessive use of dandelion leaf aggravates the condition.
Plant details were provided by iPlant by Brigitte Mars.