Dandelion is an amazing nutritious wild edible! Some see dandelion as a noxious weed and try to poison it, but it is amazing medicinal food that has gentle but deep action that detoxifies and nourishes. Dandelion is one of the best supporting herbs for the liver and kidneys, which are important organs for detoxification.
Dandelion is medicinally used in Western Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. The West mainly uses it as a digestive bitter stimulant, diuretic, detoxicant and to restore the liver. It is prized in the Orient for its anti-inflammatory properties that treat acute and chronic infections. In Ayurvedic pharmacology the focus is on the bitter salty taste that drains and detoxifies.
Dandelion is a liver, kidney tonic that is well suited to treat toxicity related conditions including liver toxicity, chronic skin, joint and rheumatic conditions. It has demonstrated anti-tumour action in vitro and has proven anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, diuretic and cholagogue/choleretic properties.
Dandelion is a diuretic that helps to drain fluid and pulls toxins out through the urine. Its bitter taste stimulates digestive secretions such as bile and enzymes and it enhances the quality and quantity of bile helping to digest and break down fats. Its sweet taste due to inulin content restores liver and pancreatic function. The root has a high mineral content that gives it its salty taste that regulates and detoxifies fluids.
It is a well-rounded remedy that treats both deficiency and excess conditions and brings balance, nourishment and detoxification. If more people ate dandelions instead of pouring poison on them the world would be a healthier place.
Every part of dandelion is edible and used medicinally.
The root roasted and ground makes a good caffeine-free coffee substitute drink and still maintains many properties after roasting, grinding and decocting. The root is also decocted or tinctured fresh or dried.
The young leaves eaten raw in salads, as steamed greens or mixed in a stir-fry. 1 cup of raw dandelion leaves is more nutritious than 1 cup of broccoli.
The flowers are high in nutritive antioxidants and are edible raw in salads or cooked as fritters and made into wine, tea or tincture.
The stem has milky white latex inside that removes warts when applied frequently topically.
Dandelion root: picked in the fall or spring from second year or older plants when the larger leaves have died back in November or in early spring when the leaves are small in March or April.
The leaves are an option to add with the root tincture or make it separately. Both the leaves and root work on the kidneys and liver but the small difference is that the leaves have more action on the kidneys because of the higher potassium content and the root has more action on the liver.
|Latin Name||Taraxacum officinale|
|Family||Asteraceae (Aster Family)|
|Parts Used||Perennial/ the second year, older root picked in fall or early spring root, leaves, flowers|
|Target Organs||digestion, intestines, stomach, urinary, kidneys, liver/gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, blood, fluids, skin|
|Common Uses||Antioxidant Nutritive culinary medicine
Digestion: bitter digestive tonic, laxative, inflammation, hemorrhoids
Urinary: tonic, urinary infections, gout, arthritis, muscular rheumatism, edema,
Liver: tonic, congestion, cirrhosis, gallstones, inflammation, jaundice,
high cholesterol, high blood fats
chronic skin conditions, acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis,
obesity, fatigue, metabolic disorders
|Properties||Antibacterial, antifungal, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antilithic, antineoplastic, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiulcerogenic, antiviral, aperient, appetite stimulant, astringent, bitter, cholagogue, choleretic, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic in large doses, secretolytic expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, hypocholesterolemic, hypolipidemic, immune stimulant, lymphatic, nervine, pancreatic, relaxant, sialagogue, spleenic, stomachic, tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary|
|Constituents||Bitter glycosides, triterpenoids, bitter resin, gum, phytosterols, fatty acids, tannins, essential oil, inulin, levulin, saponin, enzyme, citric acid,
Minerals: potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, iron.
Vitamins A,C, carotenoids, choline, niacin, (mannitol in spring root)
|Cautions||Avoid during pregnancy and with diuretic, liver medications|
|Dosage||Fresh or Dried Tincture: 2-5ml Decoction 6-16g|