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Information about the herb Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale, also known as Blowball is part of the Compositae plant family. Dandelion is a perennial plant growing almost everywhere.  

General Information

Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale

Plant Family: Compositae

Common Names:  Blowball, Cankerwort, Lion’s Tooth, Priest’s Crown, Swine’s Snout, White Endive, Wild Endive 

History: The first mention of Dandelion as a medicine is in the works of the Arabian physicians of the tenth and eleventh centuries and in Welsh medicines of the thirteenth century. 

Its botanical name Taraxacum comes from the Greek taraxos, ‘to stir up or exciten, disorder’, and akos, ‘remedy’

and the name Dandelion comes from the French dent-de-lion, which refers to the toothed shape of the leaves.

Dandelions ‘were placed under the dominion of the Sun’.

Tradition: Some quaint traditions are:

  • To blow the seeds off a ripened head is to carry your thoughts to a loved one, near or far
  • To dream of Dandelion was though to bring ill fortune
  • When a ripened dandelion head falls without the wind’s help it is a sign of rain

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Plant Constituents of Dandelion

Contains:  

  • calcium salts
  • choline (for cholesterol distribution)
  • gluten
  • gum
  • Inulin
  • Laevulin (early in the season)
  • manganese
  • potash 
  • potassium (vital to proper kidney function and muscle tone)
  • sodium
  • sulphur
  • Taraxaceron, acrid resin
  • Taraxacin, crystalline bitter substance
  • uncrystalizable sugar (early in the season)
  • vitamin A (contains more than carrots)
  • vitamin B
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin D

Action:

  • aperient [a mild stimulant for the bowels; a gentle purgative]
  • anti-rheumatic [eases the symptoms of rheumatism]
  • astringent [a binding agent that contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges of mucous and fluid from the body]
  • blood purifier [an agent to purify the blood]
  • cholagogue [an agent for increasing the flow of bile into the intestines]
  • detergent [an agent that cleanses wounds and sores of diseased or dead matter]
  • diuretic [an agent that increases the secretion and expulsion of urine] (an ideally balanced diuretic that may be safely used with great frequency) 
  • laxative [an agent promoting evacuation of the bowels; a mild purgative]
  • stimulant [an agent that excites or quickens the functional activity of the tissues giving more energy]
  • stomachic [an agent that strengthens, stimulates or tones the stomach]
  • sudorific [an agent that promotes or increases perspiration]
  • tonic [an agent that strengthens or invigorates organs or the entire organism]

 

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Usage of Dandelion

Medicinal Parts Used: The whole plant (roots, leaves, stems, flowers) can be used medicinally.

Dandelion has two particularly important uses: 

  • to promote the formation of bile
  • to remove excess water from the body in edemous conditions resulting from liver and/or gallbladder problems

Dandelion root benefits all functions of the liver and especially affects all forms of secretion and excretion from the body. By acting to remove poisons from the body, it acts as a tonic and stimulant and is helpful for:

Blood Conditions

  • purifies the blood

Brain and Nervous System Conditions

  • hypochondria
  • insomnia

Cardiovascular Conditions

  • healthy function of the heart muscle
  • promotes healthy circulation

Dandelion leaves can be used for:

  • fluid retention due to heart problems

Female Conditions

  • premenstrual fluid retention

Dandelion leaves can be used for:

  • premenstrual syndrome

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • dyspepsia with constipation
  • habitual constipation
  • improves appetite
  • improves digestion
  • stimulates sluggish digestion

Genitourinary Conditions

  • reduces uric acid 

Dandelion leaves can be used for:

  • gout
  • urinary infections

Glandular Conditions

  • The Stems are used for
  • glandular swellings

Inflammatory Conditions

  • arthritis

Dandelion leaves can be used for:

  • chronic rheumatism

Liver Conditions

  • clears obstructions in the liver and kidneys (such as stones)
  • cholesterol distribution
  • detoxifies poisons that have accumulated in the liver, spleen, and gall bladder
  • gallstones
  • hepatic complaints in warm climates
  • liver problems
  • jaundice
  • reduces cholesterol

Viral Conditions

  • inhibits the hepatitis virus

Other

  • acne (good when combined with Stinging Nettle)   
  • a slimming device
  • detoxifies poisons that have accumulated in the spleen
  • disorders of the spleen
  • fever
  • metabolic disturbances

Dandelion leaves can be used for:

  • stiff joints

Dandelion when used both internally and externally:

  • brightens the eyes
  • helps clear skin eruptions
  • helps eczema
  • helps itchy, scaly rashes
  • clears yellow skin

Externally:

The Stems:

The juice from a broken leaf stem can be applied to:

  • corns
  • warts and allowed to dry (use for 3 days or so to dry up the warts)

Other Uses:

  • herb beers
  • roasted and used like Coffee (roots)
  • salad greens (young, fresh leaves)

Dosage:

Recommended dosage is as follows:

  • 20-40mL per week of 1:2 fluid extract

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Precautions

Drug Interactions:

Do not use Dandelion without first talking to your health practitioner if using any of the following medications:

  • None Known

Products

Global Herbal Supplies has Dandelion available in the following forms

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Research

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