Scientific: Taraxacum officinal [WikiPedia]
glycosides, triterpenoids, tannins, volatile oils, inulin, vitamins A, B
complex, C, Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus,
Potassium, Protein, Selenium, Silicon, Sodium, Zinc.
Appearance: Dandelion is a
perennial herb with a long, brown taproot. The leaves are jagged and
pointy. They grow close to the ground and outward from a central point.
They are a dark green on the edges and a lighter green towards the
centre. The stems are light green to a dark reddish purple. The flowers
are a bright yellow on the outside to a dark orange in the centre. When
the flowers are mature, they turn into a white puffball of seeds that
scatter everywhere when the wind blows. The scattered seeds sprout into
new plants. Every part of the dandelion exudes a milky substance when it
Parts Used: All
Common Uses: Dandelion has
both medical and culinary uses. Dandelion greens are one of the most
nutritious greens available. One cup of raw greens has:
Dandelion is also a good source of beta carotene,
lutein, vitamin H, which has been proven to help weight loss, and over
two dozen other nutrients. Dandelion greens add colour and texture to
salads, stir-fry, and soups. The greens are the leaves. It is best to
harvest them in early spring, well before the last frost is expected.
They need to be gathered before the flowers bloom or they will be
bitter. The best time is when the leaves have just emerged.
The root is also used for culinary purposes. It can
be added to soups or ground up and roasted to make a drink like coffee
without the negative side effects. The root of the dandelion is full of
vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, including inulin, which is
helpful in controlling diabetes.
Dandelion herb has been associated with improving
liver function and liver diseases such as hepatitis and jaundice. It is a
strong diuretic that does not deplete potassium in the body. It has
been shown to improve both constipation and diarrhoea. It purifies the
blood, cleanses the digestive system, removes heavy metals from body
tissues, and can help dissolve kidney stones. It has been shown to help
weight loss, cure acne, lower high blood pressure, cure anaemia, lower
serum cholesterol levels, reduce acid indigestion and gas, improve some
cancers, and help control diabetes all with no negative side effects.
The dandelion herb is full of so many vitamins, minerals and
micronutrients that alone might be the reason it is so beneficial in so
many different areas.
Nutrients: The chief
constituents of Dandelion root are Taraxacin, acrystalline and
Taraxacerin, an acrid resin, with Inulin (a sort of sugar which replaces
starch in many of the Dandelion family, Compositae), gluten, gum and
potash. It contains substantial levels of vitamins A, C, D, B-complex,
iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, choline, calcium and boron.
Alternatives and Adjuncts: Liver and digestive problems, consider milk thistle, burdock, yellow dock, marshmallow, chickweed or Oregon grape.
Topic Specific Research:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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