Dandelion Herbal use and Medicinal Properties
The whole plant is used as a
medicinal herb internally and externally.
The fresh juice of Dandelion is
applied externally to fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The plant has an
antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus,
pneumococci, meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae,
proteus. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns
Dandelion is also used for the
treatment of the gall bladder, kidney and urinary disorders, gallstones,
jaundice, cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, dyspepsia with constipation, edema associated with
high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint and skin complaints, gout, eczema
and acne. As a tonic, Dandelion strengthens the kidneys. An infusion
of the root encourages the steady elimination of toxins from the body. Dandelion
is a powerful diuretic but does not deplete the body of potassium.
Research is revealing that the many constituents
of Dandelion including Taraxacin, Taraxacoside, Inulin, Phenolic acids, Sesquiterpene lactones,
Triterpenes, Coumarins, Catortenoids and Minerals, mainly Potassium and calcium, are very
valuable in curing a number of disorders and illnesses. Dandelion is traditionally used as a tonic and
blood purifier, for constipation, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, eczema and
liver dysfunction, including liver conditions such as hepatitis and jaundice.
When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the
flowers and leaves of Dandelion release ethylene gas ripening the fruit quickly. A liquid plant food is
made from the root and leaves. A dark red dye is obtained from Dandelion root. A cosmetic skin
lotion made from the appendages at the base of the leaf blades distilled in water,
is used to clear the skin and is effective in fading freckles.
Dandelion is a perennial herb
thought to be introduced from Europe and Asia. It is now naturalized throughout the
Northern Hemisphere. No one is sure exactly how the dandelion has spread so widely, and
there is some debate on the origin of the plant.
Dandelion is found growing in
pastures, lawns, waste ground, sand, rocks, even cracks in concrete. From a
thick, long, tap root, dark brown outside, white and milky white inside,
grow long jaggedly toothed leaves, shiny, dark to light green and growing in
the shape of a rosette close to the ground. A purplish flower-stalks rise
straight from the center, it is leafless, smooth, hollow and bears a single
bright golden yellow, furry looking flower which blooms almost anytime of
the year. When mature the seed in the flowers heads are round and fuzzy,
carried by the wind to be germinated where ever they land.
How to Grow
Dandelion is a very easily
grown plant, it succeeds in most soils. It becomes quite large when cultivation, the
leaves reaching a foot or more in length. Dandelion is often cultivated as an edible salad
crop and as a medicinal herb plant.
History and Folklore
In Derbyshire, the juice of the Dandelion
stalk is applied to remove warts.
Harvest and Use Information
Gather edible leaves and flowers anytime, roots in spring. Dry for
later medicinal herb use.
Used as medicinal and edible, the
Dandelion is very nutritious, having more vitamins and minerals than most vegetables, it
has a long history of use as a food in many countries. The young leaves are less bitter,
and flowers are eaten raw in salads, all leaves also cooked or boiled as a pot herb,
flowers are often dipped in batter and fried, dried roots are used as a coffee substitute.
Herbal Wine is made from fermented flowers said by
some to be very flavorful and medicinal.
More Dandelion recipes from Mountain Breeze
Dandelion Herbal Tea: 2 oz. of the dried herb or root in 1
quart of water, boiled for 30 min. take in ½ cup doses every 3 hours for stomach, kidney,
gallbladder, and liver problems. Used as spring tonic.
Article by Deb Jackson & Karen
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