Have you heard the song that begins, “How many dandelions this year will grow”? The answer would have to be billions for fields and yards turn yellow in the spring with dandelion flowers. Most people just consider dandelion to be a nuisance. It most likely will be more welcome to you by the time you finished reading this article.
It is officially Taraxacum officinale but commonly called dandelion. The name comes from the French words ‘dent de lion,’ that mean ‘lion’s tooth.’ This is a reference to the jagged-edged leaves. Dandelion in your yard is identical to the herb with so many benefits. Let’s see what some of them are.
Though the leaves are used in the most diverse ways, all the dandelion plant has healthful benefits – including the dandelion roots. A few uses for the flowers include making wine, syrup, and jam. They are used in cooking (dandelion flower cookies?), and are made into an oil to rub on sore joints. The dandelion roots can be roasted and ground to make a type of root coffee, or be eaten as a vegetable.
Dandelion Leaf is rich in sodium, calcium, vitamins A and C, iron, and beta-carotene. The bitter flavoring it gives to salads leads some to believe that dandelion might have been one of the “bitter herbs” mentioned in the Bible. Some enjoy cooking them like spinach. The best leaves are those first ones in the spring that appear before the plant flowers.
Dandelion Leaf is very effective as a body and blood purifier. It cleanses and increases the output of the liver. It also increases the flow of bile into the small intestine and boosts the effectiveness of the pancreas and spleen. Because of this, it is used to treat hepatitis, yellow jaundice, and other liver related problems. This means it also helps with some types of anemia. When a person loses weight, acids can build up in their system; dandelion will destroy these acids. It will also help to lower blood pressure, and build greater endurance.
Some herbs are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women. Dandelion on the other hand is beneficial. It actually enriches breast milk in nursing mothers. It benefits a mother throughout pregnancy and after. The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome are often relieved because of dandelion’s diuretic action. Yes, dandelion is good for everyone, even your pet.
The flowers of dandelion are an excellent source of lecithin. This increases the brain’s acetylcholine resulting in retarding or stop regressing of mental disability caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Lecithin also helps maintain good liver function, and opens urinary passages.
dandelion rootNative Americans found dandelion helpful in treating kidney disease, indigestion, and heartburn. Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends dandelion for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia.
Dandelion leaves and flowers are best fresh. However, they can be stored in the refrigerator for five days wrapped in plastic, or frozen for longer periods. Be sure to wash the leaves with water before you use them. Another way to preserve them is to dry the flowers or leaves and store them in a cool, dark, dry place. Some add them to their bath to treat yeast infections. Others use the dried plant to make their own dandelion tea (steep one tablespoon of dried leaves in one cup hot water). You can also purchase it in tinctures, capsules, and powdered form.
Though dandelion is generally regarded as safe, some have allergic or asthmatic reactions to this herb. The danger is heightened in those who are allergic to ragweed or daisies. Patients with liver or gallbladder disease are warned to stay away from dandelion but others feel there is no danger.
Writer: Bulk Herbs Benefits