Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Parts Used: Root, leaf, flower
Energetics: Cooling, drying
Indications: All parts of Dandelion have long historical uses but here we will talk about the leaves and the roots. Do keep in mind that many of the qualities of both root and leaf are interchangeable. Starting with the root, there is direct action on the liver and gallbladder. Dandelion aids these organs in their job of detoxifying the body. When there is fluid retention in the body, such as edema, gout or rheumatism, we know the kidneys need support and the diuretic action of Dandelion will assist. In this case we look to Dandelion leaf.
Signs of liver and gallbladder disturbance, such as skin eruptions and skin with a yellowish hue, point to Dandelion root. Keep this in mind for chronic complaints of acne and eczema. Dandelion also contains high amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and vitmains A, B, C and D. This “weed” was, and still is, one of our most popular wild foods with uses ranging from coffee substitute, delicious salad green to being used in brewing beer and wine.
This plant is so resilient and strong it grows up through city sidewalks and survives extreme chemical assault from pristine lawn keepers. It helps us to be more resilient as well. As a bitter, Dandelion aids the digestive system by increasing digestive enzymes and enhancing absorption. In early spring pick your Dandelion greens and eat them in salads. The bitter greens will help detoxify your body from a rich and heavy winter diet. Dandelion is a beloved herbal ally that is often overlooked. Yet it is one of the first herbs we learn to identify as children and one of the most commonly known plants to humans across the world.
Preparation: Chop and eat young roots and leaves in a variety of dishes. Make a decoction of the root by using 2-3 tsp of dried root per 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 mins, drink freely. Tincture root in 100 P. vodka if fresh or 80 P. brandy if dried, dose is 2.5 – 5 ml, 3x day.
*Dandelion is a diuretic and will increase urination.