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Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Other Names Common Dandelion, Lion’s Tooth, Priest’s Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Swine’s Snout, Dent de Lion Dandelion

Herb Pictures by Karen Bergeron Copyright 2001 - 2009.
Permission required to use any herb pictures from this site.  

Dandelion Herbal use and Medicinal Properties

The whole plant is used as a medicinal herb internally and externally.

External Uses

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 and warts.

Internal Uses

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.

Other Uses

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 Habitat and Descripton

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

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.

Dandelion History and Folklore 

In Derbyshire, the juice of the Dandelion stalk is applied to remove warts.

Dandelion Harvest and Use Information

Gather edible leaves and flowers of Dandelion anytime, roots in spring. Dry for later medicinal herb use.

Dandelion Recipes

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 cup doses every 3 hours for stomach, kidney, gallbladder, and liver problems. Used as spring tonic.

Article by Deb Jackson & Karen Bergeron      

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