Taraxacum officinale, Asteracea Family~ Dandelion, Dent de león, Dens leonis, leontodon
By Anna Phillips WFS 2012
Taraxacum officinale, Dandelion, is a hardy little plant with a lively yellow flower. The name Taraxacum means to disturb or alter the state of something. It is classified in the Asteracea family, and are identified with these distinct characteristics: Bitter white milky juice in stems. The leaves are arranged in a basal rosette (a circular pattern) on the ground, and never climb up the stems. Each stalk has a single inflorescence of flowers with strap-shaped petals (parallel edges), ray flowers which overlap all the way to the center, and there is no disk flower. Seeds are produced without pollination, transported by the wind and other vehicles. Offspring are identical to parent plant.
- Perennial; Flower head shoots up in February, preferring cool and moist weather.
- Dandelions are known to feed bees when few or no native blossoms are out.
- Harvest from February to March in Texas
- Early spring= dandelion growing time= liver cleanse time. Cleanse liver after a winter of hard to digest foods
- Dandelion root has special affinity to liver
- Found to help with chronic myelomonocytic Leukemia
- Breast Tumors~ As a poultice, dandelion has been used in the treatment of breast cancer.
- Detoxification of vital organs~ with the diuretic abilities of dandelion root, it is beneficial for flushing out the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. It purifies the blood and cleanses the system, which makes it a good herb for fighting infections.
- Used for arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and rheumatism
- Anemia~ dandelion root has a high content of iron, which is beneficial for building red blood cells in the body to treat anemia.
- Dandelion root has shown to lower blood sugar levels. In Europe, it’s used to treat type-1 and type-2 diabetes.
- Dandelion root tea may relieve constipation, flatulence and fullness.
- Due to the high amount of vitamin B-complex, dandelion root can help to stabilize mood and depression.
- Use for acne, eczema and psoriasis
- Beneficial to menopausal women
- Dandelion root is a yummy coffee substitute~ roast and grind the root for sweeter flavor
- Root produces magenta dye; best to use to dye wool
- Roots have inulin~ prebiotics, food for probiotic organisms; help balance blood sugar and blood lipids.
- Roasted root adds great flavor to herb blends
- Dandelion roots are especially rich in sodium, which breaks down acid in the blood.
- Juice from the stems is antiseptic, useful for cuts, removing warts, acne, blisters, corns
- Sesquiterpene lactones (constituents in the white milky sap)~ antiseptic, anticancer, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, digestive stimulants (increase production and release of bile from liver)
- High in potassium- effective diuretic, doesn’t have side effects of most diuretics (most flush potassium from the body)
- Remove build up of waste acids in blood
- Balance blood sugar levels
- Luteolin~ a power full flavonoid found in leaves and flower~ anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant
- Flowers create yellow dye
- Dandelion flowers are abundant in carotenoids~ an important precursor to vitamin A; antioxidant; good for eyes (vitamin A is required for the formation and maintenance of visual pigments) and lungs
- Sprinkle on salads for savory taste
- Lung infections can be treated with dandelion seeds.
Dandelions are one of the most nutritive plants in the world. The greens are super high in micronutrients! Dandelion leaves and roots are rich in vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, and E, and the minerals iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc. This combination of these vitamins and minerals also makes dandelion a high antioxidant source.
The bitter, salty taste in dandelion leaves and roots is a digestive aid, diuretic, and stimulant for the liver, spleen and kidneys.
In the body:
- Digestive tonic effect: stimulates production of digestive secretions, relieves indigestion; dandelion is cooling for stomach inflammation.
- Why do dandelions come up where nothing else grows? They prepare the soil and cleanse the soil… as with in so without~ dandelions also prepare and cleanse our livers for growth and optimal blood filtration.
- Hepatic benefits, detoxifying; tones, strengthens and increases flow of bile, stimulates liver to cleanse itself
- Aids digestion of fats
- Cholagogue: relieves congestive jaundice and liver inflammation
- Cholagogue: relieves congested gallbladder
- Dandelion (root especially) affects fluid balance in the body
- The french nick name for dandelion is “piss-en-lit”, which means wet the bed… dandelions are great diuretics and one of the best sources of potassium~ideally balanced diuretic; mix with yarrow for letting go of retained water
- Dandelion dissolves calcium stones
- Roots contain inulin which help prevent colon cancer by providing food for beneficial intestinal microflora to aid the digestion of food
- Dandelion is a laxative
- Inulin in roots promotes the absorption of calcium and magnesium
- Cools allergies and sinus inflammation
- Cools menapausing women
- Regulates menstruation
- Start in small doses for pregnant women and children
- For pregnant mothers dandelion is usually most effective in tea form
- Dandelion leaf is recommended usually after 28 weeks to support the liver function of pregnant woman. The leaf can help stimulate and cool the liver and it filters the woman’s expanding blood volume
- For pre-existing liver issues that are causing excess heat in the body, root is recommended.
- Pregnancy is a time of heating and building; dandelion supports keeping heat balanced
- Dandelion leaf tea produces drainage, movement; increases juiciness/lactation
- Anti-rheumatic: effective for muscular rheumatism
- dent de lion= lion’s tooth~ eat dandelions a lot and get strong teeth like a lion!
- relieve tooth infections, protect teeth and gums from decay
- dandelion greens can help strengthen teeth enamel.
- Cooling, dry energy~ soothes chronic irritation and any signs of heat
- Heat in solar plexus, while cooling for the stomach
Traditional Chinese Medicine:
- Yellow color= liver/ gall bladder
- Affects stomach and liver meridians
- Removes toxic heat
- Disperses accumulations (cleanses)
- Diuretic~promotes urination, aids urinary disturbances due to damp heat
- Used for excess spleen and stomach fire (heat in digestive tract)
- Acute mastitis
- Promotes lactation
- Remedy useful for headaches (associated with indigestion, gas, bloating)
- Jaundiced (yellowish) skin
- Bladder cancer
- Indications for usage: heat on top of head, bitter taste in mouth, loss of appetite, restless limbs, neuralgia of knee, cold finger tips, profuse night sweats
- Use for hyperactive, hyper achievers~ to relax and go with the flow of life, slow pace down- like the seeds float with the wind
- Flowers have a play full, child~like innocence
- Maybe dandelions pop up all over because they are cleaning the earth, just as they clean our livers and bodies…blood purifying~detoxifying soil~ defying chemicals
- Hiatial hernia- helps bring down hernia by relaxing the stomach
- this is a sign of blockage in solar plexus energy~ yellow color~ calm, centered, creative.
- The flowers are actually flower heads~ many tiny flower heads joined together as one~ symbolizing harmony, integration, balance, uniSun. ~~Solar plexus energy~~
- Relax muscles, eases tension
- stress= muscle stiffness, digestive system upset, water retention
Temperance Angel ~
- This card signifies purification, a return to balance and harmony; cleansing~ spiritually, mentally, and physically; balancing waters~ diuretic, letting go of retained waters in body
- Dandelion enhances psychic powers
- Dandelion is of masculine energies
- Element~ Air
- Deity of Hecate
- Under dominion of Jupiter~ demands attention, extremely hardy, liver and lung affinity
- Wine~ 1 gallon of dandelion blossoms, 3 lbs sugar, 2 lemons, 2 oranges, 1/2 oz yeast, ginger. Pour 1 gal boiling water over flowers, cover, leave for 3 days, and stir every day. Strain into pan, add lemons oranges and ginger, boil for 1/2 hrs, let cool. Add yeast, leave to ferment for 3 days. Cork. Leave for 2 months, bottle.
~The Synesthetic Dandelion~
One night dandelion came into my dreams…. I picked the small bright yellow flow~ers, their color~ a sirens song to which I came, morphed into their scent~ an alluring sweet smell, and upon putting them in my mouth, their smell transformed into a rich flower full nectary taste. The alchemical process of digestion began as my mouth watered over this de~light~full taste, and the flowers combined with my spit and turned into pure gold honey, overflowing out of my mouth!
Dandelions are here to help! To release pent up yang energy! Inspiring us to be free, flowing with the rhythm of the wind, to slow down, relax, play! Release the inner child who loves flowers, go find a dandelion to blow its seeds in the wind, and be in Aloha with the wonder full dandelion 🙂
books I used
Lisa Ganora Herbal Constituents
Thomas Elpel Botany in a Day
Ray Bradbury wine recipe
Herbal Midwife Stephanie Berry