Also known as Taraxacum officinale, Blowball, Cankerwort, Common Dandelion, Dandelion Herb, Leontodon taracum, Lion's Tooth, Pissenlit, Priest's Crown, Swine Snout, Taraxaci herba, Taraxacum vulgare, Wild Endive.
Introduction The common dandelion, enemy of well-kept lawns, is an exceptionally nutritious food. Its leaves and root contain substantial levels of vitamins A, C, D, and B complex as well as iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon. In almost every herbal healing tradition, the root of the dandelion has been used for the treatment of a variety of liver and gallbladder problems. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the roots of various species of dandelions are also used as "herbs that cool the blood." Dandelions are through to correct the physiological reactions triggered by intense emotions that cause eyestrain or red, swollen, and painful eyes. They are used in teas and poultices for abscesses and sores, especially on the breast. The promote lactation and clear painful urinary dysfunction.
Constituents The nutrients mentioned in the Introduction, plus bitter taraxacins (eudesmanolides), sitosterol, stigmasterol, alpha- and beta-carotene, caffeic acid, mucilage, and an unusually high potassium content.
Parts Used The whole root, dried, and cut.
Typical Preparations Typically used as tea or tincture. Chopped dandelion root rather than dandelion root powder is most often used to make teas combining dandelion and other herbs. Dandelion root powder is used when diuretic effect is emphasized. Chopped dandelion root can be combined with myrrh to make a poultice for boils and abscesses, with honeysuckle flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat boils and abscesses, with skullcap and/or chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat sore eyes, or with heal-all to treat hard phlegm in bronchitis. Can also be administered in capsule or extract form for convenience.
Summary Dandelion root is a mild chloretic, that is, an agent for stimulating the release of bile from the liver into the gallbladder. The herb is used to support treatment of a variety of liver and gallbladder disorders, especially the incomplete digestion of fats. The release of bile is laxative, and accelerates the breakdown of various steroid hormones, causing an indirect, favorable effect on eczema and other skin conditions. Dandelion root also is one of the best herbal diuretics. It stimulates urination but also replaces the potassium lost to the increased volume of urine.
Precautions Use with caution if you have gallstones.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse. For further traditional information concerning Dandelion, please visit this excellent resource from Botanical.com. Used with full, written permission.