Dandelions (Taraxicum officinale)
Dandelions are abundant in much of the world, and that is certainly the case in the UK. There are many sub-species within the genus, but exactly how many is a matter of debate amongst botanists. They have been used in herbal remedies since pre-history.
All parts of the plant are edible; they are high in Vit A, B, C & D and minerals, especially potassium. The leaves can be bitter, but removing the stalks can help, if a little fiddly; if you want to cook them instead, either blanche or sautee. We’ve also cooked the flowers in bhajees. The roots can be chopped finely and dry roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Property : Bitter diuretic (leaf), Bitter laxative (root), Nutritive,
Constituent : Leaf : Bitter glycosides, Carotenoids, Iron and vitamins A,B,C and D, Potassium salts,
Root : Tannins, Bitter glycoside, Volatile oils, Phenolic acid
Action : Leaf : Gentle diuretic, Choleretic
Root : Mild laxative, Digestive and liver tonic, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Antirheumatic
Indication : Fluid retention, Poor urine output, Liver disorders, Inflammation of the gall bladder, Constipation, Hangovers
Eating the leaves in a salad is good for sluggish liver, constipation and fluid retention.
As a tincture made from the flowers, dandelions can be used to treat skin problems, gout, arthritis and reportedly hangovers.
An infused oil can be helpful with muscle tension, aches, stiff neck and arthritis.
Always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional.