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.
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. The folklore attributed to dandelions is wide and varied. According to different folk tales they are able to tell the time of day by two different methods: the first one says that the number of breaths it takes to blow all the seeds off is equal to the time of day; the second says that the number of seeds left over after three strong breaths is the time of day. Dandelions are also said to be able to repel witches if gathered on Midsummer's Eve. Other magical abilities attributed to dandelions include increasing ones psychic ability and divination when used in a tea. Both good and bad luck have been attributed to dandelions. It is considered good luck to have just a few in a wedding bouquet. It is considered bad luck to pick them in a cemetery, and even worse luck if you bring them home, or give them to someone afterwards.
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.
The whole leaf, dried, and cut.
Typically used as tea or tincture, can be used with dandelion root. Sometimes encapsulated. The fresh greens of Dandelion are great in salads, and the dried leaf makes a comparable alternative.
Dandelion leaf 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 leaf, like 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.
Use with caution if you have gallstones.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.