The Dandelion may be a weed in the garden but it looks so pretty up close and has some great health benefits.
As a herb it is also really under estimated. Its botanical name is Taraxacum officinale but it has had some other unusual names such as Lions tooth, wild endive as well as piss-in-bed herb. Both the root and the leaf are used in herbal medicine with the root being used more for liver support and the leaf as a kidney tonic (which is probably where the last name came from as it works as a mild diuretic, increasing urination).
Dandelions contain potassium, calcium, manganese, sodium, sulphur as well as Vitamins A, B, C and D as well as choline. It is used as a general health tonic and nutritive due the minerals it contains. Dandelion leaf can be used in a herbal tea or the roasted root is often used as a coffee substitute.
In traditional Western herbal medicine it is used for
Indigestion, sluggish liver.
Support healthy gallbladder function.
Relief of constipation, skin complaints.
Supports normal detoxification processes for healthy connective tissue, muscles and joints.
So when you see these weeds coming up in the grass, garden and cracks in the pavement remember that mother nature has given us these herbs for health and healing and they were once used as medicine in everyday use before we knew the active constituents and the how and why they worked. You may not want to pick and use if there has been herbicides used in the area but you can get this herb in tea, tablet or liquid form which you can add into your day to day health regime.
In health and happiness
Information taken from a gorgeous little book 'The book of herbs' by Dorothy Hall whose grandfather was a Botanist and mother a dedicated herb gardener.