The dandelion plant is an excellent diuretic and a component of many depurative cures of Spring, which many people are fond of in Saxon countries. Who has never blown those white, hairy spheres which contain the seeds of dandelion? Their easy dispersion allowed the plant, native to northern Europe, to spread around the whole world. Many people worldwide have taken advantage of its medicinal properties.
Healing Properties and Indications
The leaves and root of the dandelion plant contain a bitter component similar to that of chicory, to which the plant owes its stimulating and digestive properties and inulin. The leaves also contain flavonoids, coumarin substances, and vitamins B and C. The properties of the dandelion are as follows:
- Appetizer, digestive, and stomachic invigorator. It increases the secretions of all digestive glands, promoting digestion and improving digestive ability. The dandelion increases the production of saliva and gastric, intestinal, and pancreatic juices, as well as bile. Moreover, it stimulates the muscles of the whole digestive system. Hence, it accelerates and stimulates all digestive processes, both physical and chemical.
- Choleretic. (increases bile production) and cholagogue (promotes emptying of the gall bladder). Its action on the liver and the gall bladder is similar to that on other digestive organs, though more intense. It is one of the plants with the most active action on biliary functions, so it is especially recommended for people suffering from the following disorders:
– Hepatic insufficiency, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. It can increase bile production up to three times, relieving liver congestion and easing its disintoxicating function.
– Biliary dyskinesia. Gall bladder disorders.
– Cholelithiasis (gall stones). Though the dandelion plant cannot dissolve the calculi, it promotes a better function of the gall bladder while definitive treatment is applied.
- Diuretic and depurative. One of its most potent effects. The dandelion increases the production of urine and promotes the elimination of acid metabolic waste. It is recommended for people suffering from gout and arthritis. As the French saying goes, “Dandelion cleans the kidney filter and dries the liver sponge.”
- Mild laxative, non-irritating. It is beneficial for intestinal atony. Its laxative properties and depurative effect make this plant a good remedy for eczema, rashes, furuncles, and cellulitis, often caused by internal toxicity due to constipation.
Dandelion Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Blowball, cankerwort, lion’s tooth, priest’s crown, puffball, swine snout, white endive, wild endive.
- French: Pissenlit, dent de lion.
- Spanish: Diente de leon, achicoria amarga.
- Environment: Common in meadows, fields, and roadsides all over Europe and America. Worldwide spread.
- Description: Vivacious plant of the Compositae family, growing up to 30 cm high, with deeply toothed or lobular leaves growing from the base. Flower stems also grow from this base, and in their tip, there is a bright yellow flower head.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: Leaves and roots.
How to use Dandelion
- Salads. Its pleasant, gently sour flavor is good gently in Spring salads in which dandelion can play an essential role as an ingredient. These salads will have appetizer and depurative properties. They can be dressed in lemon and oil.
- Fresh juice. Pressing or grinding its leaves and root. Take two or three spoonfuls before every meal. When a significant depurative effect is needed, the treatment must last for one to one and a half months, in Spring.
- Infusion, with 60 g of leaves and root per liter of water. Drink one cup before every meal.
Coffee substitute: A substitute infusion for coffee is prepared with the toasted roots of the dandelion plant. The advantage is that this infusion lacks any harmful effect of coffee. It has a pleasant flavor and has almost all the medicinal properties of the plant.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 384, 385. Print. [dandelion plant]