The benefits of dandelion are numerous.
Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale, (Asteraceae), a potent diuretic, hence the French name, pissenlit, “wet the bed.”
An easy plant to establish among any vegetable or herb garden and is thought more as a weed than a medicinal herb plant.
Why would anyone want to grow this plant? It’s a proficient weed on its own.
... blood purifier, increases blood flow, stimulates metabolism, removes excess bile, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, relieves stomach ache, inhibits growth of germs and fungal growth, urinary and biliary stones, has beta-carotene, vitamin C, resist free-radicals, helps with gout and rheumatism swelling, used in Chinese medicine, laxative, tighten and tone tissue, stimulate initial digestion before a meal, benefits the heart, bile releaser, bile production and cleans bile duct, respiratory health, liver benefits, digestive increaser, reduces fluid retention, emollient for skin, lowers fever, increases milk production in women who breastfeed, bowel functions, restores and repairs organs and connective tissue, sedative, strengthens and tonifies the stomach, general tonic for health and well-being, and encourage wound healing.
Whew…that’s a lot!
The edible plant parts are the leaves, roots, and flowers.
The leaves are great for added calcium
and bone support. You can add these
to salads; stir fries, use like spinach, or
juice them. I dry a bunch and eat them
before meals with my kids so we all get
the medicinal benefits. The leaves are
great for teenagers with acne too
because the leaves and roots help
purify the liver, kidneys and the blood.
properties and are great for feeding
our bones while preventing
osteoporosis. Our teeth benefit too!
Go digging for dandelion roots. They are the most medicinal. In its raw form use it as a tea, extract or in capsule form.
The roots can made into tinctures, dried for stir fries or ground for coffee consumption.
The edible flowers are used in cooking to make flower syrup, wine or flower muffins to name a few. Another one of the benefits of dandelion flowers are cosmetic uses and herbal dyes for wool.
The stems milk is used for cuts and minor scrapes.
Dandelion contains high levels of potassium salts. As a strong diuretic the salts are then passed through the urine. This helps improve joint mobility, reduce stiffness from arthritis or over exerted muscles. I need to drink some – I’m sore right now. I’ll be back…
It’s also a big player in aiding digestion. Thirty minutes before you eat take a few drops of tincture in water, (30 drops).
The bitters you taste are the medicinal properties at work. As we get older we make fewer enzymes to break down fatty foods and our bacterial gut culture changes too.
We produce less good bugs in our gut.
Another medicinal benefit is dandelion is the best and easiest to use detoxifier and strengthener of the liver.
Our eyes benefit from dandelion as the greens are converted to 11-cis retinol, a protein in the retina’s rods that help us too see in low light. Especially beneficial as we age; we need more light to be able to see.
As a medicinal herb plant this one is packed with astonishing health benefits. To name a few and to really learn about all the benefits of dandelion read Dandelion Medicine by Brigitte Mars, herbalist AHG.
It improves soil structure, a quick compost starter and a great companion plant.
If you’re looking for healthy soil look at the base of the dandelion root. If you see earthworms then you’re soil is rich. Earthworms love the rich humus soil.
Add some dandelion to your compost pile to start or speed up the decomposition. It provides copper as a nutrient too. I always add some to my compost leaf pile.
One of the best companion plants in fruit orchards. The dandelion plant gives off ethylene gas at sunset. This helps the fruits to ripen early and evenly. I’ve noticed apple orchard farmers here in Vermont grow them underneath the apple trees.
The beneficial insects love the bountiful nectar the flowers supply. Just take a moment sometime and maybe you’ll spot a ladybug or honeybee taking a drink.
Lastly, it’s easy to establish - just blow the seeds and it’s a plentiful perennial.
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