Dandelion, or Taraxacum officianale, was named from the French “dents de lion,” meaning “teeth of the lion.” This name was given due to its flower’s resemblance to the canines of, you guessed it, a lion. The first record of dandelion being used medicinally dates back as far as the 10th and 11th Centuries, though it is suspected to go back as far as Ancient Rome and the Anglo Saxons.
Taraxacum is a powerful diuretic (increases passing of urine), which can cause a loss of potassium. However, this herb is one of the best sources of potassium, thus making it a safe choice wherever such a medicine is required. Taraxacum also behaves as a cholagogue (promotes bile discharge), antirheumatic (reduces inflammatory disorders of the joints), laxative (stimulates the bowels), and improves vigor.
In short, Taraxacum officianale is a brilliant herb for disorders of the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and even the lymphatic system.
Taraxacum officianale flowers are a bright yellow, daisy form with a scent reminiscent of honey. This bloom later becomes a fuzzy white ball of seeds ready to take flight. Its leaves are long, green, and toothed.
Roots and leaves are used in a number of preparations including tea/infusions and eaten raw in a salad.
The white juice of the leaves and stem can be applied to warts, old sores, blisters, bee stings, and hard pimples.
Collect the roots toward the end of the year, when roots are most potent. After careful cleaning, roast them in the oven at a low temperature for several hours. Grind them into a fine powder to be mixed with a little pure coffee to improve scent and flavor. Brew your cup and enjoy its healthful benefits!