Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – Dandelion


Medicinal Herb Post #23 written June 28, 2018

Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale

Well it’s true some people love this little plant using it as medicine and many others rage war against it with every pesticide known to man. Maybe after today I’ll convince you to grow or rather leave a little alone on purpose  . Did you notice the officinale in its name? Yes, dandelions have been used as medicine for a very long time. It’s incredibly hardy and there really isn’t a reason to purposefully plant it. It’s one of the first much needed plants honey bees get their food from in the early spring. It does prefer rich moist soil and full sun, but it can endure just about any environment. The young sweet green leaves are used around the world in dishes like lettuce or sautéed as a side. The flowers are used as an anodyne (pain reliever) as well as the roots medicinally. Roots should be harvested in the fall or early spring. I usually harvest in the spring pulling them up in places I want to grow something else in.

The root is a wonderful liver tonic and blood purifier. It stimulates bile production which cleanses the liver and helps it to do its job better. The leaf is used in kidney and gall stone formulas to help someone urinate more to expel the stones. I love using the roasted roots of Dandelion as a coffee substitute. Yum! The leaf is a diuretic, helping the kidneys and bladder expel unwanted toxins. It’s really useful for water retention build up, but the really cool thing about it is that God knew that potassium was needed with a diuretic plant and put high amounts of it in there. Many people who take pharmaceutical drugs for water retention have to watch their potassium levels. God is smart! It’s also high in other vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron. Many people use the flowers to make wine or jelly. I’ve even seen it used in salves. The latex found in the stem is great for getting rid of warts because it suffocates them. Apply several times a day for 2-3 weeks. There are no contraindications to using Dandelion.

I use the root with burdock and milk thistle for a gentle liver tonic to keep the liver happy.

Do you use Dandelion medicinally?

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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