Being one of the most common weeds, Dandelion (of the family Asteraceae, formerly Compositae) is found in temperate climates all over the globe, and
is one that "everyone knows" and one of the first flowers a child learns to love. A love that unfortunately often turns into hate as we grow older and
a perfect lawn is more important than nutricious plants. However, dandelion (from Old French, dent-de-lion, "tooth of lion") is certainly not useless,
whether as medicine or food. It also contains yellow and green pigments that can be used in dyeing fabrics.
Like many yellow herbs, it's rich in vitamin-C, and also good for the liver and helps in cases of jaundice (esp. the roots). From Witchipedia (link
below): "For liver issues, a tincture from the flower tops and/or a broth of the leaves is said to bring relief."
It was the first medicinal plant I learned about in life, since it was said to cure warts (others said it was actually the other way around) and my
cousin had his hands full of warts which is a long story of search for healing, ending by a hole in a mountainside the size of a cabbage head called
'Vortekjelda', or "The Wart Source" (history going back a thousand years atleast) where natural chemicals gathers in a soup that is very effective
against all kinds of warts (also the ones 'down there'), in mere days his hands were clean of warts. Another trick we learned about this was to find a
big grasshopper and have it chew the wart and secrete it's spit. Worked like a charm. The root contains the most latex (white milky substance secreted
when broken in half) and is the best part for gathering this juice.
Being one of the richest plants in vitamin-C it cures cold and is a trustworthy footsoldier in fighting off the seasonal flu and scurvy, and as a
vitamin-A source it helps in many skin conditions, like acne and ecsema for instance, a strong decoction of the herb and root is recommended. It's
mildly laxative, so it helps when you have hard stomac and constipation. Known to clean the liver and kidneys as well as the system that connects
them, it's a friend of anyone suffering from conditions related to the inner organs.
According to Wikipedia (link below): "The flowers are used to make dandelion wine, the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a
coffee substitute (when baked and ground into powder) and the plant was used by Native Americans as a food and medicine." And further: "The leaves are
high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, carrying more iron and calcium than spinach." However, in French it's called Pissenlit (lit. "wet the bed") due
to it's effective diuretic properties (esp. the roots). Something to keep in mind, making it better suited for morning tea than the evening cuppa.
Dandelion at Witchipedia
edit on 11-3-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: typos