Dandelion tincture is another favorite of Dr Morse and can be enjoyed in Heal All Herbal Blend and Tea, Endocrine Daily, Adrenal Support, Liver/Skin, and Bone & Connective Tissue Support.*
At a Glance:
COMMON NAME: Dandelion, Lion’s tooth, Wish Flower
LATIN BINOMIAL NAME: Taraxacum officinale
PARTS USED: Root, leaf & flower
HABITAT: A common garden weed found worldwide that prefers full sun and well drained soil. They are opportunistic plants and often thrive in disturbed areas.
PRIMARY CONSTITUENTS: Taraxacin, inulin, sesquiterpene lactones, triterpenes, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, and iron.
Dandelion is an underappreciated garden gem. It is probably one of the most abundant and amazing herbal remedies on earth! Lamented by lawn-enthusiasts for its deep tap root and ability to survive in the smallest cracks in concrete, dandelion offers a pharmacopeia of benefits.
Habitat and Cultivation:
Dandelion is a common garden weed found worldwide. Dandelion makes healthy soil, loosening compacted soil and aerating the ground, restoring minerals to soils that are depleted. Dandelions prefer uncalcified soil, as they send out a thick tap root that pulls calcium from far below, drawing it up to the surface. A 2015 article in The Guardian on the environmental benefits of dandelion speaks to how crucial dandelions are to pollinators and birds:
“While in flower for most of the year, the dandelion’s peak flowering time is from late March to May, when many bees and other pollinators emerge from hibernation. Each flower in fact consists of up to 100 florets, each one packed with nectar and pollen...Bumblebees, solitary bees and honeybees all visit dandelions for food, along with hoverflies, beetles, and butterflies such as the peacock and holly blue. Goldfinches and house sparrows eat the seed.”
Dandelion‘s common name comes from the French “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth. There are many dandelion look-alikes in the Asteraceae (daisy) family, so it is this descriptor that is one of your best guides to identifying and harvesting the correct herb. The leaves of true dandelion are serrated and look like sharp lion’s teeth, while look-alikes have a more rounded leaf edge. A single yellow flower crowns the top of true dandelion stalks, while look-alikes have branching stalks with multiple flower heads. In addition, dandelion flower stalks are hollow and exude a white latex substance when severed from the plant.
Harvest the young spring leaves for salads and pestos and the roots in the fall.
"The first mention of the Dandelions as a medicine is in the works of the Arabian physicians of the tenth and eleventh centuries, who speak of it as a sort of wild Endive, under the name of Taraxcacon (M. Grieve, 1931).” This common garden weed has a long history of use in Europe and India, where it was employed for liver complaints.
“Wine made from dandelion blossoms has an ancient legacy in Europe as a low-cost substitute. Dandelions flourish even in dry, sparse conditions. Therefore, the custom was carried on by settlers in the Plains States of North America (Hidden Legend Winery).”
Roasted dandelion root tea makes a great coffee substitute and the flowers can be made into a joyful tea (or dandelion wine for those who indulge on occasion). The root is a well-known hepatoprotective, supporting liver health and containing inulin which is a prebiotic for supporting a healthy gut microbiome. Tender and tasty dandelion greens shine in early spring as their bitter taste supports healthy digestion, and their high potassium levels supports healthy kidney function.*
Traditional Herbalists believe that the deep taproot’s ability to draw up nutrients from deep underground is an indication that dandelion root is useful for supporting the restoration of the teeth when compromised by foreign microorganisms.*
Harvest fresh dandelion leaves and eat them raw, add them to salads, or slightly steam them to enjoy the many benefits of this abundant tender spring herb.
*FDA warning: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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