Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) is one of my favorite weeds herbs! I consider it a little ray of sunshine direct from the hand of our Creator God! It is the first herb to bloom each spring. I’ll skip the picture this time…surely ALL of you know what a Dandelion is…also known as puff ball (memories of childhood!) or lion’s tooth (because of the shape of the leaves). It is considered to be one of the bitter herbs mentioned in the Bible (the root has a very bitter taste).
Dandelion has been used to aid digestion, relieve liver distress, and is thought to cure warts, psoriasis and kidney problems among other things! You can use all parts of the plant…the pioneers in America often roasted the root and used it as a substitute for coffee although I’m told that chicory root is better. The young leaves are gathered in the spring (before the plant blooms!) and used in salads. It is rich in minerals especially calcium, potassium and iron. Dandelion also contains more carotene than carrots! The high potassium content helps to relieve leg cramps at night or other muscle spasms. The leaves have a highly diuretic effect but are safer than most diuretics because they don’t cause the depletion of potassium. Great for flushing out the urinary system!
It has been shown to help relieve the pain associated with IBS, is rich in boron which helps to raise estrogen levels in the blood which then helps to preserve bone. So if you are suffering from osteoporosis, or want to prevent it, start drinking dandelion tea or wine! Dandelion increases bile production and flow in the liver which aids in cleansing the liver. If you have gallstones, you need to avoid Dandelion for this reason!
I use the leaves in salads in the spring or make an infusion with them for a cleansing tonic or mild liver stimulant. I tincture Dandelion to help relieve muscle spasms and leg cramps – something all of my boys suffered from during growth spurts. The high potassium content of the tincture helped them immensely.
Because Dandelion is related to chamomile and yarrow, if you are allergic to either of those plants you should also avoid Dandelion. Also avoid if you are taking antibiotics.
I encourage each of you to make use of this wonderful, tenacious plant that our Father has given us for so many of our needs. I am so thankful to Him for this provision….I like to think of dandelions blooming on the hillsides of heaven….along, of course, with many other herbs!