Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale.
Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale.
Going back to my childhood I remember when we used to call the Dandelion a “pissy bed”, but the theory at the time was if you touched it, you were going to wet the bed that night, later on in life I now know that it is a highly effective diuretic herb. It’s just amazing to think that something’s that you learnt when you were young had some logic and some truth to it.
What is less familiar is how well Dandelion strengthens the urinary system. It is effective in treating bed-wetting in children and incontinence in older people.
The Dandelion has a very wide variety of uses as an effective herb in many herb classifications. It falls into the following classifications; diuretic, cholagogue, laxative, tonic, hepatic and anti-rheumatic herb. Dandelion falls into the category of been a good medicinal herb as well as been a good food, the leaves can be put in a salad like any green leaves and tossed in a mixed salad; it can be used in the same way as spinach. If taken as both food and medicine regularly, it can form part of a natural cancer treatment by keeping the body clean, toned and healthy. Roasted dandelion root can be used as substitute for coffee. Dandelion has often been referred to as a self-contained pharmacy.
As I have said Dandelion is a great diuretic , most diuretic stimulate the kidneys to excrete more urine and cause potassium depletion in the body, but not Dandelion, it is one of nature’s best sources of potassium so makes it a well balanced diuretic and is extremely good in cases of water retention due to heart problems.
Cholagogue herbs are used to promote a flow and discharge of bile into the duodenum by contracting the bile ducts and produce cleansing of the bowel. Dandelion helps to decongest the gall bladder and liver so increasing the flow of bile. Dandelion is also an alterative herb, relieving skin disorders and degenerative joint disorders, lowering blood cholesterol and high blood pressure
Dandelion is a very good hepatic herb. A hepatic herb is an herb used to strengthen tone and stimulate the secretion function of the liver, causing an increase flow in bile. Here Dandelion is very useful and this would be probable where it would be use to greatest effect, where there has been abuse of the liver, maybe due to alcohol abuse over a period of time. It is an effective liver tonic that helps to detoxify the liver.
The famous herbalist, Dr. Christopher refers to Dandelion as,
“a herb acting in two ways: it promotes the formation of bile and removes excess water from the body in edematous conditions resulting from liver congestion. It is thought to be especially useful in cases of enlargement of the liver and for jaundice”.
It is also a mild laxative herb, especially good for young children. A laxative herb stimulates the bowel to release and cleanse. Jethro Kloss, another famous American Herbalist, states the Dandelion is high in nutritive salts that help, purify the blood and help to neutralize the acids (uric acid-gout) in the blood.
And because of these nutritive salts Dandelion is one of the old well know remedies for anaemia. Dandelion is also a good tonic herb. A tonic herb is an herb that stimulates the digestion and increases tone, energy and strength of the body. Dandelion is very useful as tonic to build up a person after illness as it high in minerals, especially potassium, and high in the vitamins A, B, C and D. It is also good for someone who has lost their appetite particularly in old age. It can be used as part of a wider treatment for rheumatism.
Dandelion is also reputed to be good for ingestion as it promotes good absorption of nutrition’s and is also reputed to be good for the pancreas and diabetes too. Like the other two herbs before, the Dandelion is very multi-purpose herb been used for as a great balancing diuretic, skin cleanser, liver tonic, laxative, general tonic, loss of appetite and anti-rheumatism herb.
The Master Herbalist