Herb of the Day
Medicinal Uses: Dandelion benefits all functions of the liver. The leaves, which can be eaten in salads, are a powerful diuretic. The roots act as a
“blood purifier” that helps both kidneys and the liver to remove impurities from the blood. This effect seems to be due to its potassium content. It also acts like a mild laxative and improves appetite and digestion. It clears obstructions (such as stones) and detoxifies poisons that gather in the liver, spleen, and gall bladder. It will also promote healthy circulation. Dandelion is used whenever there is liver involvement with heat and toxins in the blood. This includes jaundice, hepatitis, red and swollen eyes, as well as urinary tract infection, abscesses, or firm, hard sores in the breasts. It is also very effective to increase the production of mother’s milk.The juice from a broken leaf stem can be applied to warts and allowed to dry; used for 3 days or so it will dry up the warts. It is also used to treat premenstrual syndrome, as it is a diuretic. It has been shown to reduce cholesterol and uric acid. Dandelion also helps clear skin eruptions when used both internally and externally. Both dandelion leaf and root have been used for centuries to treat liver, gall bladder, and kidney ailments, weak digestion, and rheumatism. They are also considered mildly laxative. The fresh root or its preparations are thought to be more potent than the dried root. Lukewarm dandelion tea is recommended for dyspepsia with constipation, fever, insomnia, and hypochondria.
Magickal uses: It is a sign of rain when the down from a ripened dandelion head falls without wind helping it to do so. To blow the seeds off a ripened head is to carry your thoughts to a loved one, near or far. The feathery seed balls of the dandelion were once used by young girls to determine if their true loves were really true. They would blow on the dandelion fuzzy ball 3 times; if at least one of the fuzzy seeds remained, it was taken as an omen that her sweetheart was thinking about her. To promote psychic powers make a tea of the root by drying, roasting and grind (like coffee). The tea, when steaming and placed beside the bed, will call spirits. Simple garden magic: pick a “puff ball’ on the night of a full moon, call in the sacred directions, and blow your wish to the winds.
Properties: Alterative, cholagogue (increase the flow of bile), deobstruent, diuretic, stomachic, hepatic, laxative, tonic, aperient, (a very mild laxative), liver and digestive tonic.. It is a rich source of potassium, and contains more vitamin A than carrots. Also contains Biotin, calcium, choline, fats, gluten, gum, inositol, inulin, iron, lactupicrine, linolenic acid, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potash, proteins, resin, sulfur, vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, E, and P, and zinc. The principal constituents responsible for dandelion’s effect on the digestive system and liver are the bitter principles. known as taraxacin, these constituents are sesquiterpene lactones of the eudesmanolide and germacranolide type and are unique to dandelion. Dandelion is the only naturally occurring potassium-sparing diuretic.
Growth: Dandelion is a common yard, garden, and roadside weed. Do not gather where chemicals have been used, and don’t gather those near roadsides, as they have been contaminated from exhausts. A familiar weed; 2-18 inches tall. A small rosette-forming perennial plant with a long thin taproot and a clump of entire or sinuate leaves. Flowering, leafless, stalk is hollow, with milky juice. The leaves are jagged-cut. Flowers are yellow; March to September, or sporadically all year. Seeds form “clocks” round balls of seeds with parachutes of hairs.
Infusion: Steep 2 tsp. Plant or root in 1-cup boiling water. Take 1/2 to 1 cup a day, lukewarm or cold.
Decoction: Use 4 oz. Fresh plant with 2 pints of water; boil down gently to 1 pint and strain. Take 3 tbsp. Six times daily.
Cold extract: Use 2 tsp. Plant with 1 cup water; let stand for 8-hours.
Juice: For a springtime tonic, take 1 tsp. Juice pressed from the leaves in milk, one to three times a day. Use an electric vegetable juicer to extract the milk.
Website: The Whispering Woods