Dandelion Taraxacum officinale
Key Constituents: Vitamins A and B. Leaf: calcium, potassium, iron, carotenoids, coumarins. Root: potassium, calcium, phenolic acids, taraxocoside, inulin.
Actions: diuretic, cholagogue, bitter, tonic, hepatic, alterative, aperient.
Energy: Cooling, pungent, drying.
The name is derived from the Old French dent-de-lion, meaning “tooth of a lion” or “lion’s teeth”, also known as cankerwort, monk’s head, priest’s crown, swine snout, wild endive and witch gowan. A perennial in the aster family and found….EVERYWHERE. Though often considered a “weed” and unwanted, the dandelion was used as food and medicine by at least 22 Native North American tribes for tonic effects, blood purification and anemia, gastrointestinal distress, sore throats, breast milk production, laxative, analgesic, kidney trouble, toothache, chest pain/lung disorders, and menstrual cramps. The greens are tender and sweet before blossoming and get progressively more bitter throughout the growing season. The roots are bitter and stimulating in the spring and more nourishing in the fall. Flowers, leaves and roots can be harvested and used either fresh or dried to make teas, tinctures, infused oils or eaten as salads and stir fries. It is a nourishing herb and is a very rich source of beta-carotene/vitamin A, vitamin B, C and E, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, chloride, magnesium, silica, zinc, and phosphorus. The roots can be roasted and brewed as a coffee substitute. Best known for it’s use as a mild bitter tonic to offset the typically sweet Western diet. Also hailed as a supreme liver tonic and has a stimulating effect on the kidneys, encouraging proper elimination of uric acid, thus clearing out metabolic wastes.
Dandelion is associated with the goddesses Aphrodite and Hecate, with Jupiter/Sagittarius and with growth and transformation. They represent resilience, strength and overcoming diversity. It is used to enhance psychic abilities and aid in divination and prophetic dreaming. It is said that in blowing on a dandelion puff, the seeds will carry a wish for you. Or when needing to move on or overcome, blow away your bad habits and negative associations.
Can be found in: Dandy Citrus Bitters and Daily Vitamin tincture.