Herbs > Dandeloin (Taraxacum officinale)
Also known as Lions tooth or wild endive, Dandelion is an
extremely common plant which grows almost everywhere,
as any gardener will know! Although it has been
labelled a weed, the dandelion is a nutritious plant
which contains vitamins A, B, C & D, as well as
calcium, potassium, sodium and manganese. During the
war years in Europe, is was used exensively as a
vegetable, and even today the cut young leaves add
flavour to salads and the older leaves can be cooked
Dried dandelion leaves can be used in place
of regular tea in a teapot. This creates a pleasant
tasting drink which will cleanse the liver, eliminate
poisons and wastes from the body, ease constipation
and aid in the treatment of rheumatism. There is also
some evidence to suggest that regular consumption of
dandelion tea will help to suppress the hepatitis
The milky juice from the flower stems of the
dandelion can eliminate warts. Just dab a few drops
onto the wart daily for several weeks and it will
blacken and disappear.
Medical research has shown that dandelion can
successfully treat inflammation of the colon
(colonitis). Contact a professional herbalist for
more information on this use of the plant.
Do not use dandelions if pregnant or breast-feeding.
Diabetics should be aware that dandelion can cause a
drop in blood-sugar levels.
The leaves of the dandelion plant make a
healthy and delicious addition to any salad. The
thick, stalk-like middles of the leaves are bitter,
however, and should be removed before eating.
Dandelion roots can be used as a more wholesome
substitute for coffee. To make this drink, thoroughly
wash the tap-root of the plant, removing the
hair-like rootlets. If the roots are to be stored,
dry in a cool oven until brittle. When ready to use,
roast the roots in a medium oven until brown, then
grind and brew in a plunger in place of standard
coffee. Dandelion coffee has a lovely
taste and is caffeine-free, so it does not have the
stimulating effect of regular coffee.
As mentioned earlier, dandelions can be found growing
almost anywhere - amongst the grass in lawns, through
gravel in driveways, even on roadsides. As it will
grow rather prolifically, it is probably best not to
cultivate dandelion, but rather gather it where it
grows wild. Dandelions give out ethylene gas which is
detrimental to the health of other plants, so if you
do wish to cultivate it (perhaps in a pot where it
cannot spread), keep it isolated.
Horny Goat Weed
St Johns Wort
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