Thursday, October 22, 2009


Dandelion is a perennial herb. Originating in Asia and Europe , the plant belongs to the sunflower or Asteraceae family and is closely related to Chicory. It can grow up to 12 inches in height. The plant has long rosette-shaped, toothed leaves that may be dark or light green in color. A bright yellow flower grows on each purplish stalk which is smooth, leafless and hollow. The flower matures into the familiar, white, globular seed head overnight. Each seed has a tiny parachute, to spread far and wide in the wind.

The flowers contain vitamin A; vitamin B2 and helenin which help cure night-blindness. Dandelion is also used as a remedy against skin problems like acne and eczema . Fungal infection and ulcers in the urinary passage can also be treated with Dandelion. The laxative nature of the plant aids in stomach disorders such as constipation. The plant is also believed to enable circulation in the body and strengthens body vessels. Its diuretic properties help in relieving pre-menstrual symptoms such as bloating and weight gain due to water retention.

Dandelion leaves and roots are known to help in treating weak hearts and hypertension. The roots act as detoxification agents that help in improving the functioning of the gall bladder and liver . It helps kidneys function better by eradicating the toxins from the body. The roots are also considered to treat diseases like psoriasis, arthritis and gout.

Topical application of Dandelion juice is said to remove warts and to enable faster healing of wounds.
Dandelion greens are wonderful in salads, they are best consumed steamed or sautéed. Dandelion flowers are also considered a delicacy. They may be dipped in batter and deep fried, sautéed and added in stir-fries, or pickled with vinegar and spices. Dried, roasted and ground Dandelion roots are used to make coffee.

Some individuals might get skin rashes as a side effect of handling Dandelion herbs. It may lead to excessive production of stomach acids, so ulcer patients should cautiously consume it. Because of the intense diuretic nature the consumption of Dandelion should be subject to doctor’s advice.

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