The Simple Dandelion - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

The dandelion plant (Taraxacum officinale), have a thick tap root, dark brown, almost black on the outside though white and milky within, and has long jagged leaves radiating to form a rosette lying close upon the ground. The leaves are shiny and without hairs, the margin of each leaf cut into great jagged teeth, either upright or pointing somewhat backwards. All parts of the plant contain a somewhat bitter, milky juice (latex), but the juice of the root being still more powerful is the part of the plant most used for medicinal purposes.

stock dandelion SMLL

Dandelion is very nourishing and high in vitamin A. It is a blood, kidney, and liver cleanser and tonic. Dandelion is useful as a diuretic and one of the best natural sources of potassium. This makes it an ideal balanced diuretic even with oedema related to cardiac conditions. Its cholagogue action makes it an ideal remedy for inflammation and congestion of the liver and gallbladder. Dandelion root has a significant cleansing action on the liver and stimulates bile production. It is also mildly bitter and a gentle laxative.

Dandelion's bitter taste stimulates bitter receptors in the mouth and by reflex activates the entire digestive tract and the liver. It increases the flow of digestive juices thereby improving digestion and assimilation and enhancing the appetite. Dandelion cleanses the liver by increasing bile production and flow through the liver. Thus giving support to the liver's work as the major detoxifying organ in the body. 

Young dandelion leaves make delicious sandwiches, the tender leaves being laid between slices of bread and butter and sprinkled with salt. The addition of a little lemon-juice and pepper varies the flavour. The leaves should always be torn to pieces, rather than cut, in order to keep the flavour.

The dried dandelion leaves are also employed as an ingredient in many digestive or diet drinks and herb beers.

dandelion antique botanical print from kohlers medizinal pflanzen circa 1883 744x1024

Dandelion root

Dandelion root is one of the best detoxifying herbs. As is works on the liver and gallbladder to help convert waste products it also assists the kidneys to remove the toxins through urination.

Dandelion Coffee is a natural beverage without any of the injurious effects that ordinary tea and coffee have on the nerves and digestive organs. It exercises a stimulating influence over the whole system, helping the liver and kidneys to do their work and keeping the bowels in a healthy condition, so that it offers great advantages to dyspeptics and does not cause wakefulness.

Cats ear and dandelion


From Isabel Shepard's wonderful book " How can I use Herbs in Your daily Life" you learn a multitude of facts about herbs and health, such as the tonic cleanser made from dandelion, elecampane, marshmallow and alfalfa below

Dandelion goes into a revered mix for cleansing the kidneys, liver and for cancer treatment. To prepare: take enough dandelion leaves to hold in the ring of thumb and finger, 8 good sized leaves of elecampane, 10 marshmallow leaves (violet or peach leaves can be substituted) 1 large cup full of alfalfa leaves. Place in a blender with two 850g cans of unsweetened pineapple juice and blend. Keep in non-airtight container in the refrigerator. Take 225ml (1cup) morning and evening, chewing before swallowing. Take for 5 weeks; and during this time, take any amount of diluted dark grape juice.

Pick and eat a young leaf as you walk past - each time!

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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