Origin of Dandelion
Dandelion is a hardy perennial herb and a tasty salad vegetable. The common name dandelion comes from the French “dent de lion”, meaning lion’s tooth and refers to the dentate leaf edges. The name of the genus come from the Greek “taraxos”, meaning disorders and “akas” meaning remedy, including the curative qualities of the herb.
A very common plant, dandelion grows wild almost everywhere. Dandelion is native to Europe. In India it is found throughout the Himalayas.
Nutritional Value of Dandelion
Nutritionally, the dandelion has a remarkable value. It contains almost as much iron as spinach, four times the vitamin A content of lettuce and is a very rich source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, calcium and sodium.
An analysis of dandelion shows it to consist of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins C and A. Its calorific value is 45.
Dandelion contains a bitter crystalline principle, taraxacin and a crystalline substance, taraxacerin. It also contains the phytosterols, taraxasterol and humotaraxasterol.
Healing Power and Curative Properties
Thanks to the efforts of herbalists, its virtues are now well known and respected, both for its therapeutic properties and as an alternative to tea and coffee.
The entire plant is used by many herbalists, although the tea is usually brewed from its root, which are a tonic. It increases the secretion and discharge of urine and acts as a mild purgative.
Bone Disorders: The readily available organic magnesium in dandelion makes the juice of the leaves, with or without the juice of the leaves, with or without the roots, valuable for all bone disorders.
Liver and Gall Bladder Dysfunctions: Dandelion benefits both liver and gall bladder in their vital role of handling fats within the body and aiding the detoxifying role of the liver. It is, therefore, useful in the disorders of these organs.
General Debility: Dandelion can be used as a general body tonic for its influence in supporting waste functions of bowels, bladder and skin, which are the hard –working eliminating organs of our body.
Urinary Disorders: Dandelion tea, made from the buds, flowers, fresh leaves or even blanched leaves, can be very useful in cases of urinary disorders.
Other Uses: Tender leaves of dandelion are used as a tasty salad vegetable. The leaves should be torn to pieces rather than cut to keep their pungent flavor. These can also be cooked in a little boiling water or in the same way. A tasty and beneficial dandelion soup can be made with chopped dandelion leaves. The dried leaves are used for tea and as an ingredient in diet drinks. Dandelion coffee is made from its dried, roasted and ground roots. It is a natural beverage, without the harmful effects of the conventional tea and coffee.