Parts used medicinally: Root & Leaves
Root: The root is known as a bitter tonic or a digestive. This is because it helps increase digestive enzymes, improves overall digestion and acts as a gentle laxative.
Leaf: The leaf is a great diuretic. Unlike typical diuretics that deplete your body of potassium, dandelion leaf contains enough potassium to replace (and even surpass) that which is lost through urine.
What are Dandelions?
Dandelion is one of those herbs that have different medicinal properties in various parts of the plants. It is native to Europe and Asia and both the roots and leaves are used therapeutically in herbal medicine.
Overall, dandelion is a good detoxifying herb. Both the leaves and roots have similar properties, but each have their different strengths. The leaves are a well-known herbal diuretic and is often used to help with problems such as water retention, urinary tract infections and hypertension (high blood pressure). The root however offers great liver support, encouraging it to fulfil its detoxifying role and it acts as a mild laxative too.
It is seen as a common weed over here in the UK and you can probably find it in every location you go to. It arrives in spring, which coincides with its use, as spring is generally a good time for one to ‘detox’.
Did You Know?
- Dandelion leaves contain a large amount of potassium, which is great as it replaces the potassium lost through the urination that it causes. Overall dandelion leaves will provide you with a net gain of potassium.
- The name dandelion is derived from the French dent de lion which means lions tooth – this is a description of its jagged leaves, which can be seen in the picture.
- The white juice from the stems can be used as a topical application for warts.
Dendelion & Me
- Why not try some Dandelion coffee in place of your morning coffee?
- In the spring, try picking some dandelion leaves and flowers as a beautiful addition to your salad.
If you are pregnant/breastfeeding or on drug medication, be sure to consult with a professional before trying these remedies.