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THE HEALING

POWERS
OF DANDELION

By

Dr. George Felfoldi, D.D., Ph.D.


2014, Dr. George Felfoldi
THE HEALING
POWERS OF
DANDELION
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Copyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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To distribute this book or make
Copies of it AS LONG AS
The content of this book is
Not altered in anyway.

ALL OTHER copyrights belong


To their respected
Owners.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page
Sub Title Page
Copyright Information
Dedication
Special Thanks
About The Author
More Books By The Author

Chapter One

Description
Parts Used Medicinally
History
Cultivation
Chemical Consitiutents
Medicinal Action And Uses
Preparations And Dosages

Chapter Two

Common Dandelion
- Composite Flower
- Dandelion Leaf
- Beige Taproot
- Parachute And Seed
- Seed Head
- Basal Rosette
- Yellow Composite Flower
- Dandelion Seed Head
Other Information

Chapter Three

Introduction To Taraxacum
What The Science Says
Side Effects And Cautions
Overview Of Dandelion
Medicinal Uses And Indications
Available Forms

Chapter Four

Description Of Taraxacum
- Seed Dispersal
- False Dandelions
Classification
- Selected Species
- Cultivars
Names Around The World
Properties
- Edibility
- Used As Medicine
- Food For Wildlife
- Benefit To Gardeners
- Cultural Importance
- Dangers
- As An Noxious Weed
- As Source Of Natural Rubber
Chapter Five

Recipes
Photo Gallery
DEDICATION

I would like to dedicate this book to my


Family, friends, and all my readers.
SPECIAL THANKS
I would like to thank all the people, my family, friends,
Companies, and Organization, and Governments that
made this book possible. Also all the people
that I failed to mention in
this listing.
__________________________________________________

The Toronto Public Library System


Toronto Public Health - City Of Toronto
Health Canada
(The Late) Rosa Felfoldi
Wikipedia Foundation
The Toronto Star Media
Medicine Net
Dr. Roland Wong, M.D.
N. Park
Dr. Paul Fung, M.D.
Botanical.Com
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
U.S. National Institutes Of Health (NIH)
Jean-Guy LeHoux
Margaret MacPhee, R.N.A.
A Home And Garden TV Blog
Mens Health Magazine
Canadian Health And Lifestyle Magazine
University of Maryland Medical Center
General Garden (Toronto)
Illustration & Artist (Wildman)
Allrecipes.Com
Taste Of Home
The Food Network
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DR. GEORGE FELFOLDI,


Is an Independent Baptist Minister,
A musician and song writer, and an
Author, who is a native to Toronto, Ontario,
Canada. George holds several doctors degrees
In various fields of study and has written several
Books on different subjects such as Occult,
Health, Vision Care, Religion, Animals, Herbals,
Ships, and also Poetry and Lyrics.
George is married and has four
grown children.
MORE BOOKS BY
THE AUTHOR
HERE IS A LIST of other
Books of interest by the
Same Author.

________________________________________________

Year 2006

Katoomba - Columbia
The Powers Of Garlic
Ginger The Herb And Root Guide
The Complete Book On Angles

Year 2007

The Book Of Spells: White Magic Vs Black Magic


Experimenting With The G-Spot
The Healing Powers Of Oregano
The Healing Powers Of Coconuts
Sex Magic
The Complete Book On Herbal Magick
The Magic Of Having Great Sex
Changing The Way We Look At Wolves
Cooking With Eggs Cookbook
The Backyard Terror: Squirrels
The Healing Powers Of Watermellons
The Healing Powers Of Avacados

Year 2008
The State Of Man (In Relationship To The Bible)
The Healing Powers Of Tomatoes
The Complete Book On Angles (Second Edition)
The Schooner, The Bluenose II
The Healing Powers Of Mushrooms
A Modern Look At ParaPsychology: Exploring Psychic
Reality And Psychical Research
Peach Popourri (A Book On Peaches)
The Down To Earth Cookbook

Year 2009

The Science Of Mind Transformation


A New Look At Scheuermanns Disease
Loch Ness Mystery
In Search Of, Mysterious Primates (Facts, Evidence,
Sightings)
The Healing Powers Of Pineapples
The Healing Powers Of Limes
The Scottish-Hungarian Cookbook
Cooking With Friends Cookbook
Spirit Orbs Photography
The Secret Of Healthy Living
The Healing Powers Of Mr. Garlic
The Complete Book On Herbal Magick
Spellcasting White & Black Magick
The Healing Powers Of Kiwi Fruit
A World Of Food Cookbook
A Psychic Connection To 2012
Paranormal Phenomenon Levitation
Aliens Are Among Us

Year 2010

The Devil And His Demons, Activities, Facts &


Evidence

Year 2012

Bed Bugs In The Woodwork


The Cockroach Invasion
The Basics Of The Chinese Zodiac
Focusing The Mind, The Inner Universe
The Healing Properties Of Honey

Year 2014

The Toe Nail Fungus Book


The Healing Powers Of Peppermint
The Healing Powers Of Dandelion
CHAPTER ONE

1
DESPRIPTION

Common Dandelion
(Taraxacum officinale)

DANDELION
Botanical: Taraxacum officinale (WEBER)
Family: N.O. Compositae
- Synonyms - Priests Crown, Swines Snout
Parts Used - Leaves and Roots.

THE DANDELION (Taraxacum officinale, Weber, T.


Densleonis, Desf; Leontodon taraxacum, Linn.), though not
occurring in the Southern Hemisphere, it is at home in all
parts of the north temperate zone, in pastures, meadows
and on waste ground, and it is plentiful that farmers
everywhere find it a troublesome weed, for though its
flowers are more conspicuous in the early months of the
summer, it may be found in bloom, and consequently also
prolifically dispersing its seeds, almost throughtout the
year.

Dandelion Seeds.
DESCRIPTION

From its thick tap root, dark brown, almost black on the
outside though white and milky within, the long jagged
leaves rise directly, radiating from it to form a rosette lying
close upon the ground, each leaf being grooved and
constructed so that all the rain falling on it is conducted
straight to the centre of the rosette and thus to the root
which is, therefore, always kept well watered.

The maximum amount of water is in this manner directed


towards the proper region for utilization by the root, which
but for this arrangement would not obtain sufficient
moisture, the leaves being spread too close to the ground
for the water to penetrate.

The leaves of this plant are shiny and are without hairs, the
margin of each leaf cut into great jagged teeth, either
upright or pointing somewhat backwards, and these teeth
are themselves cut here and there into lesser teeth. It is this
somewhat fanciful resemblance to the canine teeth of a lion
that (it is generally assumed) gives the plant its most
familiar name the dandelion, which is a corruption of the
French Dent de Lion, an equivalent of this name for the
genus to witch Linnaeus assigned it, Leontodon, but also in
nearly all the languages of Europe.

There is however some doubt, as to whether it was really


the shape of the leaves that provided the original notion, as
there is really no similarity between them, but the leaves
may perhaps be said to resemble the angular jaw of a lion
fully supplied with teeth.

Some authorities have also suggested that the yellow


flowers might be compared to the golden teeth of the
heraldic lion, while other people say that the whiteness of
the roots is the feature which provides the resemblance.
Fluckiger and Hanbury in Pharmacographis, tells us that
the name was conferred by Wilhelm, who was a surgeon,
that was so much impressed by the virtues of the plant that
he likened it to Dens leonis. In the Ortus Sanitatis, 1485,
under Dens Leonis, there is a monograph of half a page
(unaccompanied by any illustration) which concludes:

The Herb was much employed by Master Wilhelmus, a


surgeon, who on account of its virtues, likened it to eynem
lewen zan, genannt zu latin Dens leonis (a lions tooth,
called in Latin Dens leonis).

In the pictures of the old herbals, for instance, the one in


Brunfels Contrafayt Kreuterbuch, 1532, the leaves very
much resemble a lions tooth. The root is not illustrated at
all in the old herbals, as only the herb was used at that
time.

The name of the genus, Taraxacum, is derived from the


Greek word taraxos (disorder), and akos (remedy), on
account of the curative action of the plant. A possible
alternative derivation of Taraxacum is suggested in The
Treasury of Botany:

The generic name is possibly derived from the Greek


taraxo (I have excited or caused) and achos (pain), in
allusion to the medicinal effects of the plant.

There are many varieties of Dandelion leaves; some are


deeply cut into segments, in others the segments or lobes
from a much less conspicuous feature, and are sometimes
almost entire.

The shining, purplish flower-stalks rise straight from the


root, are leafless, smooth and hollow and bear single heads
of flowers. On picking the flowers, a bitter, milky juice
exudes from the broken edges of the stem, which is present
throughout the plant, and which when it comes into contact
with the hand, turns to a brown stain that is rather difficult
to remove.

Each bloom is made up of numerous strap shaped florets of


a bright golden yellow. This stap-shaped corolla is notched
at the edge into five teeth, each tooth representing a petal,
and lower down is narrowed into a claw-like tube, which
rests on the single chambered ovary containing a single
ovule. In this tiny tube is a copious supply of nectar, which
more than half fills it, and the presence of which provides
the incentive for the visits of many insects, among whom
the bee takes first rank.

The Dandelion takes an important place amoung honey-


producing plants, as it furnishes considerable quantities of
both pollen and nectar in the early spring, when all the
bees harvest from fruit trees is nearly over.

It is also important from the beekeepers point of view,


because not only does it flower most in spring, nor matter
how cool the weather may be, but a small succession of
bloom is also kept up until late autumn, so that it is a
source of honey after the main flowers have ceased to
bloom, thus delaying the need for feeding the colonies of
bees with artificial food.

Many little flies also are found visiting the Dandelion to


drink the lavishly-supplied nectar. By carefully watching, it
has been ascertained that no less than ninety-three (93)
different kinds of insects are in the habit of frequenting it.

Hawksbeard Flower Head.


The stigma grows up through the tube formed by the
anthers, pushing the pollen before it, and insects smearing
themselves with this pollen carry it to the stigmas of other
plants and flowers already expanded, thus insuring cross-
fertilization. At the base of each flower-head is a ring of
narrow, green bracts the involucre. Some of these stand up
to support the florets, others hang down to form a barricade
against such small insects as might crawl up the stem and
injure the bloom without taking a share in its fertilization,
as the winged insects do.

The blooms are very sensitive to weather conditions: in


fine weather, all the parts are outstretched, but directly rain
threatens the whole head closes up at once. It closes against
the dews of night, by five (5) oclock in the evening, being
prepared for its nights sleep, opening again at seven (7) in
the morning though as this opening and closing is largely
dependent upon the intensity of the light, the time differs
somewhat in different latitudes and at different seasons.

When the whole head of this plant has matured, all the
florets close up again within the green sheathing bracts that
lie beneath, and the bloom returns very much to the
appearance it had in the bud. Its shape begin then
somewhat reminiscent of the snout of a pig, it is termed in
some districts as Swines Snout. The withered, yellow
petals are, however soon pushed off in a bunch, as the
seeds, crowned with their tufts of hair, mature, and one day,
under the influence of the sun and wind the Swines
Snout becomes a large gossamer ball, from its silky
whiteness a very noticeable feature. It is made up of
myriads of plumed seeds or pappus, ready to be blown off

when quite ripe by the slightest breeze, and forms the


clock of the children, who by blowing at it till all the
seeds are released, love to tell themselves the time of day
by the number of puffs necessary to disperse every seed.

When all the seeds have flown, the receptacle or disc on


which they were placed remains bare, white, speckled and
surrounded by merely the drooping remnants of the
sheathing bracts, and we can see why the plant receives
another of its popular names, Priests Crown, that was
common in the Middle Ages, when a priests shorn head
was a familiar object.

Small birds are very fond of the seeds of the Dandelion


and pigs devour the whole plant greedily. Goats will eat it,
but sheep and cattle (cows) do not care for it, though it is
said to increase the milk of cows when eaten by the
animals. Horses refuse to touch this plant, not appreciating
its bitter juice. It is valuable food for rabbits and may be
given them from April to September forming excellent food
in spring at the breeding seasons in particular.

The young leaves of the Dandelion makes an agreeable and


wholesome addition to spring salads and are often eaten on
the Continent, specially in France and Italy. The full-grown
leaves should not be taken, being too bitter in taste, but the
young leaves, especially if blanched, makes an excellent
salad, either alone or in combination with other plants, such
as lettuce, shallot tops or chives.

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.

John Evelyn, in his Acetana, says; With thie homely


salley, Hecate entertained Theseus. In Wales, they grate or
chop up Dandelion roots, two year old, and mix them with
the leaves in salad. The seed of a special broad-leaved
variety of Dandelion is sold by seedsmen for cultivation for
salad purposes. Dandelion can be blanched in the same
way as endive, and is then very delicate in flavour. If
covered with an ordinary flower-pot during the winter, the
pot being further buried under some rough stable litter, the
young leaves sprout when there is a dearth of saladings
and prove a welcome change in early spring. Cultivated
thus, Dandelion is only pleasantly bitter, and if eaten while
the leaves are quite young, the centre rib of the leaf is not
at all unpleasant to the taste.

When older the rib is tough and not nice to eat. If the
flower-buds of plants reserved in a corner of the garden for
salad purposes are removed at once and the leaves carefully
cut, the plants will last through the whole winter.

The young leaves may also be boiled as a vegetable,


spinach fashion, thoroughly drained, sprinkled with pepper
and salt, moistened with soup or with butter and served
very hot. If it is considered a little too bitter, use half
spinach, but the Dandelion must be partly cooked first in
this case, as it takes longer than spinach. As a variation,
some grated nutmeg or garlic, a teaspoonful of chopped
onions or grated lemon peel can be added to the greens
when they are cooked. A simple vegetable soup can also be
made with Dandelions.

The dried Dandelion leaves are also employed as an


ingredient in many digestive or diet drinks and herb beers.
Dandelion beer is a rustic fermented drink that is very
common in many parts of the United States and which is
made also in Canada. Workmen in the furnaces and
potteries of the industrial towns of the Midlands have
frequent resource to many of the tonic Herb Beers, finding
them cheaper and less intoxicating than ordinary beers, and
Dandelion stout ranks as a favourite. An agreeable and
wholesome fermented drink is made from Dandelion,
Nettles and Yellow Dock.

In Berkshire and Worcestershire, the flowers are used in a


preparation of a beverage known as Dandelion Wine.

DANDELION WINE

Dandelion flower Foster

This is made by pouring a gallon of boiling water over a


gallon of flowers. After being well stirred, it is covered
with a blanket and is allowed to stand for three (3) days,
being stirred again at intervals, after which it is strained
and the liquor boiled for 30 minutes, with an addition of 3
lbs. Of loaf sugar, a little ginger sliced, the rind of 1
orange and 1 lemon sliced. When cold, a little yeast is
placed in it on a piece of toast, producing fermentation. It
is than covered and allowed to stand for two (2) days until
it has ceased working, when it is placed in a cask, well
bunged down for two (2) months before bottling. This wine
is suggestive of sherry slightly flat, and has the deserved
reputation of being an excellent tonic, which is extremely
good for the blood.

DANDELION COFFEE

The roasted roots are largely used to form Dandelion


Coffee, begin first thoroughly cleaned, then dried by
artificial heat, and slightly roasted till they are in tint of
coffee, when they are ground ready for use. The roots are
taken up in the autumn, being then most fitted for this
purpose. The prepared powder is said to be the most
indistinguishable from real coffee, and it is claimed to be
an improvement to inferior coffee, which is often an
adulterated product. Of later years, Dandelion Coffee has
come more into use in this country, being obtainable at
most vegetarian restaurants and local grocery stores.
Formerly is used occasionally to be given for medicinal
purposes, generally mixed with true coffee to give it a
better flavour.

The ground root was sometimes mixed with chocolate for a


similar purpose. 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 it does not cause wakefulness.
PARTS USED
MEDICINALLY

The root, fresh and dried, the young tops. 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.

Dandelion root used in medicine.


HISTORY
The Dandelion are thought to have evolved about thirty
million years ago in Eurasia. They have been used by
humans for food and as a herb for much of recorded
history.
The first mention of the Dandelion as a medicine is in the
works of the Arabian physician of the tenth (10th.) and
eleventh (11th.) centuries, who speak of it as a sort of wild
Endive, under the name if Taraxcacon. In this country, we
find allusion to it in the Welsh medicines of the thirteenth
(13th.) century. Dandelion was much valued as a medicine
in the times of Gerard and Parkinson, and is still
extensively employed.

Dandelion roots have long been largely used on the


Continent, and the plant is cultivated largely in India as a
remedy for liver complaints.

The root is perennial and tapering, simple or more or less


blanched, attaining in a good soil a length of a (1) foot or
more and inch to an (1) inch in diameter. Old roots
divide at the crown into several heads. The root is fleshy
and brittle, externally of a dark brown, internally white and
abounding in an inodorous milky juice of bitter, but not
disagreeable taste.

Only large, fleshy and well-formed roots should be


collected, from plants that are two (2) years old, not
slender, forked ones. Roots produced in good soil are easier
to dig up without breaking, and they are thicker and less
forked than those growing on waste places and by the
roadside.
Collectors should, therefore only dig in good, free soil, in
moisture and shade, from meadow-land. Dig up in wet
weather, but not during frost, which materially lessens the
activity of the roots. Avoid breaking the roots, using a long
trowel or a fork, lifting steadily and carefully.

Shake off as much of the extra earth as possible and then


cleanse the roots, the easiest way being to leave them in a
basket in a running stream so that the water covers them,
for about one (1) hour, or shake them, bunched, in a tank of
clean water.

Cut off the crown of leaves, but be careful in so doing not


to leave any scales on the top. Do not cut or slice the roots
or the valuable milky juice on which their medicinal value
depends will be wasted by bleeding.
CULTIVATION

As only large, well-formed roots are worth collecting,


many people to grow Dandelions as a crop, as by this
means large roots are insured and they are more easily dug,
generally being ploughed up. About 4 lbs. Of seed to the
acre should be allowed, sown in drills, 1 foot apart. The
crops should be kept clean by hoeing, and all flower-heads
should be picked off as soon as they appear, as otherwise
the growers own land and that of his neighbours will be
smothered with the weed when the seeds ripen. The yield
should be 4 to 5 tons of fresh roots to the acre in the second
year.

Dandelion roots shrink very much in drying, losing about


76% of their weight so that 100 parts of fresh roots yield
only about 22 parts of dry material. Under favourable
conditions, yields at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500 lbs. Of dry
roots per acre have been obtained from second-year plants
cultivated.

Dandelion roots can only be economically collected when a


meadow in which it is abundant is ploughed up. Under
such circumstances the roots are necessarily of different
ages and sizes, the seeds sowing themselves in successive
years. The roots then collected after washing and drying,
have to be sorted into different grades.

The largest, from the size of a lead pencil upwards, are cut
into straight pieces 2 to 3 inches long, the smaller size roots
being removed, these are sold at a higher price as the finest
roots. The smaller roots fetch a less price, and the
trimmings are generally cut small, sold at a lower price and
used for making Dandelion Coffee. Every part of the root is
thus used. The root before being dried should have every
trace of the leaf-bases removed as their presence lessens
the value of the root.

In collecting cultivated Dandelion advantage is obtained if


the seeds are all sown at one time, as greater uniformity in
the size of the roots is obtainable, and in deep soil free
from stones, the seedlings will produce elongated, straight
roots with few branches, especially if allowed to be
somewhat crowded on the same principles that coppice
trees produce straight trunks. Time is also saved in digging
up the roots which can thus be sold at prices competing
with those obtained as the result of cheaper labour on the
Continent. The edge of fields when room is allowed for the
plough-horses to turn, could easily be utilized if the soil is
good and is free of any stones for both Dandelion and
Burdock, as the roots are usually much blanched in stony
ground, and the roots are not generally collected until
October when the harvest is over.

The roots that are gathered in this month have stored up


their food reserve of Inulin, and when dried present a firm
appearance, whilst if it is collected in spring, when the food
reserve in the roots is used up for the leaves and flowers,
the dried root then presents a shrivelled and porous
appearance which renders it unsaleable.

The medicinal properties of the roots are, therefore,


necessarily greater in proportion in the spring. Inulin being
soluble in hot water, the solid extract if made by boiling the
root, often contains a large quantity of it, which is
deposited in the extract as it cools.

The roots are generally dried whole, but the largest ones
may sometimes be cut transversely into pieces 3 to 6 inches
long. Collected wild roots are, however, seldom large
enough to necessitate cutting. Drying will probably take
about a fortnight. When finished, the roots should be hard
and brittle enough to snap, and the inside of the roots
white, not grey.
Dried Dandelion.

The roots should be kept in a dry place after drying, to


avoid any mould, preferably in tins to prevent the attacks
of moths and beetles. Dried Dandelion is exceedingly liable
to the attack of maggots and should not be kept after one
(1) season.

Dried Dandelion root is inch or less in thickness, dark


brown, shrivelled, with wrinkles running lengthwise, often
in a spiral direction; when quite dry, it breaks easily with a
short, corky fracture, showing a very thick, white bark,
surrounding a wooden column. The latter is yellowish, very
porous, without pith or rays. A rather broad but indistinct
cambium zone separates the wood from the bark, which
latter exhibits numerous well-defined, concentric layers,
due to the milk vessels. This structure is quite characteristic
and serves to distinguish Dandelion roots from other roots
like it. There are several flowers easily mistaken for the
Dandelion when they are in blossom, but these have either
Hairy leaves or blanched flower-stems, and the roots differ
either in structure or shape.

Dried Dandelion root somewhat resembles Pellitory and


Liquorice roots, but Pellitory differs in having oil glands
and also a large radiate wood, and Liquorice has also a
large radiate wood and a sweet taste.

The root of the Hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus) is sometimes


substituted for Dandelion root. It is a plant with hairy, not
smooth leaves, and the fresh root is tough, breaking with
difficulty and rarely exuding much milky juice. Some kinds
of Dock have also been used and substituted, and also
Chicory root. The latter is of a paler colour, more bitter and
has the laticiferous vessels in radiating lines. In the United
States it is often substituted for Dandelion. Dock roots have
a prevailing yellowish colour and an astringent taste.

During recent years, a small form of a Dandelion root has


been offered by Russian firms, who state that it is sold and
used as Dandelion in that country. This root is always
smaller than the root of T. officinale, has smaller flowers,
and the crown of the root has often a tuft of brown woolly
hair between the leaf bases at the crown of the root, which
are never seen in the Dandelion plant in this country, and
from a characteristic distinction, for the root shows similar
concentric, horny rings in the thick white bark as well as a
yellow porous woody centre. The woolly hairs are
mentioned in Greenishs Materia Medica, and also in the
British Pharmaceutical Codex, as a feature of Dandelion
root, but no mention is made of them in the
Pharmacographia, nor in the British Pharmacopceia or
United States Pharmacopceia, and it is probable, therefore,
that Russian specimens have been used for describing the
root, and that the root with brown woolly hairs belong to
some other species of Taraxacum.
CHEMICAL
CONSTITUENTS

The chief constituents of Dandelion root are Taraxacin,


acrystalline, bitter substance, of which the yield varies in
roots that are collected at different seasons, and
Taraxacerin, an acrid resin, with Inulin that is (a sort of
sugar which replaces starch in many of the Dandelion
family, Compositae). gluten, gum and potash. The root
contains no starch, but early in the year contains much
uncrystallizable sugar and laevulin, which differs from
Inulin in being soluble in cold water. This diminishes in
quantity during the summer and becomes Inulin in the
autumn. The root may contain as much as 24%. In the fresh
root, the Inulin is present in the cell-sap, but in the dry
roots it occurs as an amorphous, transparent solid, which is
only slightly soluble in cold water, but is very soluble in
hot water.

There is a difference of opinion as to the best time for


collecting the roots. The British Pharmacopceia considers
the autumn dug root is more bitter than the spring root, and
that as it contains about 25% insoluble Inulin, It is to be
preferred on this account to the spring root, and it is,
therefore, directed that in England the roots should be
collected between September and February, it is being
considered to be in perfection for Extract making in the
month of November.
Bentley, on the other hand, contended that it is more bitter
in March and most of all in July, but that as in the latter
month it would generally be inconvenient for digging it, it
should be dug in the spring, when the yield of Taraxacin,
the bitter soluble principle, is the greatest.

On account of the variability of the constituents of the plant


according to the time of the year when gathered, the yield
and composition of the extract are very variable. If
gathered from roots that are collected in the autumn, the
resulting product yields a turbid solution with water; if
from spring-collected roots, the aqueous solution will be
clear and yield but very little sediment on standing,
because of the conversion of the Inulin in Laevulose and
sugar at this active period of the plants life.

In former days, Dandelion juice was the favourite


preparation both in official and domestic medicine.
Provincial druggists sent their collectors from the roots and
expressed the juice while these were quite fresh. Many
country druggists prided themselves on their Dandelion
Juice. The most active preparations of Dandelion, the Juice
(Succus Taraxaci) and the Extract (Extactum Taraxaci), are
made from the bruised fresh root. The Extract prepared
from the fresh roots is sometimes almost devoid of
bitterness. The dried root alone was official in the United
States Pharmacopoeia.

The leaves are not often used, except for making herb-beer,
but a medicinal tincture is sometimes made from the entire
plant that is gathered in the early summer. It is made with
proof spirit.

When collecting the seeds care should be taken when


drying them in the sun,

The Dandelion Seed.

To cover them with coarse muslin, as otherwise the down


will carry them away. They are best collected in the
evening, towards sunset, or when the damp air has caused
the heads to close up.

The tops should be cut on a dry day, when quite free from
rain and dew, and all insect-eaten or stained leaves rejected.
MEDICINAL ACTION
AND USES

Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient. It is a general


stimulant to the system, but especially to the urinary
organs, and is mainly used in kidney and liver disorders.

Dandelion is not only official but is used in many patent


medicines. Not being poisonous, quite big doses of its
preparations may be taken. Its beneficial action is best
obtained when it is combined with other agents.

The tincture made from the tops,

may be taken in doses of 10 to 15 drops in a spoonful of


water, three (3) times a day.

It is said that its use for liver complaints was assigned to


the plant largely on the doctrine of signatures, because of
its bright yellow flowers of a bilious hue.

In the hepatic complaints of person long resident in warm


climates, Dandelion is said to afford very marked relief. A
broth of Dandelion roots, sliced and stewed in boiling
water with some leaves of Sorrel and the yolk of an egg,
taken daily for some months, has been known to cure
seemingly intractable cases of chronic liver congestion.

A strong decoction is found serviceable in stone and gravel:


the decoction may be made by boiling 1 pint of the sliced
root in 20 parts of water for 15 minutes, straining this when
cold and sweetening it with brown sugar or with honey. A
small teacupful may be taken once or twice a day.

Dandelion is used as a bitter tonic dyspepsia, and as a mild


laxative in habitual constipation. When the stomach is
irritated and where active treatment would be injurious, the
decoction or extract of Dandelion administrated three or
four times a day, will often prove a valuable remedy.

It has a good effect in increasing the appetite and


promoting digestion.
Dandelion combined with other active remedies have been
used in cases of dropsy and for induration of the liver, and
also on the Continent for phthisis and some cutaneous
diseases.

A decoction of 2 oz. Of the herb or root in 1 quart of water,


boiled down to a pint, is taken in doses of one wineglassful
every three hours for scurvy, scrofula, eczema and all
eruptions of the surface of the body.
PREPARATIONS
AND
DOSAGES

- Preparations and Dosages

Fluid extract, B.P., 1/2 to 2 drachms. Solid extract, B.P. 5 to


15 grains. Juice, B.P., 1 to 2 drachms. Leontodin, 2 to 4
grains.

- Dandelion Tea

Infusion 1 oz. Of Dandelion in a pint of boiling water for


10 minutes; decant, sweeten with honey, and drink several
glasses in the course of the day. The use of this tea is
efficacious in bilious affections, and it is also much
approved of in the treatment of dropsy.

Or take 2 oz. Of freshly-sliced Dandelion root, and boil in


2 pints of water until it comes to 1 pint; then add 1 oz. Of
compound tincture of Horseradish. Dose, from 2 to 4 oz.
Use in a sluggish state of the liver.

Or 1 oz. Of Dandelion root, 1 oz. Of Black Horehound


herb, oz. Of Sweet Flag root, oz. Of Mountain Flax.
Simmer the whole in 3 pints of water down to 1 pint,
strain and take a wineglassful after meals for biliousness
and dizziness.

- For Gall Stones:

1 oz. Dandelion root, 1 oz. Parsley root, 1 oz. Balm herb,


oz. Ginger root, oz. Liquorice root. Place in 2 quarts of
water and gently simmer down to 1 quart, strain and take a
wineglassful every two hours.

- For Jaundice:

For a young child that is suffering from jaundice: 1 oz.


Dandelion root, Ginger root, oz. Caraway seed, oz.
Cinnamon bark, oz. Senna leaves, Gently boil in 3 pints
of water down to 1 pints, strained, dissolve lb. Of
sugar in hot liquid, bring to a boil again, skim all impurities
that come to the surface when clear, put on one side to
cool, and give frequently in teaspoonful doses.

- A Liver And Kidney Mixture:

1 oz Broom tops, oz. Juniper berries, oz. Dandelion


root, 1 pint of water. Boil all ingredients for 10 minutes,
then strain and add a small quantity of cayenne. Dose, 1
tablespoonful, three times a day.

- A Medicine For Piles:

1 oz. Long-leaved Plantain, 1 oz. Dandelion root, oz.


Polypody root, 1 oz. Shepherds Purse. Add 3 pints of
water, boil down to a half the quantity, strain, and add 1 oz.
Of tincture of Rhubarb. Dose, a wineglassful three times a
day. Celandine ointment to be applied at the same time.

Inn Derbyshire, the juice of the stalk is applied to remove


warts.
CHAPTER TWO

2
COMMON
DANDELION

The dandelion is a perennial, herbaceous plan with long,


lanced-shaped leaves. They are so deeply toothed, they
gave the plant its name in Old French: Dent-de-lion which
means lions tooth in Old French.

COMPOSIT FLOWER

Composite Flower

DANDELION LEAF

The leaves are 3 to 12 inches long, and to 2 wide and


are always growing in a basal rosette.
Dandelion Leaf.

Also,

Also Dandelion Leaf.


BEIGE TAPROOT

Beige Taproot.

PARACHUTE AND SEED

Parachute And Seed Of A


Dandelion.
SEED HEAD

Seed Head of a Dandelion Plant.

Also,

Dandelion Seed Head.


BASAL ROSETTE

The rosetteis immature, tightly wrapped leaf bases just


above the top of the root form a tight Crown.

Dandelion leaves are at their best when they are just


emerged.

Basal Rosette

YELLOW COMPOSITE FLOWER

The Dandelionis well known yellow, composite flower are


1 to 2 inches wide
Yellow Composite Flower.

They grow individually on hollow flower stalks 2 to 18


inches tall. Each flower head consists of hundreds of tiny
ray flowers. Unlike other composites, there are no disk
flowers. Reflexed bracts grow under each flower.

DANDELION SEED HEAD

The flower head can change into the familiar, white,


globular seed head overnight. Each seed has a tiny
parachute, to spread far and wide in the wind.

The thick, brittle, beige, blanching taproot grows up to 10


inches long. All parts of this plant exude a white milky sap
when it is broken.
Dandelion Seed Head.
OTHER
INFORMATION

There are no poisonous look-alikes. Other very similar


Taraxacum species, as well as chicory and wild lettuce only
resemble dandelions in the early spring. All these edibles
also exude a white milky sap when they are injured, but
chicory and wild lettuce leaves have some hair, at least on
the underside of the midrib, while Taraxacum leaves are
bald. Unlike the other genera, Taraxacum stays in a basal
rosette. It never grows a tall, central, stalk bearing flowers
and leaves.

Dandelions are especially well-adapted to a modern world


of disturbed habitats, such as lawns and sunny opened
spaces. They were even introduced into the Midwest from
Europe to provide food for the imported honeybees in early
spring. They now grow virtually worldwide. Dandelions
spread further, are more difficult to exterminate, and they
grow under more, under adverse circumstances than most
competitors.

Most gardeners detest them, but the more you try to weed
them up, the faster they grow.

The taproot is deep, twisted, and brittle. Unless you remove


it completely, it will regenerate. If you break off more
pieces than you unearth, the Dandelion wins.
Collected dandelion leaves in early spring, when they are
the tastiest before the flowers appear. Harvest again in late
fall. After a frost, their protective bitterness disappears.

Diversify your salads

Dandelion greens.

Try other greens with bite in your next salad. Dandelion


greens: choose these for a blast of vision-boosting vitamin
A. Just be sure to temper the bitterness with a warm bacon
dressing or a few slices of prosciutto, and a mellow cheese
like chevre. One cup provides your daily requirements of
vitamins A and K, and nearly a third of your vitamin C.
The flowers add colour, texture, and an unusual bittersweet
flavour to salads. You can also saut the, dip them in batter
and fry them into fritters, or steam then with other
vegetables. They have a meaty texture that contrasts with
other light vegetables in a stir-fry dish or a casserole.

Some Japanese people make an exceptionally delicious


traditional Dandelion flower pickles, using vinegar and
spices.

The taproot is edible all year round, but is best from late
fall to early spring. Use it as a cooked vegetable, especially
in soup. Although not as tasty as other wild root vegetables,
it is not bad. I remember finding large Dandelions with
huge roots growing wild on the bottom of a grassy hillside.
They were only mildly bitter, so I threw them into a potato
stock. With the added scallions, tofu, ginger, carrots and
miso, and it became an excellent Japanese Miso Soup.

Pre-boiling and changing the water, or long, slow


simmering mellows the roots. Sweet vegetables best
complement Dandelion roots. Sauting the roots in olive oil
also improves them, creating a robust flavour. A little
Tamari soy sauce and onions complete this unusual
vegetable side dish.

The leaves are more nutritious than anything you can buy.
They are higher in beta-carotene than carrots are. The iron
and calcium content is phenomenal, greater than spinach.
You also get vitamins such as:

- Vitamin B-1
- Vitamin B-2
- Vitamin B-5
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin P
- Vitamin K

And not to mention all these other minerals such as:

-Biotin,
-Inositol,
-Potassium,
-Phosphorus,
-Magnesium,
-Zinc

By growing and using a tasty, free vegetable that grows on


virtually on every lawn, gardens and fields. The roots
contain the sugar inulin, plus many other medicinal
substances.

Dandelion root is one of the safest and most popular herbal


remedies. The specific name, officinale, means that it is
used medicinally. The decoction is a traditional tonic. It is
supposed to strengthen the entire body, especially the liver
and gallbladder, where it promotes the flow of bile,
reducing inflammation of the bile duct, and helps to get rid
of gall stones. This is due to the Taraxacin. It is good for
chronic hepatitis, it reduces liver swelling and jaundice,
and it helps indigestion that is caused by insufficient bile.

DO NOT use it with irritable stomach or bowel, or if you


have an acute inflammation.

The modern French name for this plant is Pissenlit (lit


means bed) because the root and leaf tea act on the kidneys
as a gentle diuretic, improving the way they cleanse the
blood and recycle nutrients. Unlike pharmaceuticals
diuretics, this doesnt leach potassium, which is a vital
mineral, from the body. Improved general health and clear
skin results from improved kidney function. A lot of people
and friends that I spoke to claimed that they avoided
surgery for urinary stones by using Dandelion root tea
alone.

Dandelion are also good for the:

-Bladder,
-Spleen,
-Pancreas,
-Stomach,
-Large intestines,
-Small intestines.
It is recommended for stressed-out, internally sluggish, and
sedentary people. Anyone who is a victim of excessive fat,
white flower, and concentrated sweeteners could benefit
from a daily cup of Dandelion Tea.

Dandelion root is rich in inulin which is a sugar that


doesnt elicit the rapid production of insulin, as refined
sugars do. It helps mature-onset diabetes and hypoglycemia
(low blood sugar).

Dandelion leaf infusion is also good at dinner time. Its


bitter elements encourage the production of proper levels
of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. All the
digestive glands and organs respond to this herbs
stimulation. Even after the plant gets a bit bitter, a strong
infusion, is rich in vitamins and minerals, and helps people
who are run-down. Even at its most bitter (Taraxacum
come from Arabic and Persian, meaning bitter herb), it
never becomes intolerable so, like golden seal and gentian.

The leafs white, milky sap removes:

-Warts,
-Moles,
-Pimples,
-Calluses,
-Sores,

And also soothes bee sting and blisters.


Unlike most other seeds, Dandelion can germinate without
long periods of dormancy. To further increase reproductive
efficiency, the plant has given up sex: The seeds can
develop without any cross-fertilization, so a flower can
fertilize itself. This lets it foil the gardener by dispersing
the seeds as early as the day after the flowers open.

The Dandelion has given up SEX.


CHAPTER THREE

3
INTRODUNTION
TO
TARAXACUM

Dandelion greens are edible and they are a rich source of


vitamin A. Dandelion has been used in many traditional
medical systems, including Native American and
traditional Arabic Medicine. Historically, Dandelion was
most commonly used to treat liver disease, kidney disease,
And spleen problems.
Less commonly, Dandelion was used to treat digestive
problems and skin conditions. Today, traditional or folk use
of Dandelion include use as a liver and kidney tonic, as a
diuretic, and for minor digestive problems.

Leaf of a Dandelion

The leaves and roots of the Dandelion, or the whole plant,


are used fresh or dried in teas, capsules, or extracts.
Dandelion leaves are used in salads or as a cooked green,
and the flowers are used in making wine.
WHAT THE
SCIENCE SAYS

There is no compelling scientific evidence for using


Dandelion as a treatment for any medical condition.
SIDE EFFECTS
AND CAUTIONS

- Dandelion use is generally considered very safe.


However, there has been some rare reports of upset
stomach and diarrhea, and some people are allergic to the
plant.

- People with an inflamed or infected gallbladder, or with


blocked bile ducts, should avoid using Dandelion.

- Tell all your health care providers about any


complementary health practices you use. Give them a full
picture of what you do to manage your health. This will
help to ensure coordinated and safe care.
OVERWIEW OF
DANDELION

Dandelion Flower Head

While many people think of the Dandelion (Taraxacum


officinale) as a pesky weed, its chock full of vitamin A, B,
C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and
zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavour to salads,
sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee
substitutes, and the flowers are used in making wine and
herbal beers.

In the past, Dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat


liver problems. Native Americans also boiled Dandelions in
water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin
problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional
Chinese medicine, Dandelions have been used to treat
stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such
as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was
used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes,
and diarrhea.

So far, there have not been any good quality scientific


studies of Dandelions. Today, the roots are mainly used to
stimulate the appetite, and for liver and gallbladder
problems.

Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to help the body get


rid of too much fluids.
MEDICINAL USES
AND
INDICATIONS

Most scientific studies of Dandelion have been in animals,


not people. Traditionally, the Dandelion has been used as a
diuretic, to increase the amount of urine in order to get rid
of too much fluids. It has been used for many conditions
where a diuretic might help, such as with liver problems
and high blood pressure. However, there is no good
research on using Dandelion as a diuretic in people.

Dried or fresh Dandelion herb is also used as a mild


appetite stimulant and to improve upset stomach. The root
of the Dandelion plant may act like a mild laxative and it
has been used to improve digestion.

Some very preliminary research suggests that the


Dandelion may help improve liver and gallbladder
functions, but the study was not well designed.

Some preliminary animal studies also suggest that


Dandelions may help to normalize blood sugar levels and
lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL,
good, cholesterol in diabetic mice.

But not all the animal studies have found a positive effect
on blood sugar, and researchers need to see if Dandelions
would work in people.

A few animal studies also suggest that Dandelions night


help to fight inflammation.

Dandelion
AVAILABLE FORMS

You can find Dandelion herb and roots fresh or dried in a


variety of forms, including:

- Tinctures,
- Liquid extracts,
- Teas,
- Tablets,
- and Capsules.

Dandelion can be found alone or combined with other


dietary supplements.
CHAPTER FOUR

4
DESCRIPTION
OF
TARAXACUM

The species of Taraxacum are tap-rooted biennial or


perennial herbaceous plants, that are native to temperate
areas of the Old and New Worlds.

Like I mentioned in previous Chapters the leaves are 2 - 25


cm long or longer, simple and basal, entire or lobed,
forming a rosette above the central taproot. The flower
heads are yellow or orange coloured, and they are open in
the daytime but closed at night. The heads are borne singly
on a hollow stem (scape) that rise 1 - 10 cm or more above
the leaves and exudes a milky latex when it is broken. A
rosette may produce several flowering stems at a time. The
flower heads are 2 - 5 cm in diameter and consist entirely
of ray florets. The flower heads mature into spherical seed
head that is called a Blowballs or Clocks (in both
British and American English) containing many single-
seeded fruits called Achenes. Each achene is attached to
a pappus of fine hairs, which enables wind-aided dispersal
over a long distance.

The flower head of the Dandelion is surrounded by bracts


(which is sometimes mistakenly called Sepals) in two
series. The inner bracts are erect until the seeds mature,
then flex downward to allow the seeds to disperse; the
outer bracts are always reflexed downward. Some species
drop the parachute from the achenes; the hair-like
parachutes that are called pappus, and they are modified
sepals. Between the pappus and the achene, there is a stalk
called a Beak, which elongates as the fruit matures. The
beak breaks off from the achene quite easily, separating the
seed from the parachute.

SEED DISPERSAL

A number of species of Taraxacum are seed dispersed


ruderals they rapidly colonize disturbed soil, especially the
common Dandelion (T. officinale), which has been
introduced over much of the temperate world. After
flowering is finished, the Dandelion flower head dries out
for a day or two. The dried petals and stamens drop off, the
Parachute Ball.

bracts reflex ( curve backwards), and the parachute ball


opens into a full sphere.

FALSE DANDELIONS

Many similar plants in the Asteraceae family with yellow


flowers are sometimes known as False Dandelions.
Dandelions are very similar to catsears (Hypochaeris).
Both plants carry similar flowers, which form into
windborne seeds.

However, Dandelion flowers are borne singly on


unbranched, hairless and leafless, hollow stems,

Hawksbeard flower heads and ripe seeds


Are sometimes confused with
Dandelions.

While catsear flowering stems are branched, solid and


carry bracts. Both plants have a basal rosette of leaves and
a central taproot. However, the leaves of Dandelions are
smooth or glabrous, whereas those of catsear are coarsely
hairy.

Other plants with superficially similar flowers include the


Hawkweeds (Hieracium) and the hawks beards (Crepis).
These are readily distinguished by branched flowering
stems, which are usually hairy and bear leaves.
CLASSIFICATION

Dandelion

A Dandelion flower head composed


Of hundreds of smaller florets (top)
And seed head (bottom)

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae

(Unranked): Angiosperms

(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids

Order: Asterales

Family: Asteraceae

Tribe: Cichorieae

Genus: Taraxacum

F. H. Wigg.

Type species

Taraxacum officinale

F. H. Wigg.

--------------------------------------------------------------

The genus is taxonomically complex, with some botanists


dividing the group into about 34 macro species, and about
2,000 micro species; approximately 235 apodictic and
polyploid micro species have been recorded in Great
Britain and Ireland.

Some botanists take a much narrow view and only accept a


total of about 60 species.
SELECTED SPECIES

- Taraxacum albidum, is a white-flowering Japanese


dandelion.

- Taraxacum californium, which is the endangered


California dandelion.

- Taraxacum centrasiaticum, the Xinijiang dandelion.

- Taraxacum japonicum, Japanese dandelion. No ring of


smallish, downward-turned leaves under the flowerhead.

- Taraxacum kok-saghyz, Russian dandelion, which


produces rubber.

- Taraxacum laevigatum, Red-seeded dandelion; achenes


reddish brown and leaves deeply cut throughout the length.
Inner bracts tips are hooded.
- Taraxacum erythrospermum, is often considered a
variety of Taraxacum laevigatum.

- Taraxacum officinale, is a common dandelion which is


found in many forms.

- Taraxacum ceratophorum, which is the Northern


dandelion.
CULTIVARS

- Ameliore a Coeur Plein - Yields an abundant crop


without taking up much ground space, and tends to blanch
itself naturally, due to its clumping growth habit.

- Broad Leaved - The leaves are thick and tender and


easily blanched. In rich soils they can be up to 60 cm wide.
Plants do not go to seed as quickly as do French types.

- Vert de Montmagny - Long dark green leaves, some


people find them mild enough to be palatable without
blanching. Vigorous and productive.
NAMES AROUND THE
WORLD

Dandelion leaf resemblance to a lion tooth.

The Latin name Taraxacum originates in medieval Persian


writings on pharmacy. The Persian scientist Al-Razi
around 900 (A.D.) wrote the tarashaquq in like chicory.
The Persian scientist and philosopher Ibn Sina around
1,000 (A.D.) wrote a book chapter on Taraxacum. Gerard
on Cremona, in translating Arabic to Latin around 1170,
spelled it tarasacon.

The English name, dandelion, is a corruption of the


French dent de lion meaning lions tooth, referring to the
coarsely toothed leaves. The plant is also known as
blowball, canterwort, doon-head-clock, witchs gowan,
milk witch, lions tooth, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, monks-
head, priests-crown, and puff-ball. other common names
include, face clock, pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, swines snout,
white endive, and wild endive.
The name dandelion is a cognate of the name in many
other European languages, such as the

Welsh dant y llew,


Italian dente di leone,
Spanish diente de leon,
Portuguese dente-de-leoa,
Norwegian Lovetann,
Danish Lovetand,
German Lowenzahn.

The colloquial German word Pusteblume (blown flower)


refers to the childrens game of blowing away the seeds of
the ripe taraxacum flower.

In modern French, the plant is named Pissenlit (or


vernacular pisse au lit). Likewise, piss-a-bed as in
English folk-name for this plant, as are piscialletto in
Italian, pixallits in Catalan and meacamas in Spanish.
These names refer to the strong diuretic effects of the
plants roots, either roasted or raw. In various north-eastern
Italian dialects, the plant is known as pisacan (dog
pisses), because they are found at the side of pavements.

In Frence, it is known as laitue de chien (dogs lettuce),


salade de taupe (moles salad), florin dor (golden florin),
cochet (cockerel); fausse chicoree (false chicory), couronne
de moine (monks crown), baraban.

In several European languages, the plant, or at least its


parachute ball stage, is named after the popular childrens
passtime of blowing the parachute off the stalk: Pusteblume
German for blowing flowers, soffione (Italian for
blowing, in some northern Italian dialects), dmuchawiec
(Polish derived from the verb blow).

In other languages, the plant is named after the white latex


that is found in its stem, e.g. mlecz (derived from the
Polish word for milk), moelkebotte (Danish for milk
pot), kutyatej (Hungarian for dog milk). The
Lithuanian name kiaulpiene can be translated as sow
milk. Similar in Latvian it is called pienene, derived from
piens (milk), as in Catalan is used lletso (derived from
the word llet that means milk).

The alternative Hungarian name gyermeklancfu (childs


chain grass), refers to the habit of children to pick
dandelions, remove the flowers, and make links out of the
stems by plugging the narrow top end of the stem into
the wider bottom end.

In Bulgarian and Macedonian, its name is derived from


the word deaf, because of a traditional belief that
dandelion parachute can cause deafness.

In Turkish, the dandelion is called karahindiba meaning


black endive or chicory. While the root flesh is white, the
outer skin of the root is dark brown or black.

In Swedish, it is called maskros meaning (worm rose)


after the small insects (thrips) usually present in the flower.

In Finnish and Estonian, it is called voikukka and voilill,


respectively, meaning butter flower, referring to its
buttery colour. Similarly in Croatian, the name of this
plant (maslacak) is derived from the noun maslac, meaning
butter.

In Dutch, it is called paardenbloem, meaning horse-


flower.

In Chinese, it is called pu gong ying, meaning flower that


grows in public spaces by the riverside.

In Persian, it is called qasedak, meaning the small


postman, because of a belief that it brings good news.

In Portuguese, it is called dente-de-leao, also meaning


lions tooth. Portuguese children also called them o teu
pai e careca, (your dad is bald), due to a game which
consisted on blowing on a dandelion. If it was left with no
seed, that would mean the other kids dad was bald.

In Greek, its seeds (and most often the plant itself) is


called kleftis meaning thief because it is very difficult to
catch once airborne.

In Cyprus, the plant is called pappous meaning


grandfather due to the white-coloured seed head
resembling the white hair of an older man.
In Romanian, it is generally called papadie.

In Albanian, it is called paraglide, paraglide, as well as


luleshurdha, (meaning deaf plant), radhiqe / luleradhiqe
(from a misconception due to its resemblance to chicory
leaf), as well as lakra or lakra te egra (translated as wild
lakra), a name which generalizes a family of similar green
leaf vegetables including as well sorrel, chicory, catsear,
scarole, and other local indigenous plants.
PROPERTIES

Dandelions

Edibility

Dandelions are found on all continents and have been


gathered for food since prehistory, but the varieties
cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia. A
perennial plant, its leaves will grow back if the taproot is
left intact. To make leaves more palatable, they are often
blanched to remove bitterness.

Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional


Sephardic, Chinese and Korean cuisine. In Crete, Greece,
the leaves of a variety called Mari (Mapi), Mariaki
(Mapiaki) or Koproadiko are eaten by locals, either raw or
boiled, in salads. Taraxacum megalorhizon, a species
endemic to Crete, is eaten in the same way; it is found only
at high altitudes about 1,000 to 1,600 m. and in fallow
sites, and is called pentagram or agrioradiko.

The flower petals, along with the other ingredients, usually


including citrus, are used to make Dandelion Wine. The
ground, roasted roots can be used as a caffeine-free
Dandelion Coffee. Dandelion was also traditionally used to
make the traditional British soft drink Dandelion and
Burdock, and is one of the ingredients of root beer. Also,
Dandelions were once delicacies eaten by the Victorian
gentry, mostly in salads and sandwiches.

Dandelion leaves contain abundant vitamins and minerals,


especially vitamins A, C, and K, and are a good source of
calcium, potassium, iron and manganese.

USED AS MEDICINE

Historically, Dandelion was prized for a variety of


medicinal properties, and it contains a wide number of
pharmacologically active compounds. Dandelion is used as
a herbal remedy in Europe, North America, Canada, and
China. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat
infections, bile and liver problems, and as a diuretic.

FOOD FOR WILDLIFE

Taraxacum seeds are an important food source for certain


birds.

Dandelions are also important plants for northern


hemisphere bees, providing an important source of nectar
and pollen early in the season. Dandelions are used as food
plants by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera
(butterflies and moths). They also are used as a source of
nectar by the pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne)
one of the earliest emerging butterflies in the spring.

BENEFITS TO GARDENERS

The Dandelion plant is a beneficial weed, with a wide


range of uses, and is even a good companion plant for
gardening. Its taproot will bring up nutrients for shallower-
rooting plants, and add minerals and nitrogen to the soil. It
is also known to attract pollinating insects and release
ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen.

CULTURAL IMPORTANCE

Four Dandelion flowers are the emblem of White Sulphur


Springs, West Virginia. The citizens celebrate spring with
an annual Dandelion Festival.

The Dandelion is the official flower of the University of


Rochester and Dandelion Yellow is one of the schools
official colours. The Dandelion Yellow is an official
University of Rochester song.

DANGER

Dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions when eaten,


or adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Contact
dermatitis after handling has also been reported, probably
from the latex in the stems and leaves.

Due to its high potassium level, dandelion can also increase


the risk of hyperaemia when its taken with potassium-
sparing diuretics. The consumption of dandelion leaves has
also been implicated in occurrences of fasciolosis.

AS A NOXIOUS WEED

The species Taraxacum officinale is listed as a noxious


weed in some jurisdictions, and it is considered to be a
nuisance in residential and recreational lawns in Canada
and in the United States.

It is also an important weed in agriculture and causes


significant economic damage because of its infestation in
many crops worldwide.

AS SOURCE OF NATURAL RUBBER


Dandelion milk has been known to contain latex for a long
time. The latex exhibited the same quality as the natural
rubber from rubber trees. Yet in the wild types of
dandelion, the latex content is low and varies greatly.

By inhibiting one key enzyme and using modern


cultivation methods and optimization techniques scientists
in the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and
Applied Ecology (IME) in Germany developed a cultivar
that is suitable for commercial production of natural rubber.

In collaboration with Continental Tire, IME is building a


pilot facility. The first prototype test tire made with blends
from dandelion-rubber are scheduled to be tested on public
roads over the next few years.
CHAPTER FIVE

5
RECIPES
Here is some Dandelion recipes that you may want to try.

DANDELION JELLY

Donna Bohaty of Rockford, Illinois tells us that she had


made this Jelly for many years. It has a wonderful honey
taste and friends and family are always delighted to receive
it.

Makes : 48 servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Process: 5 minutes
Yield: 6 - pints
Ingredients
2 cups dandelion blossoms
4 cups water
1 package (1 oz) powdered fruit pectin
5 cups sugar
2 tbsp orange or lemon extract
4 to 6 drops green food colouring, optional

Direction:

In a large saucepan, begin dandelion blossoms and water to


a boil; boil 4 minutes.

Line a strainer or colander with four layers of cheesecloth


or one coffee filter; place over a bowl. Place dandelion
mixture in prepared strainer. Strain mixture, reserving 3
cups liquid. Discard blossoms.

In a Dutch oven, combine pectin and reserved dandelion


liquid. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring
constantly. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil 1
minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat; add extract and, if desired, food


colouring. Skim off foam. Ladle hot liquid into hot
sterilized half-pint jars, leaving in. headspace. Remove
air bubbles and adjust headspace.

Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that


they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil;
process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Yield: about 6
half-pints.

-------------------------------------------------

DANDELION GREENS

Dandelion greens are cooked with chopped onions, minced


garlic, chile peppers, then topped with grated Parmesan
cheese.

Makes: 4
servings

Ingredients:
1 pound dandelion greens
cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole small dried hot chile peppers, seeds removed,
crushed
cup cooking oil
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Discard dandelion green roots; wash greens well in salted


water. Cut leaves into 2 in. pieces. Cook greens uncovered
in small amount of salt water until they are tender, about 10
minutes. Saute onions, garlic, and chile pepper in oil. Drain
greens; add to onion garlic mixture. Taste dandelion greens
and season with salt.

---------------------------------------------------

DANDELION GREENS
WITH A KICK

Dandelion greens are some peoples favourite bitters. They


are not for everyone, but I enjoy their unique flavour. I
decided to try to sauted instead of in a salad and it was a
huge hit. Makes good use of those dandelions in the back
yard, or you can usually find dandelion greens at the local
grocery store or Asian market.
Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Ready in: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tsp salt
1 pound dandelion greens, torn into 4 in. pieces
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
onion, thinly chopped
tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

Soak dandelion greens in a large bowl of cold water with 1


tsp of salt for 10 minutes. Drain.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tsp of salt. Cook


greens until they are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse
with cold water until chilled.

Heat olive oil and butter a large skillet over medium heat;
cook and stir in onions and red pepper flakes until onions
are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until garlic is
fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Increase heat to medium-
high and add dandelion greens. Continue to cook and stir
until liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt
and black pepper.

Sprinkle greens with Parmesan cheese and serve.

---------------------------------------------------------

DANDELION SALAD

Erlensee in Germany, tells us that this is a very good use of


all those annoying dandelions that are growing in your
back yard.

Just so long as you dont have a dog. Top with your


favourite salad dressing. She uses hot bacon dressing.

Prep: 10 minutes
Ready in: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
Ingredients:

pound torn dandelion greens


red onions, chopped
2 med. Tomatoes, chopped or sliced
tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium bowl, toss together dandelion greens, red


onions, and tomatoes. Season with basil, salt and pepper.

------------------------------------------------------------

DANDELION GREEN GUMBO


WITH GOOD THYME RICE
Recipe by Rachael Ray (/chefs/Rachael-ray.html)

Total Time: 40 minutes


Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Level: easy

Ingredients:

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided


1 cup white rice
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 to 4 ribs celery from the heart, chopped with greens
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika, 1/3 palm full
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 bottle pale beer
3 to 6 tsp hot sauce (recommended: Franks Red Hot
medium to spicy heat level)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, (eyeball it)
1 (15 oz) can petite diced, crushed or stewed tomatoes
4 to 5 cups, 2 bundles, dandelion greens, stemmed and
chopped
tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsps , lemon zest
2 scallions, finely chopped

Directions:

Heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp extra-virgin


olive oil and rice. Toast rice 2 minutes, add 2 cups stock
and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce
heat to simmer and cook 18 minutes or until tender.

Heat a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add 2


tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, turn off the pan, and 2 tbsp
butter to the pot. When butter melts into oil, add garlic,
celery, bell peppers and onion and season with salt, pepper
and paprika. Cook to soften veggies, 5 minutes. Add bay
leaf and flour and cook the flour another minute. Stir in
beer and reduce the liquid by half, a minute or so. Add hot
sauce Worcestershire and tomatoes. Add 1 quart stock to
the pot, stir in the greens and season with nutmeg. Raise
the heat to bring to a quick boil then simmer 15 minutes
until greens are no longer bitter. Adjust seasoning, to taste.

Uncover rice and add lemon zest and scallions. Remove the
thyme stems and fluff rice with fork. Remove bay leaf from
gumbo. Scoop up gumbo and top with scoops of rice and
serve.
PHOTO GALLERY
Here are some of the pictures that I have used in this book.
THIS IS A
FREE BOOK

ENJOY!