Family: Compositae (daisy, echinacea, margiold)
Parts Used: Whole plant *roots have the strongest medicinal properties
For most people dandelions are simply a noxious weed that they work hard to eradicate each spring. For me it is another healing herb the Lord has blessed us with. Last year we focused an entire month on the dandelion for our nature study and have come to love and adore this despised little plant (although we still don't want it taking over lawn:)) One of my favorite uses for dandelion is to dissolve warts. I tried many natural remedies for getting rid of warts, including very strong essential oils. What finally worked was applying the milk from snapping off a dandelion head, directly on the wart every day for several weeks. It gradually disappeared!
- Aperient (mild laxative)
- Cholagogue (stimulates bile flow)
- Diuretic (increases urine flow)
- Galactagogue (increases milk flow)
- Hepatic (strengthens liver function)
- Milk from the dandelion will dissolve warts (apply topically to wart until it is dissolved - the milk will turn black)
- Milk can also fade aging spots (liver spots).
- #1 digestive aid
- Bitter tonic good for liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas.
- Blood purifier (root has strongest action).
- Liver stimulant and decongestant (root has the strongest action).
- Bladder and kidney problems (leaf will have the strongest action).
- Breaks down cholesterol and fat.
- Can decrease blood sugar levels and cravings for sugar.
- Gall and kidney stone prevention and aid (leaf and root).
- Bladder infection, won’t kill bacteria but helps wash microbes out of the urinary tract.
- High blood pressure and heart disease.
- Increase milk supply in nursing mothers.
- Bloating and discomfort of PMS.
- Liver conditions such as jaundice and hepatitis.
- Chronic skin problems (by cleansing the liver and kidneys).
- Brain, eye, and heart support (flower).
- Promotes strong bone and joint health.
- Milk from the "sap" will dissolve warts when used consistently (apply 2-3 times a day for 2-3 months).
- Milk can also fade aging spots.
- High in trace minerals, iron, calcium, potassium and other nutrients including electrolytes. Great herb for anemia and other blood conditions.
Methods of Use
- Food: use leaves and blossoms in cooking. Roots can be roasted and brewed.
- Tea: Decoction of roots or infusion of flowers and leaves
- Powder, Sprinkle, Capsules
- Tincture, Liniment
- Honey, Syrup
- Herbal Oil
- Salve, Ointment, Balm
- Bath, Steam
- Milk from snapping off a blossom or breaking the stem in half
- Dandy Blend (a yummy instant beverage with extracts of dandelion, chicory, barley and rye)
In the Kitchen
- Leaves are best in early spring when they are young but they can be harvested anytime.
- Pick flowers as they bloom.
- Roots are harvested in mid summer for the highest medicinal properties, just dig them up, wash them, chop and use or dry for future use. For better flavor roast them after drying. Many people will use roasted root as a coffee substitute, generally mixed with chicory root.
Recipes and Other Resources
Herbal Legacy: Dandelion
Dandelion recipe roundup from Little Owl Crunchy Mama
Things to Do with Dandelions from The Nerdy Farm Wife
Dandelions from Learning and Yearning
Dandelion Greens by Dr. Axe
Dandelion Root by Dr. Axe
Dandelion Tea by Dr. Axe