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May Herb of the Month - Dandelion

Dandelion, Taraxacum:

Who hasn’t crossed paths with a dandelion in the Spring? Or made a wish and blew its seeds across the earth. This plant is probably one of the most common “weeds” we know today. But should we look at it as just a weed? Dandelion is considered a people plant; this means that it goes where the people are.


Synonyms:

Lion’s Tooth


Description:


This wildflower likes to grow in dense packed earth. The best way to keep this flower out of your yard is to aerate your lawn. It grows 4-45cm tall. It has a bright yellow flowering head with many petals. The stem is hollow and has a milky sap. The leaves often grow in a rosette fashion on the ground before it stands ups and continues to grow upwards. The leaves are sharply toothed and has the same milky sap in the ribs of the leaves.


Parts Used:

Roots, leaves, sap, flowering heads


Actions/Uses:

This is one plant where the entire plant has a use. The roots can be roasted and ground up for a coffee substitute. The roots are excellent as a liver detoxifier and the inulin in the roots are excellent at supporting the healthy gut bacteria in our intestinal tract. The young leaves can be eaten in salad, however do get increasingly bitter with age. The leaves are high in many vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, some B’s, and E, they have several minerals as well like, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The flowering heads can be eaten as well and have a slight buttery flavor. The sap or sometimes called the latex is known for removing a wart. The latex is applied 3-6 times daily until the wart turns black and falls off, this can take 3 days to a few weeks.

Folklore:

There is so much folklore that surrounds this plant. This flower was once called fairy clocks because of the mystery behind the flowering heads opening and closing unpredictably. It was said that if you blew on the seed head the remaining seeds would be the number of children one would have. The flowers were incorporated into wedding bouquets to bring luck to the newlywed. There are variations of the “he loves me, he loves me not”, if a person blew on the seed head and all the seeds blew away then you are truly loved but if seeds remained then your intended had reservations about the relationship.


Flower Essence:


This essence is for the over achievers and tense individual. It helps relieve the tension in muscles and helps to open one's awareness to seeing our emotional state when we are pushing ourselves too hard and are driven for success. The Chakras associated with Dandelion are Solar Plexus and Sacral.


Cautions/Contraindications:

Dandelion should not be discussed further with your physician for individuals on antibiotics, blood thinners, diuretics or blood pressure/heart medication.

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