Dandelion

(Taraxacum officinale)

 

Where is it found?

            Dandelions are found almost everywhere including lawns, gardens, and roadsides. 

What does it look like?

            “The dandelion has dark green, hairless, toothed leaves that have prominent veins and grow directly from the tap root.  The flower is a bright, golden yellow.  It has a single, golden  yellow flower on a straight, leafless hollow stem emerging from the center” (Freeman, 2003).

What are the medical uses?

            Dandelions have been known to help with hepatic disorders, constipation, and stomach ach.  They also help regulate digestion, and promote bile production in the liver.  It is also used to treat jaundice, cirrhosis, rheumatism, gout, and heart disease.  Dandelion is also a diuretic. 

What chemicals are in it?

            Dandelions contain many nutrients including Vitamin A, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Potassium.  It also contains the chemicals Choline, Caffeic-acid and Mannitol which are diuretics and Tyrosinease which is antihypertensive.  The dandelion also contains Sodium, Silicic acid, and Sulfur (http://www.herbnet.com, 2003), (Dr. Dukes, 2003), (Weiner, 1994).