Dandelions need hardly any introduction with their puffball seed heads or clocks and their brilliant yellow flowers. They herald the Spring and provide a vital early pollinating source for bees and butterflies. They are widespread across Scotland and particularly thrive on mown roadside verges where councils have decimated other wild plants.
The name originally came from dent de lion (Welsh: dant y llew) or lion's tooth as the serrated edges of the leaf do indeed resemble one. Ironically in France they have a different name, pissenlit (Italian: piscialletto), literally wet the bed, paying tribute to the dandelions diuretic properties!
The chopped leaf or root.
Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.
Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.
The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.
Potent diuretic, liver tonic, chronic skin eruptions.
Key actions: Diuretic (particularly the leaf), mild laxative, choleretic, antirheumatic.
In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat oedema (water retention), oliguria (unusually small quantity of urine), gallbladder and dyspeptic conditions.
If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.
Infusion: 2 to 5 teaspoons of leaf (4 to 10 g) to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.
Decoction: 1 to 4 teaspoons of root (2 to 8 g) to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Or steep 1 teaspoon bark in cold water overnight. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.
Tincture: Take 2 to 5 ml (leaf tincture), 5 to 10 ml (root tincture) (1:5 tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Fluid extract: 1:1 Take 2 to 3.8 ml (leaf extract), 1.2 Take 1 to 2 ml (root extract), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Dried Herb: Maximum of 30 g (dried leaf), 24 g (dried root) per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.
There is a known allergy to dandelion.
This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Compositae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.
None known. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.
Interactions with drugs
Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.
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