Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wildcrafting: Dandelion


Latin: Taraxacum officinale

Other Names: Blowball, Cankerwort, Common Dandelion, Dandelion Root, Dent de Lion, Lion's Tooth, Piss-a-Bed, Priest's crown, Pu Gong Ying, Puffball, Swine's Snout, Tooth of the Lion, Urine, White Endive, Wild Endive

Magickal Attributes: Divination, Healing, Messages, Purification, Repel negative energy, Spirit calling, Wishes

Medicinal & Other Uses: Anemia, Blood cleanser, Digestion, Diuretic, Gallbladder, Kidney stones,Liver

Deities: Belenus, Brigid, Hecate, Helios, Yemaya

Gender: M
Planet: Jupiter, Mars
Element: Air

Harvest Time: Almost year round. Gather the edible flowers & leaves any time, and the roots in spring. Dry for medicinal use.

Garden Uses: Fertilizer

Plant Feed Recipe: Dandelion root & leaves make an excellent liquid plant food by filling a milk jug or other container with the leaves and adding some water. Let mixture steep in the sun for a week or two and then dilute the smelly dark liquid in water using 1 part mixture and 10 parts water.

Culinary Uses: Leaves are great in salads & on hamburgers, or lightly steamed. The roots make a very good vegetable coffee.

The young leaves are less bitter, and flowers are eaten raw in salads, all leaves also cooked or boiled as a pot herb, flowers are often dipped in batter and fried, dried roots are used as a coffee substitute. Herbal Wine is made from fermented flowers said by some to be very flavorful and medicinal.

Other Uses: Placing unripe fruit in a paper bag with Dandelion flowers & leaves will ripen the fruit quickly, due to the Dandelion’s release of ethylene gas.  Dandelion root makes a beautiful dark red dye. Distill in water the appendages at the base of the leaf blades will make a good cosmetic skin lotion used to clear the skin and is also effective in fading freckles.

Parts & Their Uses

1) Alzheimer’s
Dandelion flowers are one of the best sources of lecithin, a nutrient that elevates the brains acetylcholine and may play a role in stemming Alzheimer's disease.

2) Warts & Corns
Gather a Dandelion flower or leaf and squeeze the stem until a drop of milky juice appears, touch the wart or corn with the milky fluid and leave it to dry. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns and warts. Repeat as often as is convenient. The wart or corn will turn black, and later  drop off leaving perfect skin.

3) Wounds
The fresh juice of the Dandelion can be applied externally to fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, pneumococci, meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, proteus. 

Drying Flowers: Dandelion Wine Lots of great Dandelion Wine recipes here!

1) Female Problems: Bloating, PMS, Breast tenderness
Dandelion leaf is highly effective for menstrual bloating, PMS, and the breast tenderness associated with water retention.

2) Alzheimer's
Dandelion leaves provide Vitamins A and C, beneficial to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

1) Diabetes
Dandelion root has been used in European herbal medicine for centuries to treat diabetes. In the spring, dandelion root contains levulose, a sugar easily assimilated by diabetics. By fall, this sugar has changed to insulin, a starch also easily assimilated by diabetics.

2) Acne, excess Hormones
Dandelion root helps the body dispose of the androgens that trigger acne breakouts, unwanted skin bacteria, toxins and excess hormones.

3) Liver tonic, Female system tonic
A specific herb for the liver. Dandelion root regulates and normalizes female hormone production.

4) Liver & Kidneys
Roasted dandelion is a gentle laxative that helps the liver & kidneys to work properly by keeping the bowels healthy.

Whole Plant: The whole plant is used both internally and externally as a medicinal herb.

Tinctures: Use on cotton pads as a skin lotion to clean the skin.

Oils: Boil down the flowers to make the essential oil.

Infusions: Dandelion roots are prepared as a decoction and often combined with burdock, comfrey and cinnamon bark. 

Infusion Recipe: 
Ingredients:  Dandelion Root, Stinging Nettle, Alfalfa
Additions: raw Honey, Lemon, dash Cinnamon
Decoction : Add equal parts of each herb to cold water and bring to a slow boil.
Variations: Combines well with Chicory, Cinnamon, and Ginger
Cautions: Drinking dandelion at night may cause some middle of the night trips to the bathroom

Dandelion Root Herbal Tea
Recipe #1
Use 1 to 3 teaspoons of chopped dandelion root per cut of water, adjusting for taste. Drink 1 to 2 cups daily.

Recipe #2
2 oz. of the dried Herb or Root
1 quart of Water

Boil for 30 minutes
Take in ½ cup doses every 3 hours for stomach, kidney, gallbladder, and liver problems. 
Use as a spring tonic.

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