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Dandelion
shopping: all 7 varieties
Taraxacum officinale

dandelion

plant overview
dandelion, more than a weed

Nearly everyone living in the northern hemisphere has encountered the dandelion, likely in great number since the herb is a prolific and often invasive plant. Its common name is a testament to its toothed lance-like leaves, which have also inspired the nickname “lion’s tooth.” Bright yellow flower heads are in keeping with membership in the sunflower family, and their round shape are responsible for another common name — priest's crown. While dandelion is a salad herb and vegetable fresh, its dried leaves and roots are made into teas, tinctures and extracts.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Dandelion
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on dandelion

description
Taraxacum officinale is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the Asteraceae family. It grows from generally unbranched taproots and produces one to more than ten stems that are typically 5 to 40 cm tall, but sometimes up to 70 cm tall. The stems can be tinted purplish, and produce flower heads that are as tall or taller than the foliage. The leaves are 5 to 45 cm long and 1 to 10 cm wide, and are oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate in shape, with the bases gradually narrowing to the petiole. The leaf margins are typically shallowly lobed to deeply lobed and often lacerate or toothed with sharp or dull teeth. The stems can be glabrous or sparsely covered with short hairs. Plants have milky latex and the leaves are all basal; each flowering stem lacks bracts and has one single flower head. The yellow flower heads lack receptacle bracts and all the flowers, which are called florets, are ligulate and bisexual. The florets number 40 to over 100 per head, having corollas that are yellow or orange-yellow in color. The fruits range in color from olive-green or olive-brown to straw-colored to grayish, they are oblanceoloid in shape and 2 to 3 mm long with slender beaks. The fruits have 4 to 12 ribs that have sharp edges. The silky pappi, which form the parachutes, are white to silver-white in color and around 6 mm wide.

common names & nomenclature
The genus name Taraxacum, might be from the Arabic word Tharakhchakon or from the Greek word Tarraxos. The common name dandelion, comes from the French phrase dent de lion which means "lion's tooth", in reference to the jagged shaped foliage.

Also known as:
lion's teeth, blowball, clocks, priest's crown, puffball, cankerwort, dandelion


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for dandelion

Taraxacum officinale is native to Eurasia, and now is naturalized throughout North America, southern Africa, South America, New Zealand, Australia, and India. It occurs in all 50 states of the USA and most Canadian provinces.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting dandelion

climate
Dandelion can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways. It is considered a noxious weed in some jurisdictions, and is considered to be a nuisance in residential and recreational lawns in North America.

soil
Prefers to grow in moist fertile soils, but can adapt to most soil types.

growing
This plant grows readily by seed, which is typically blown up to hundreds of feet by the wind, and rarely needs help propagating. Sow seeds directly into outdoor location about ¼ inch below the soil surface.

harvesting
Harvest leaves in the spring and roots in late fall from plants that are 2 years or older.

preserving
Dried leaves can be cut into smaller pieces; dried root can be cut or powdered. Store in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story
dandelion history, folklore, literature & more

dandelion—more than just a weed
When you take a look at your lawn, you may become exasperated with the little dandelion weeds that seem to muck up your neat grass. However, dandelion is one of the most versatile plants in modern herbal medicine. It’s been used for thousands of years – and it continues to be used today.

dandelions are common plants that are found virtually all over the world. And much of the plant has medicinal properties – the leaves, the flowers, and the roots all have a purpose. So, while this is a common plant, it’s uncommonly important.

If you’re suffering from problems with water retention, dandelion root is commonly used as a diuretic. In fact, many people in the West use it as part of a weight loss regimen to battle excess water weight. It can also be used to help you improve your digestion and detoxify the liver.

If you have chronic urinary tract infections, dandelion can help to prevent them. And because of its diuretic properties dandelion can also be used to lower blood pressure. dandelion can also help to relieve a stomachache and help you to regain your appetite if you’ve lost it due to illness.

If you have problems with joint pain, dandelion will again come to your rescue. It can be used to treat gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Yet it’s also effective as a treatment for acne, eczema, and psoriasis of the skin.

As you can see, dandelion is one of the most useful herbs around. It can be used to treat a wide variety of issues from minor to serious. It’s even known to help build up the blood and reduce problems that occur with anemia.

dandelion can be taken in many forms. You can use the leaves, the flowers, or the roots depending on your problems. You can also take dandelion in many preparations – from infusions to capsules. Powders can be purchased as well.

Many researchers have spent time trying to find out what makes dandelion so special. It contains many nutrients including iron, calcium, and potassium. It also has vitamins A, B complex, C, and D within its structure. However, scientists can’t figure out just how dandelion works its diuretic magic. Suffice it to say, dandelion is one of the most versatile herbs around. You’d be well advised to keep it in your pantry for the next time you’re feeling a little bloated or have a bout of arthritic pain.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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