Useful properties of dandelion / Taraxacum officinale / is a perennial herb with milky juice. It is found in meadows and grassy places, along streams throughout Bulgaria. Dandelion has been known as a medicinal herb since ancient times, called sun balm. This is not accidental – dandelion helps with a number of diseases.
The dandelion has a very short stem and a well-developed root. Its leaves are incisively incised, arranged in the form of a rosette. From the middle of the rosette begins to grow naked and hollow leafless stem, which is 5-30 cm high. It ends with a colored, golden yellow basket. The flowers are tongue-in-cheek, and the seeds are spindly, provided with a kite. All parts of the dandelion, together with the roots, are usable.
The aerial part of the dandelion contains flavoxanthin, lutein, tin, arnidol, fapandiol, lactocerol, choline, asparagine, vitamins B1, C and D, as well as provitamin A. The dandelion juice contains the bitter substance tharaxacin.
Dandelion roots contain the triterpene compounds tharaxasterol, tharaxerol and pseudotarascerol, as well as tharaxacin, inulin, and rubber. They contain fats that are composed of the glycerides of palmitic, linoleic, cerotinolic, oleic and other acids, inositol, mannitol and cholein.
Dandelion collection and storage
As mentioned, all parts of the dandelion are used. The roots are harvested in autumn and summer, and the leaves around the flowering – in spring and early summer. After collection, they are dried and stored in cool, dry areas away from direct sunlight.
Dandelion in cooking
In some countries, dandelion is purposefully grown as a culinary plant. Its leaves are used for a delicious spring salad, which is extremely useful for spring fatigue and vitamin deficiency. In addition to salad, dandelion is used to make useful tea and some types of sweet.
To make a dandelion salad, let its leaves soak for 30 minutes in lukewarm water. The other option is to boil them until they change color. This eliminates their bitter substances. Then cut the leaves and season them with olive oil and lemon to taste. Add chopped green onions, dill, parsley and some olives.
It turns out that dandelion can also be a great spice soup. Soak dandelion leaves in salted water, drain and finely chop them. Add dill, lemon juice and parsley. Taste your soups with this mixture.
The benefits of dandelion
The main action of the herb is to improve liver function. In addition, it has a very good urinary, biliary and anthelmintic effect, it stimulates appetite.
The aboveground part of the dandelion is used to treat the above conditions. The healing effect is due to the organic acids, bitter substances and glycosides contained in the dandelion. The dandelion increases the action of the pancreas and increases the release of insulin, reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Dandelion helps with liver disease, hemorrhoids, diseases of the urinary tract, stomach and intestinal disorders, acts diuretic. The herb is very useful in mild forms of diabetes. It is used for coughing, constipation, diseases of the spleen, gout, inflammation of the intestines, gas, anemia, sputum of blood, to regulate blood pressure. Fresh dandelion leaves are used to treat anemia, avitaminosis C, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Dandelion leaves relieve premenstrual syndrome, fluid retention due to cardiovascular disease, chronic rheumatism, arthritis. They can be used in acne, fever and metabolic imbalance.
Traditional medicine with dandelion
For the treatment of liver disease, boil 2 tablespoons. dandelion leaves in 500 ml of water for about 5 minutes. After straining the decoction, drink 100 grams before meals. With fluid retention and kidney problems, boil 1 tbsp. dried leaves with 1 h boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. Drink one glass in the morning and evening. In low tone, mix roasted dandelion roots with jam of your choice. Take 1 tbsp. before meals for 10 days.
In case of poor digestion pour 2 tablespoons. finely chop the roots with 250 ml of water and let stand for 8 hours. Strain the extract and drink it in small sips within a day.