The Dandelion root herb (Taraxacum officinale) is a staple Naturopathic herb commonly used to address a plethora of conditions relating to elimination, skin, hormones and stomach and digestion problems. As a detoxification agent, the root of the dandelion herb is considered to be one of the most effective and beneficial herbal remedies.  It is rich in vitamins and is packed with Iron, Calcium, beta-carotene, phosphorus, magnesium as well as Vitamins A, B, C and D.

Any herbal medicine prescription should include a liver trophorestorative, which means to restore health to an organ, and Dandelion is a great choice.  The liver underpins many conditions (especially related to the hormones) as the primary role of the liver is to reduce the toxic load on the body.  Toxins such as inflammation, stress, chemical residues, poisons, alcohol, pollutants, pharmaceuticals and hormones can create liver stagnation and contribute to the worsening of symptomatology.  The liver requires constant support by encouraging daily cleansing and elimination as its role is varied. If you consume a clean diet and avoid synthetic hormones/ pharmaceuticals and refrain from drinking alcohol or being exposed to chemicals then your liver should be able to promote health and vitality as the channels of elimination can deal with the daily normal clearing of wastes.  If however your diet and lifestyle choices are not aligned with supporting the liver then the toxins back up and begin to create inflammation which aggravates digestion, immunity, hormone balance(Endocrine system), gut health, kidney function, bowel elimination.  This situation requires therapeutic support from herbal medicines such as Dandelion.

The Dandelion is most famous as a detoxifying bitter tonic, increasing the flow of digestive juices, enhancing the appetite, easing digestion and cleansing the liver.  It has been traditionally used for liver disease, jaundice, hepatitis, gallbladder infections, to dissolve gallstones and for problems associated with a sluggish liver such as tiredness and irritability.  Its stimulating effect extends to the pancreas, where it increases insulin secretion, helpful in diabetes.  The root is also mildly laxative to promote further cleansing.

There are many ways you can use Dandelion in your daily life, some of these are:

  • Use the fresh leaves in a salad, mixed with other bitter greens to promote bile production and digestion
  • Juice the leaves with other vegetables such as carrot, ginger, and beetroot
  • Take it in herbal tincture form to improve liver detoxification processes
  • Make some Dandelion wine – 4 cups (250 g) dandelion flowers picked around noon on a sunny day,2 untreated lemons (without the juice), 2 untreated oranges (without the juice), 15 g white wine yeast, dry, 16 cups (4 liters) boiled water, 1.5 kg honey (dandelion honey, if possible).  Pour the boiling water on the flowers. Dilute the honey in the mixture. Cut the citrus fruit into cubes and add to the mixture. Allow to ferment in an earthenware jar or in a large glass pitcher in a dark location at 68 F degrees (20 C degrees) for 3 weeks and stir with a large wooden spatula every 2 to 3 days. When fermentation is complete, strain using a clean cheesecloth. Bottle the wine and seal with a cork. Age in a cool area for 9 months.  This wine is excellent for the gallbladder, for treating gout and uric acid, and is highly recommended for a prediabetic condition.  Drink half a glass before meals: it is delicious, has an original taste, and adds zing!
  • Note: For those who are lazy, here is the modified recipe: Macerate 1 cup (60 g) flowers in 4 cups (1 liter) white wine for 1 month. Strain and sweeten to taste.