The Dandelion
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The Dandelion, of the genus Taraxacum and the class Magnoliopsida is a close relative of the Sunflower. The name, Dandelion comes from the French phrase for –é“źTeeth of Lion–鬶, dent de lion, due to the likeness of the shape of the plant–鬶s leaves and a lion–鬶s canine teeth, whilst its generic name, Taraxacum Officinale was influenced by the plant–鬶s many medical properties. Taraxacum meaning –é“źdisorder-remedy–鬶 and Officinale, stating that the plant has medicinal attributes. Other popular names for this plant include swine snout, priest–鬶s crown and pissabed.

Framed by shiny, hairless, jagged leaves, the bare, hollow, magenta-tinted stems (that hold up the flower heads) carry bright yellow caps of countless tiny tie-shaped golden petals, which after fertilization, mature into white fluffy balls containing seeds. The leaves that rise from the tap root are naturally positioned for rain to slide straight into it, thus keeping itself well fed. This –é¬ßcommon meadow herb–é–Ā originated from Greece and was introduced to –é¬ßall parts of the north temperate zones–é–Ā . Now they are so abundant that they crowd and strangle fields almost all over the world, and have made a name for itself as the –é¬ßKing of Weeds–é–Ā.

The Dandelion, surprisingly, has a large number of uses, both nutritional and medicinal. Back in the olden days and even now, the entire plant was utilized. Wine was extracted from the flowers; the leaves were used as vegetables, while the stems and roots were mainly used as medicine. Nowadays in Western medicine, this herb is hardly mentioned but usage of it for culinary purposes is still blooming, especially in European countries such as France.

Nutrition-wise, the Dandelion caters to both the animal kingdom and humans. They provide pollen and nectar for bees throughout spring and even until late autumn, when the bees–鬶 usual sources of honey stop blooming. This lessens the time in which the bees–鬶 require artificial food, thus benefiting beekeepers. Dandelions–鬶 do not only attract bees, but research has confirmed that over 93 types of insects rely on its nectar, whilst animals, such as small birds, pigs, goats and rabbits devour it avariciously. The leaves can be torn to bits and used as filling of sandwiches; they are also used to create Herb beer that, compared to normal beer, is much cheaper and less likely to make a person drunk. The wine strengthens and invigorates, being a tonic, improving blood circulation. The taproot, after being dried, chopped, roasted and grounded into fine powder has been discovered to be an –é¬ßalmost indistinguishable–é–Ā1 substitute for real coffee. Dandelion Coffee, not only lacks the harmful effects of real tea and coffee and the caffeine, but instead stimulates our entire system, aiding our liver and kidneys in detoxifying our bodies.

As a medicine, this small herb manages to assist in a wide range of illnesses. The Dandelion is well-known as a choice diuretic, which increases urine-flow – as it does not cause the loss of potassium salts when used, unlike other diuretics in the market, due to the fact that it contains potassium of its own – and a laxative, which stimulates purging. A tonic, it can be used to deal with liver, gall bladder, kidney and joint problems, such as hepatitis, jaundice and rheumatism by cleansing and purifying the blood. It helps to increase appetite and induce digestion, in cases such as dyspepsia and works as an antibacterial agent. This plant has also been advertised as a diet herb, due to its ability to eliminate water from the body quickly, whilst the milky-white latex found in the stem can also be used to remove skin blemishes (like warts and corns) and provide relief for stings and sores.

This herb, having a large quantity of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, B, C, D, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and iron within it, is commercially grown on farms throughout Europe and the United States and marketed as produce. If Dandelions were to become extinct, it would not create much of an impact on the world, as even now, it maintains a low profile. Dandelions after all, are just alternatives to current man-made medicines that are most likely more productive. What few people who still use herbs could just as easily start using Catsear, Hypochaeris Radicata, which has the exact same uses as the Dandelion. They are both so similar that Catsear is also called, False Dandelion. The only difference between them is their appearances. Catsear does not have hollow stems, but forked, solid ones, whilst its leaves are hairy and rounded, unlike the DandelionЎ¦s toothed edges. The taproot of the Dandelion can also be substituted with Hawkbit root, Leontodon hispidus and Chicory root. They may be different in colour and taste

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Large Number Of Uses And S Leaves. (April 12, 2021). Retrieved from