Medicinal plants

Dandelion - application, recipes and medicine

Dandelion - application, recipes and medicine


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dandelion (Taraxacum) is not only omnipresent, many gardeners even see it as "weed" and despair of the deep roots, which are difficult to dig up. But that is a mistake: Common names like Herzheil indicate that this daisy family not only produces an excellent salad, but also works as a medicine. The most important facts:

  • Dandelion is a pioneer and ruderal plant. Its tap roots, which are up to two meters deep, also reach leachate.
  • Dandelion contains a lot of potassium, stimulates digestion and helps with liver and biliary problems. It inhibits the growth of malignant tumors.
  • The dandelion can be processed in many ways, for example as honey or salad.

Ingredients

Dandelion contains carotenoids, phylosterol, choline and tannins. In the root are the alkaloid taraxin and the bitter substance taraxacin. Scientists found antimicrobial substances in the roots, as well as phenolic acids and flavonoids. Mainly there are: phenolic inositol esters, triterpene acetates and sesquiterpenoids.

A lot of potassium

The concentration of potassium is particularly high at up to 4.5 percent. This makes dandelion ideal for balancing kidney functions, regulating the water balance in the body and balancing acids and bases. Our muscles cannot work without potassium.
Dandelions also inhibit the development of cancer cells in the breast, prostate, liver and blood.

Effect

The bitter substances in the plant promote the secretion of the digestive glands. Dandelion cleanses the body and stimulates the functions of the liver, kidneys, intestines and bile, it promotes digestion and appetite, has a laxative effect and relieves pain in hemorrhoids. The plant helps against bloating and flatulence.

Dandelion has a blood-forming and toning effect, against cough, brochitis and fever as well as against stomach weakness and rheumatic complaints.

Folk medicine also uses the plant to drive urine and stimulate the flow of sweat. Although these effects have not been scientifically proven, they could be due to the high potassium content.
Dandelions are used as a home remedy for: warts, eczema, pimples, acne, corns and rash.

For serious diseases, dandelion is a remedy for liver weakness, jaundice and gallstones, gout, biliary weakness, kidney stones, hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), dropsy and chronic joint diseases.

Applications

In the case of dandelions, their use as a medicinal plant overlaps with their consumption as food. The flower heads can be soaked in oil, the young leaves taste cooked or raw as a salad and thus clean the organism. The roasted roots served our ancestors as a coffee substitute and also contain more medicinal substances than the leaves.

We apply the rhizome internally. We drink up to four tablespoons of the squeezed juice a day, we let three grams of the dried root soak in 100 milliliters of water and drink a maximum of four cups a day - but not immediately before or after eating. We apply a tincture with 20 grams of the root to 100 milliliters of 20 percent alcohol for two weeks. Adults can also take up to four tablespoons a day.

Biology of the dandelion

Everyone knows what dandelions look like. Biologically speaking, it is a perennial plant that forms a cylindrical rhizome that ends in a taproot. It is fleshy and dark brown to black. The root, which is up to two meters deep, not only makes the daisy family robust against predators, who usually only eat the leaves, but leave the root intact - they also allow the plant to tap deeper water resources. This makes the dandelion an all-rounder: it grows all over Europe, on meadows, pastures, on the side of paths, in border biotopes, gardens and on fields.

Green sawtooth blades

The stems are hollow on the inside, have no leaves and grow up to 40 centimeters in height. If they are cut off, the typical white juice emerges. He gave the plant the name milk flower. The milk juice is present in all parts of the plant. The leaves stand upright in a rosette or lie on the ground. They are lanceolate with eponymous cuts that are reminiscent of a saw blade - or of "dandelions".

Golden yellow flowers

The golden yellow flowers stand together in baskets, one at the tip of a stem. The flowers are called tongue petals because the individual petals have the shape of tongues. They are surrounded by bracts, small and triangular on the outside, elongated on the inside outwards.
Finally, the fruit has the shape of a spindle with a pointed base and a long stem at the top, where there is a crown of hair. Their bristles stand horizontally as an "umbrella".

Taxonomy

Dandelion is a biological mystery. There are plants that form seeds without fertilization, thus cloning the mother plant, and others that fertilize each other. Both occur in the same populations. The different forms of reproduction justify starting from clearly differentiated species. Either they hybridize constantly or we understand all dandelion plants as one large species.

Distribution

The dandelion originally comes from Europe and West Asia, but has been carried over to the entire northern hemisphere by humans and is now even growing south of the equator. Dandelion is a classic rural and pioneer plant. It grows in cracks in the wall, on rubble heaps and fallow land.
It can withstand average temperatures of five to 26 degrees as well as a pH of 4.2 to 8.3. In the high mountains it strikes well up to a height of 2800 meters.

Cowflower and bed shit

This Hansdampf on all meadows, according to its distribution, bears various names. The German language alone knows several dozen. Cowflower is called the dandelion because grazing cattle love it and prefer it to the banal grass. The names Maypole and Mayflower remind us that the seeds of the plant fly through the air this month. "Dandelion" comes from the unique flight seeds themselves, which sit on a stem like sail umbrellas and are carried by the wind to possible germination sites. Children blow now like the wind, they see the seeds fly. Its diuretic effect is reflected in names such as bedwetting, bed pissing, bed shitting, piss flower, piss carnation or pisser.

Confusion

Ordinary dandelions are easily confused with their relatives from the Taraxum genus. The common piglet herb is superficially very similar. But it has no hollow inflorescence stems. In addition, the seeds of the piglet herb do not carry flight umbrellas and do not sit on a stem.

Bee pasture

Dandelions grow early and bloom in April. It is an important insect pasture. The plant is of great economic importance because, where it occurs in large quantities, it guarantees an early honey harvest. Dandelion honey is also valuable with a strong, bitter taste, golden color and viscous consistency.

Dandelions in the kitchen

Dandelions can be used in many ways in the kitchen. The flowers serve as the basis for a honey-like jelly or dandelion syrup and thus for a sweet and spicy spread. The young leaves are cooked in southern Germany and served with fried bacon and cream sauce. The roots are also edible, can be cooked, roasted or prepared as a salad. After the Second World War, a powder made from the dried roots served as a substitute for coffee.

Dandelion salad

For a dandelion salad, we collect as young as possible dandelion leaves on unfertilized meadows and not right next to roads. We cut an onion into fine cubes and also a clove of garlic.
We wash the leaves very thoroughly, because dandelions are full of earth and stones. We put the washed leaves in lukewarm water so that the bitter taste softens. Caution: If you are taking dandelion as a medicine to stimulate digestion, you should refrain from soaking it in water, because it is the bitter substances that promote the secretion of the digestive glands. We pour off the water after ten minutes and repeat the process.

For the sauce we mix a little vinegar and sour cream with two teaspoons of sugar or better the corresponding amount of stevia. You can also use honey, it is only important to balance the tart taste. Now we cut the leaves into small pieces and lift them under the sauce. Good Appetite.

Dandelion tea

The leaves and roots can be prepared as tea. Various applications come into consideration here.

Tea made from dandelion leaves

Dandelion tea made from leaves is said to have a digestive effect. In addition, tea is a home remedy for bloating and heartburn. However, more than three cups a day should not be drunk. You only need a handful of fresh dandelion leaves to prepare it. Cut the leaves into small strips and pour a liter of boiling water over them. Leave for ten minutes and then strain. The leaves can also be dried to be stocked.

Tea made from dandelion roots

A tea made from dandelion roots is said to help against discomfort in the internal organs. So the root tea is considered a home remedy for kidney, bladder and biliary problems as well as inflammation such as rheumatism. You only need two to three cleaned roots to prepare it. These can either be fresh or dried. The roots should be soaked in a liter of water the day before. The next day, just boil this brew and sieve off the plant parts. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch

Swell:

  • Schilcher, Heinz; Kammerer, Susanne; Wegener, Tankred: Phytotherapy guidelines, Urban & Fischer Verlag / Elsevier GmbH, 2010
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): www.nccih.nih.gov (accessed: May 26, 2018), NCCIH
  • Burdock, George A .: Fenaroli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients, CRC Press, 2004
  • Park, Chung Mu; Cho, Chung Won; Song, Young Sun: "TOP 1 and 2, polysaccharides from Taraxacum officinale, inhibit NFκB-mediated inflammation and accelerate Nrf2-induced antioxidative potential through the modulation of PI3K-Akt signaling pathway in RAW 264.7 cells", in: Food and Chemical Toxicology. Volume 66, 2014, sciencedirect.com
  • Rehman, Gauhar et al .: "Effect of Methanolic Extract of Dandelion Roots on Cancer Cell Lines and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Pathway", in: Frontiers in Pharmacology, Volume 8, 2017, NCBI
  • Jia, Yuan-Yuan et al .: "Taraxacum mongolicum extract exhibits a protective effect on hepatocytes and an antiviral effect against hepatitis B virus in animal and human cells", in: Molecular Medicine Reports, Volume 9 Issue 4, 2014, Spandidos Publications


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