Botanical Name: Taraxacum offincinale
Energetics: Cooling, drying
Major Properties: Diuretic, nutritive, digestion
Examples of Uses: Edema
Parts Used: Leaves
Also great to use fresh as additions to salads or sauteed with onions and garlic or perhaps in a
stir fry. Leaves are most tender and less bitter before flowering.
I largely use dandelion leaves in the spring, to help the body clean out after a winter of lethargy (and lots of Culver's custard). Rosalee de la Foret best describes dandelion leaves properties: "Dandelion leaves have long been considered a spring tonic. When young and fresh, the leaves have a delicate bitter taste that stimulates digestion. Effects of the bitter taste on the tongue include increased saliva (helps to break down starches and carbohydrates), increased stomach enzymes (further breaks down starches and also proteins), increased bile (aids fat digestion), and stimulated natural peristalsis (to keep bowels moving)".
I often include dandelion leaf tincture with my dandelion root tincture as my before-eating bitter tonic.
The inulin in the leaves (as well as the roots) are also a great prebiotic source of food for our gut flora.
Dandelion leaves are one of the most common diuretics (increases urine) used to address edema and urinary stagnation.
Can also lower high blood pressure due to its diuretic effects.
Great for tonifying the kidneys and liver.
This brief overview merely highlights my observations. There is, of course, a great deal of information that you can find on the Internet or in books. Or better yet - get together with other herbalists and share your experiences!
Please add your own experiences so that together we can create a more comprehensive overview.
As always, if you have a chronic ailment that is not resolving itself or an acute issue, seek the attention of your physician.