The dandelion is actually a weed that grows in all parts of the North Temperate Zone, in pastures, meadows, waste ground, and it is so abundant that many farmers everywhere in the world find it as a bothersome weed. Its flowers are more noticeable in the early months on the summer and dandelion may be spotted in bloom and effectively spreading its seeds almost throughout the year.
Dandelion has a thick tap root, long jagged leaves that rise directly, and needs to be watered regularly. It contains taraxacin acrystalline, which is a bitter substance, of which the crop greatly varies according to the roots that are gathered at various seasons. Dandelion also has taraxacerinm, which is an acrid resin, with inulin, gluten, gum, and potash. The roots of the dandelion consists no starch, however, early in the year it contain uncrystallizable sugar and laevulin.
In the early days, the dandelion juice was considered as the favorite formulation in official and local medicine. Most of the druggist at that time prided themselves of their dandelion juice, which is basically made from the roots, and its most active preparations derived from the bruised fresh dandelion root. The leaves of the dandelion are not always used, except for producing Herb-Beer. Its seeds are usually collected and dried in the sun. They are best gathered in the evening, towards sunset, or when the damp air has caused the heads to close up, while its tops are cut on a dry day and all the stained or insect-eaten leaves are discarded.
Dandelion is used in the local medicine. Perhaps the first mention of the dandelion as a medicine is found in the works of the Arabian physicians during the tenth and eleventh centuries, who interestingly speak of dandelion as a kind of wild Endive with the name Taraxcacon.
The dandelion roots itself are used and largely cultivated in India as a treatment for liver diseases. Its roots are generally brittle, dark brown in the outer layer, and white internally with a milky juice of bitter taste. As it the dandelion roots are used for medicinal purposes, only the large, fleshy, and well-structured roots are gathered from the forked plants. It is mainly the juice of the root that is still being used for medicinal purposes.
Dandelion is known to be diuretic, tonic, and slightly aperients. It is noted to be a stimulant to the system especially to the urinary organs, thus dandelion is largely applied for treating liver and kidney disorders. From different clinical studies, the plant’s supplement is best taken in combination with other agents.
Dandelion is also said to provide certain relief to those who have hepatic problems. In fact, a broth of the dandelion roots, being sliced and stewed in boiling water with some leaves of Sorrel and an egg yolk has been popular as a treatment for chronic liver congestion.
Dandelion is also applied as a form of bitter tonic in atonic dyspepsia. Aside from that, it is also applied as a mild laxative for habitual constipation. The decoction or extract of this plant is often proved as a beneficial remedy and it has a valuable effect on enhancing the appetite and upholding digestion.
With its health benefits and medicinal uses, dandelion is now widely cultivated as a crop in different areas in the world.