Oh the dandelion. We were taught when we were very young that this beautifully bright and sunny flower was a weed and should be destroyed. Little did we know how beneficial this little weed really is. Let’s just look at the dandelion’s stats:
Dandelion (Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient)
Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale (WEBER)
Family: N.O. Compositae
The name of the genus, Taraxacum, is derived from the Greek taraxos (disorder), and akos (remedy), on account of the curative action of the plant. A possible alternative derivation of Taraxacum is suggested in The Treasury of Botany: ‘The generic name is possibly derived from the Greek taraxo (“I have excited” or “caused”) and achos (pain), in allusion to the medicinal effects of the plant.’
Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Native Americans also used dandelion decoctions (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water) to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and stomach upset. Chinese medicinal practitioners traditionally used dandelion to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, and breast problems (such as inflammation or lack of milk flow). In Europe, herbalists incorporated it into remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.
Who knew that this little weed was so amazing!?! What do I do with them? Well I make an infused oil with the flowers. The infused oil is good for tight muscles, sinuses, and headaches. I let them sit in extra virgin olive oil for about 6 weeks. I then strain out the flower material and store the oil in a cool dark place. I am planning on using this oil to make a salve that will also be accompanied with comfrey, lavender, and chamomile oils to make a healing salve. These other oils have healing properties, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. I am planning on also using tea tree essential oil and myrrh since these have healing properties as well. I promise to post all about it when I am done with it.