Medicinal dandelion – medicinal dandelion

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale); Asteraceae or Compositae family; medicinal dandelion

 

This plant has a bad reputation among gardeners. A weed, even a malicious one, is easily restored. It is enough to leave one unweeded dandelion, as after the ripening of the seeds, it will quickly sow your entire plot. And yet, despite everything, the yellow heads of dandelions in the emerald grass are pleasing to the eye. The plant has an interesting feature: it closes its flowers in cloudy weather and at night.

Dandelion root is vertical, thick, brown, white in section. In case of mechanical damage, all parts of the plant secrete bitter milky juice. The leaves are in a basal rosette, lanceolate-toothed, notched. The peduncle is tubular, hollow. The flowers are bright yellow, collected in inflorescences – baskets. After flowering, a bare inflorescence remains, hence the popular name – bald head. The fruit is an acorn with a fringe.

The medicinal properties of dandelion far outweigh its negative properties. Moreover, there are no problems with harvesting the plant, it grows everywhere, often forming carpet thickets on meadows, lawns, in gardens, along roads. Collect dandelion grass (leaves and flowers) during flowering and roots (in autumn). The grass is dried in the shade under shelter, and the roots are thoroughly washed in cold water, cut lengthwise into four parts and dried in the sun or in a dryer at a temperature of 40-50 °C.

In scientific medicine, the plant is used as a means of increasing appetite and improving digestion. The bitterness contained in the dandelion irritates the taste buds and increases the secretion of gastric juice. Root infusion helps with gallstone disease, gastritis with reduced acidity and chronic constipation. In the composition of mixed teas (for example, with blueberry leaves, nettle and bean pods), dandelion is used in the initial stages of diabetes. Externally, the infusion is rubbed in for various skin diseases — acne, boils, and medicinal dermatitis.

Folk healers use dandelion even more widely: as an expectorant for diseases of the respiratory system, as a sedative and hypnotic – for disorders of the nervous system, plant products are prescribed for diseases of the kidneys, spleen and gall bladder. Root infusion also helps with hemorrhoids. It has also been noticed among the people that milk comes from nursing mothers if they use an infusion of the roots or salads from the young leaves of the plant, but it is not necessary to abuse this, because the milk will be bitter.

Young dandelion buds are salted or pickled – it makes a good substitute for capers. After a 40-minute soaking or short-term boiling in salted water, young leaves are added to spring salads.

Dandelion is a great source of bright yellow pollen. In the spring, bees intensively replenish its reserves in the hive. Dandelion honey productivity is only 15-20 kg from 1 hectare of thickets. Honey is dark, bitter. Beekeepers use it mainly as fodder during the wintering of bees. This honey is usually not used for food.

Infusion of roots. 1 tablespoon of crushed raw materials per 200 ml of boiling water, infuse for 2 hours, filter. Take 1/3 cup 3-4 times a day for 15 minutes. before eating To improve appetite and as a choleretic.

Herbal infusion. 1 tablespoon of raw material per 400 ml of boiling water. Insist for 2 hours, filter. Take 1/2 cup 4 times a day before meals.

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