Herb of the week – Dandelion

Welcome to the Herb of the week! Here you can find short presentations of favorite herbs, common uses and some extra information related to the Chinese and the Greek herbal medicine.

All the information provided is informative, if someone has health problems or wants to follow a specific treatment, it is good to refer to an herbalist and even with the supervision of his doctor in cases of prescription medicine. In cases of herbal therapy, an herb is rarely used by itself and is needed to be monitored by a trained herbalist for the right combination.

Another common traditional herb, it is used in Greek and Chinese herbal medicine in a fairly common way because it focuses on the liver, its detoxification and its proper functioning.

Dandelion, (also known as Taraxacum, Piss-a-bed, Lion’s tooth, Blowball, Cankerwort, Doon-head-clock, Witch’s gowan, Milk witch, Yellow-gowan, Irish daisy) contains tannins, vitamins A, B, C, D very high concentration of K, iron, phosphorus and manganese. It stimulates gall, and is diuretic mainly due to the high concentration of potassium, and is used mainly if there is a high concentration of fluid and edema, and hypertension. It is used in edible form, but also in decoctions and tinctures.

In Traditional Chinese herbal medicine is used:

  • Detoxification
  • Dispell Dampness – Heat
  • To relieve Fire toxicity
  • To nourish Liver Yin
  • To rejuvenate Liver, Pancreas, and Spleen
  • To reduce Fire in Stomach, Large intestine and Small intestine
  • To promote lactation
  • For mastitis
  • For cirrhosis and other liver diseases
  • For varicose veins, hemorrhoids and diseases of the venous system
  • As an anti-inflammatory

It is cold in nature and has a bitter and sweet taste. It indicates the liver and stomach meridians. 

In the western tradition we mainly use the aboveground part of the plant, while in the eastern tradition the root is also used. The aboveground part is diuretic, and laxative for toxic conditions, tonic for the liver and digestive tract, while the root is cholagogue, detoxifying, and clears Dampness and Heat.

Care should be taken in the dosage because it can cause diarrhea, people with Yang deficiency, cold in the blood, spleen deficiency or middle burner deficiency should not take it. It may cause allergic reaction, nausea, vomiting.

If someone uses quinolone antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin may influence the bioavailability and disposition of the quinolone antibiotics.

Suggested combinations for decoction:

In addition to the well-known detox combination of Nettle leaves, Taraxacum, Milk – Thistle, Cynara, there is a recipe of Chinese herbs Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin, which includes five herbs. Cleanses fire and toxic fire, dissolves toxicity, cools blood and reduces swelling. Contraindicated for Yin-type boils, and spleen deficiency, use with caution for those who have qi and blood deficiency.

The five herbs in this recipe are Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua), Tokyo violets (Zi Hua Di Ding), Semiaquilegia Root Tubers (Tian Kui Zi), Dandelions (Pu Gong Ying) and Chrysanthemum Flowers (Ju Hua).

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