Dandelion: Detox With This Yellow Charmer

Next time you’re in a wide open field, pasture or meadow dotted with beautiful yellow dandelions, know that these prolific little delights are not only beautiful, but packed with nutrition and offer a host of healthy benefits. Let’s explore this amazing flower.

Dandelions are known as Pu Gong Ying in pinyin and are used frequently in Chinese Medicine (CM). The name comes from the French “dent-de-lioun,” which translates into “tooth of the lion” due to its sharp leaves. They are known to aid the liver, kidneys and gallbladder in particular. In Chinese Medicine botanicals are used to heal. This includes flowers, bark, roots and seeds. For example, if a botanical is considered “warming,” it is given for cold conditions. A botanical that is bitter would clear heat and detoxify. If it is sour it benefits the liver. If it is red it benefits the heart and blood. CM creates botanical formulas that use a combination of different botanicals to balance the formula and keep it safe.

Dandelion is considered a cold, bitter and slightly sweet botanical. Its milky juice clears heat, detoxifies blood, reduces swelling and helps the early stages of a cold. Dandelion helps the liver and gallbladder by increasing bile production, and helping in cases of jaundice. Often dandelion is combined with licorice, milk thistle and fennel.

Here are some other key benefits of this flower:

Dandelion can be eaten, taken in a tea or as a supplement. Be careful of picking dandelion on your own and ingesting it. The area it grows in may have been sprayed with harmful chemicals.

It is not recommended to start taking dandelion without consulting a healthcare professional. Dandelion is considered safe, but may cause digestive upset if taken in large quantities. It is also not recommended to combine dandelion with other botanicals without consulting a botanical specialist. In CM, the practitioner will record a patient history and make a careful diagnosis before prescribing a botanical formula designed specifically for your constitution.

Smile next time you walk by a field of dandelions; these little beauties are lovely to our bodies.

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