Dandelion, Taraxacum Officinale     

Dandelion Medicinal Flowers

Taraxacum officinale

Family Asteraceae

InformationDandelion is found worldwide and unfortunately mostly seen as a weed.  Every part of the plant is edible and it contains notable amounts of vitamins (more vitamin A than raw carrots!) and minerals including calcium, potassium, iron and manganese.  Dandelion is s very old plant, it has many medicinal uses and makes a good companion plant. Related species is T. erythrospermum.

Growing Guide Growing Guide

Ideal Environment Ideal Environment

Dandelion can grow almost anywhere, including pavement cracks, but it thrives in rich moist soil.  It is interesting to see how the plant looks completely different depending on the type of soil and environment it is growing in. Dandelion can grow in full sun or partial shade and in hot summers and cold winters.

How to Plant How to Plant

Scatter the seeds on the surface, cover lightly with soil and keep moist.  Dandelion has a habit of coming up where you did not intend it to, it self sows very easily and once you have it in the garden it is likely you will see them coming up everywhere.

How to Water How to Water

Water Dandelion regularly, once a week and up to 4 times a week if it has not been raining.

Companion Planting Companion Planting

Dandelion makes a good companion plant because it is said that the taproom brings up nutrients for the shallower rooting plants, and it adds minerals and nitrogen into the soil.  Dandelion also attracts beneficial  insects to the garden.

How to Propagate How to Propagate

Dandelion is a perennial plant and self sows easily so propagation is usually just through seeds, which you can also gather and save for the following season.

How to Harvest How to Harvest

You can harvest Dandelion greens and florets throughout the season, all parts can be eaten and roots can be harvested in the autumn of the second year of growth.

Information and Research Information & Research

Key Constituents Key Constituents

Sesquiterpene lactones, triterpene steroids, phenolic acids, polysaccharides, carotenoids, protein, sugars, pectin, choline, vitamins, minerals, bitter principle (taraxacin, taraxacerin), inulin.

Key Actions Key Actions

Leaf:  diuretic, choleretic, anti-inflammatory. Root:  choleretic, cholagogue, tonic, antirheumatic, bitter, alterative, depurative (3).

Research Research

In 2012 some researchers in Canada received a grant for studying the cancer fighting properties of Dandelion root tea and it is said to be very effective.

Preparations & Uses Preparations & Uses

Parts Used Parts Used

All parts of the plant is used, roots, young leaves and the florets.

Preparations Key Actions

Dandelion leaves are used in salads, sandwiches and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes and the flowers can be used to make wines.  You can also make a root decoction (seen recipes for both hot and cold decoctions), leaf decoction, root and/or leaf tincture.

Uses Uses

Dandelion is used for disorders of liver and gall bladder, diabetics, skin rashes, eczema, gallstones, metabolic disorders, blood purification, gout and rheumatism, disorders of the spleen, face and eyes and acne.

Similar Plants Other Flowers

Echinacea purpurea     Marigold, Calendula officinalis