One person’s trash is another person’s treasure they say. Same holds for plants. What one might call a “weed” other call it medicine. Let’s do a little digging into he powerful dandelion.
Known as Pu Gong Ying in Mandarin Chinese, dandelion is a common plant used in Chinese Herbal Medicine. Known to help kidney, liver and gallbladder function all parts of the plant can be used. Herbs are used to heal and this includes flowers, stems, plants, bark, seeds, pods and roots.
Herbs are classified based upon their healing properties into different flavors and actions. Dandelion is considered to be cold, bitter and on the sweeter side. The milk colored juice is used to clear heat and inflammation and helps to reduce the initial stages of a cold. It is an excellent liver detoxifier recognized in Western herbal medicine as well. It helps the liver and gallbladder by increasing bile production and helping to clear Jaundice. Dandelion is frequently combined with fennel, licorice and mild thistle.
Other benefits of this powerhouse flower include:
- Diuretic used to help the kidneys, eradicate stones and clear urinary disorders
- Hypertension- lowers blood pressure due to its diuretic effect
- Weight management
- Digestion by increasing bile and acts as a mild laxative
- Insulin production
- Anemia due to its high iron content
It can be eaten, consumed as a tea or even as a supplement. I often include it in my smoothies that I make in my Vitamix. It can be found at any market with a wide selection of organic produce such as Sprouts or Whole Foods. I would advise against picking your own since they can often be sprayed with weed killer.
Check with me before consuming it on your own. It is considered to be safe but it can cause digestive problems when taken in large quantities or if your constitution does not call for it. This is truly food as medicine. You can book an herbal consultation specifically or come see me for an acupuncture appointment where we can talk about what appropriate options might be for you.
Looking forward to seeing you in my Banker’s Hill acupuncture office!