Join us in celebrating the lowly dandelion. This ubiquitous golden flower that dots suburban yards has a long health-promoting history.
Dandelion root is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurvedic Medicine, and healing practices of several North American tribes (Bella Coola, Algonquian, Aleut, Cherokee, Iroquois). Dandelion’s wide medicinal usage is partly due to its broad geographical range; the hardy little plant grows practically everywhere, including in the Himalayas up to 12,000 ft elevation.
Dandelion was first recorded in writing in the Tang Materia Medica (659 B.C.E.), and then later noted by Arab physicians in the 10th century. It has often been used to support digestive and gastrointestinal health, though in a 2016 study at Aarhus University in Denmark it was suggested that dandelion root may also stimulate pancreatic cells to produce insulin. These effects are observed when dandelion is administered in therapeutic doses.
Dandelion root has long been held as a “liver tonic” in folk medicine. Preliminary studies suggest this is due partly to its ability to increase the flow of bile. Dandelion root is a traditional ingredient in amari (plural "amaro"), especially digestive liqueurs which were first created as medicinal potions.
Though we only use dandelion root in our drinks, the whole plant is edible. Dandelion leaves are often in soups and salads and have a chicory flavor profile. The flower is not just an edible garnish, but can be infused in oil for a muscle rub, extracted for tincture, made into a traditional sweet Scandinavian syrup, and even deep fried!
“The Benefits of Dandelion Root”