Dandelion root: botanical image of the dandelion root plant

Dandelion Root

Taraxacum Officinale Radix

Family: Asteraceae

Bio-Live: Dandelion root is a key herb in Bio-Live Gold, Bio-Live Dark and Bio-Live Liver.

Description: The root is very dark brown (almost black), on the outside, and white inside. Native to Western Europe and grows prolifically in meadows, fields and gardens.

Habit and cultivation: Widely regarded throughout the world as a weed, grows in most conditions but loves a downpour. It is only worth collecting well formed roots and is cultivated to this end in Germany and France. Seeds are abundant and self sowing. There is considerable disagreement on when is the best time to harvest roots depending on when its bitter contents are highest, but they need to be 2 years in age.

Actions (known for): Anti-rheumatic, bitter tonic (digestive), cholagogue, diuretic, laxative and hepatic tonic.

History: Mentioned by Arabic physicians in the 11th century and by Welsh physicians of Myddfai during the same period as a sort of wild endive. Derived from the Greek word taraxos meaning disorder and akos meaning remedy and the Latin dens leonis as both the leaves and flower head resemble the lion’s teeth and mane. It has long been used for its diuretic properties. The history of the roots’ medicinal properties connected to the liver is much shorter. It is a key ingredient in dandelion beer along with nettles and yellow dock. The flowers are still used in the making of dandelion wine in the U.K.

Parts used: Root.

Constituents (bio available chemicals): Sesquiterpene lactones (eudesmanolide and germacranolide types). Triterpenes – taraxerol and phytosterols. P-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, phenolic acids, inulin and tannins.

Nutritional constituents: Vitamins: A, B, C and D. Minerals: potassium, calcium, sodium, and some phosphorous, iron, nickel, cobalt, tin, copper and zinc.

Indications: Cholecystitis, constipation, dyspepsia, gallbladder disorders, jaundice, rheumatism and muscular disorders.

Dosage: Decoction of dried root: 4 – 10g. Fluid extract: (30%)  2 – 8ml. Juice of fresh root: 4 – 8ml. Liquid extract: 20 – 40ml.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia: Root: Cholecystitis and dyspepsia.

Cautions for therapeutic doses: The white juice found in the stem has been known to cause nausea in children who have ingested it in quantity; also can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and palpitations.

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