Dandelion leaves, when young, are a tasty salad vegetable. Dandelion roots can be dried, roasted and then ground as a good coffee substitute without caffeine and which has beneficial healthy effects on indigestion and on rheumatic complaints. Nutritionally, dandelion juice is of remarkable value with a high iron content, quadruple the carotene content of lettuce plus rich supplies of calcium, potassium, and vitamins C and E.
With the juices of the stinging nettle and watercress it is the ideal basis for a 'spring clean' and is used this way in Germany as pan of a two week course combined with a diet without meat or much sugar or starch. This treatment helps to make the liver and the gall bladder normal, and it has a beneficial effect upon the nervous system. The secret of growing your own is to use well dug soil and then to remove the flowers as soon as they appear. This avoids the random seeding of the plant and ensures a lush growth of leaves for several years. It is best to select seeds from a broad leafed variety as those are more tender and juicy. It is often mixed with the juices of the leaves of carrots and turnips.
As a diuretic, it can be taken alone. The Romans called the plant Herba urinaria, but this effect is the consequence of a dose of several ounces a day, whereas for other uses 2floz (50ml) is sufficient. The humble dandelion is so often seen as an annoying weed in the garden and in the farmer's fields. Yet this attractive golden sunburst is a herbal medicine of renowned effect and great antiquity.
The Germans call it Lowenzahn, or Lion's tooth, but the French Pissenlit, which means 'wet the bed' is more descriptive of its diuretic properties. In Belgium the dandelion plant is grown as a crop. The botanical name Taraxacum comes from a Greek word which means to alter or to stir up and this refers to its medical properties. The specific word officinal used to be given to all officially recognized herbs.
Kevin Pederson has been managing a number of natural home remedies websites which have information on information on various vegetables, their benefits are being provided with the inclusion of dandelion and other juices.