Long before the European colonists introduced dandelion to the native population of North America, the herb had an established niche in the Chinese and Ayurvedic medical traditions of Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Dandelion acts as a natural diuretic while also supplying potassium, a nutrient often lost through diuretic use. The plant is rich in vitamins A and C; antioxidants that are believed to help prevent cancer. The young leaves can be eaten fresh or used in herbal preparations.
Over the counter:
Available in tinctures, prepared tea, capsules and dried or fresh leaves or roots.
Tea: 1 tbsp. dried or 2 tsp fresh leaves per cup of boiling water steeped for 10 minutes.
Decoction: 1 tbsp. fresh or dried root per cup of watersimmered for 15 minutes.
Nutrition and diet: Fresh leaves added to a salad, or blended in a juicer with other green vegetables. Used with barberry for liver and gallbladder problems. Used with yarrow for water retention.