Taraxacum officinale


Representative modest huge family Asteraceae (formerly composeae, more than 20,000 species), the dandelion is a plant of the old world temperate

Vivace, very common in fields, meadows, roadsides, it also accommodates rougher climates or subtropics where it is much rarer

Its port is typical, the basal leaves in rosette are more or less unequal lobes, the flower is yellow and ripe, the seeds (achenes) escape, carried by the wind with very fine crested features.
The taproot is strong and long, cut the plant excretes a white latex.


In all parts of the plant, there are sesquiterpene lactones (see glossary) particularly bitter (and Germacranolides eudesmanolides) and terpene alcohols (see glossary) pentacyclic (taraxostérol and their derivatives).

The root is rich in inulin (40% in autumn) and fructose (especially in spring), green leaves are rich in manganese.

Tradition and experience are considered old dandelion as a bile duct by its root and a choleretic (see glossary) by its leaves.
The whole plant combines these two properties, it increases the contractile gallbladder while increasing the amount of bile released into the intestine.
Inulin, a substance storage of carbon fixed by photosynthesis (like starch) is not digested, it passes through the human digestive tract without being degraded or absorbed. By IV it is also very stable and is excreted renally unchanged.

Its use in Europe is relatively recent (16th century) and its properties and choleretic bile ducts do use it in all chronic liver disease and in some jaundice: hepatic failure, cholelithiasis, cholangitis, hepatitis infectious, but also to relieve the constipation and digestive headaches.
It is considered an anti-atherosclerotic, anti-diabetic slightly.

It is an ingredient of herbal medicines referred to hepatobiliary but can also be prepared in the gathering itself.

Decoction (see glossary):

* 1 to 3 feet full of dandelion (with the root) in a liter of water, boil 5 minutes and steep for 10 minutes, drink one to two cups, it's very bitter!,
* 30 to 60 gr root split and cut into small pieces in a liter of water boiled then infused as above; drink two cups for lunch and dinner, is still very bitter.

The homeopathic mother tincture (see glossary) is flexible employment:
TARAXACUM TM 50 to 150 drops per day, often in association with ROSMARINUS and CYNARA.

Some traditional herbalists (Leclerc) widely advocated the use of dandelion not only in the liver obvious, but also in other disorders that seemed to associate (eg certain skin diseases) and considéraientt as an excellent cleanser (see glossary).
Finally, we can recommend the salad of young spring leaves, less bitter and full of magnesium, vitamins A and C.

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