Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a hardy perennial herb native to Europe, Asia, North America and northern Africa that has been naturalized around the globe. Today, it is even found in backyards and front lawns!
While many homeowners may regard dandelion as a common weed, the herb has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese, Arab and Native American folk healing. In fact, the scientific name Taraxacum is derived from the Greek words “taraxos” (disorder) and “akos” (remedy) – a tribute to dandelion’s powerful health benefits and healing properties.
Origins and Folklore
Medicinal use of dandelion root dates back nearly 3,000 years to the Tang Materia Medica, which was recorded in the year 659 B.C. Traditional Chinese healers believed that the herb could reduce inflammation in the liver and promote vital organ health. It was also thought to ease anxiety and have a calming effect on the body and mood.*
Arab physicians began using dandelion root in the 10th century as a natural digestive aid, citing the herb’s potent cleansing properties. In Europe, folk healers used dandelion to produce natural tonics that were thought to support the digestive and urinary systems.
Several Native American tribes are known to have used dandelion root as a healing agent, used to relieve stomach, throat and mouth pain, as well as to treat kidney and digestive issues. Both the Cherokee and Iroquois tribes used the plant as a hot herbal tea in order to relieve pain and calm nerves.
Modern folk healers continue to use dandelion as an aid in digestion and to promote wellness. In recent years, dandelion leaves have been used to add flavor to salads and sandwiches, while the roots can be used for teas, coffee substitutes and even wines, beers and liqueurs.
Taraxacum officinale is high in vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals like iron, potassium and zinc. Traditional herbalists use the plant to support the healthy functioning of vital organs like the liver and kidneys, as well as to promote digestive health and boost the immune system. Dandelion root is thought to detoxify the liver and gallbladder, act as a mild laxative and stimulate the appetite.
The dandelion plant contains chemicals that are thought to decrease swelling and inflammation, and increase urine production. Some early studies have indicated that dandelion may be effective at treating upset stomach, intestinal gas and bloating, joint and muscle pain, and viral infections.*
Dandelion is most often consumed in the form of teas, extracts and capsules. While the tradition of using natural herbs to promote wellness is time-honored, it is always recommended to consult with your doctor before adding herbal teas or supplements to your wellness regimen.
Dandelion Root as a Coffee Substitute
Like all herbs, dandelion root is naturally caffeine-free. Roasted dandelion root has recently become a popular coffee substitute, ideal for those who are sensitive to caffeine or prefer a milder beverage to sip at any time of the day.
When steeped, roasted dandelion root looks and tastes remarkably like coffee, although less acidic and without the side effects of caffeine. Roasted dandelion herbal tea is also less bitter than standard coffee.
Organic Dandelion SuperHerb® Tea
Organic Dandelion SuperHerb® Tea combines the healing, cleansing benefits of organic dandelion root with the rich flavor of French vanilla to create a cup that is soothing and sweet.
This pleasant, earthy, full-bodied tea begs to be savored Sip by Sip!