27 September 2018
Dandelion for women's health
This article excerpted from the materia medica of Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Healing for Women, who we're delighted to be welcoming back to the Herbal Conference again this year!
Parts used: root, leaf, and flowers
Though not generally considered an herb specifically for women’s problems, dandelion is high in plant estrogens and is utilized in many formulas for women. It is one of the outstanding healing herbs, and like comfrey, has been lauded through the centuries by every great herbalist.
The root is considered the herb par excellence for the liver and is used for all liver disorders, digestive upsets, and gallbladder problems. As a specific herb for the liver, it also benefits the female reproductive system by helping to regulate and normalize hormone production.
The leaf, too, is of great value as a remedial herb. A specific for kidney and urinary problems, dandelion leaf is one of the safest and most effective diuretics available. But while its diuretic properties are as pronounced as those of most synthetic drugs it does not, as is so often the case with synthetic diuretics, deplete the system of potassium. In fact, dandelion leaf is rich in natural potassium, which feeds the body’s own reserves.
Dandelion leaf is highly effective for menstrual bloating, PMS, and the breast tenderness associated with water retention. Its gentle but effective diuretic qualities aid the kidneys in eliminating excess water held in the body during hormonal changes. Dandelion leaf is also invaluable to women going through menopause. The root supplies essential nutrients needed by the liver to help produce and regulate the production of hormones. The leaf aids the kidneys in eliminating excess water and toxins from the system.
Both the root and leaf of dandelion provide essential nutrients to the system. Considered a food herb, dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, and potassium, as well as many other trace minerals. It has long been valued as an early spring vegetable and is eaten in many cultures in the world today. In the United States, with our unsophisticated taste buds, appreciation for the feisty bitter greens is low. But in France and many other European countries, its bitter flavor is prized and the greens are frequently included in salads.
Each cup of dandelion greens provides 7000-13,000 I.U. of vitamin A. You don’t need to eat much to get your weekly quota. I generally recommend including a few dandelion greens in your evening salad. Marinating the steamed dandelion greens in an olive oil, honey and vinegar dressing overnight almost completely rids them of bitterness. And it is a delicious way to enjoy this marvelous plant.
No known toxicity have ever been reported.