Dandelion – Taraxacum sp.
Parts used: root, leaf, flower
Traditional uses: Greens eaten. Poultice of steamed or wilted leaves applied to indolent ulcers. Greens eaten to purify the blood. Decoction of roots taken for stomach pain. Infusion of root used for blood. Infusion of herb used to calm nerves.
“Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient. It is a general stimulant to the system, but especially to the urinary organs, and is chiefly used in kidney and liver disorders…Dandelion is used as a bitter tonic in atonic dyspepsia, and as a mild laxative in habitual constipation. When the stomach is irritated and where active treatment would be injurious, the decoction or extract of Dandelion administered three or four times a day, will often prove a valuable remedy. It has a good effect in increasing the appetite and promoting digestion.” ~Grieve MH
For coffee substitute; to keep away disease – “One old man said that he had kept his family free of disease by putting ground dandelion root into their coffee, but many hillfolk use dandelion root as a coffee substitute or adulterant with no thought of tuberculosis.” ~Randolph OMF 94
Flowers eaten as a spring tonic – “Remedy for a spring tonic: make salad of dandelion blossoms and eat daily.” ~Parler FBA II 1355
Greens and root used to purify the blood – “Use dandelion for greens of boil the roots for medicine. This is to purify the blood.” ~Parler FBA II 1514
Grieve, Margaret A Modern Herbal (MH)
Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany (NAE)
Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)
Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)