Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale
Dandelion root has similar properties to burdock root in its ability to benefit the digestive tract by containing inulin and balancing internal heat. In addition to that, dandelion root regulates blood sugar levels, is a strong diuretic due to it being high in potassium and relieving high blood pressure. Although there is a love/hate relation with dandelions in the U.S., since they are classified as a weed, its medicinal properties are outstanding.
Dandelion root's benefit to the digestive tract is twofold as it contains inulin and is also a bitter digestive tonic which tones the digestive system and stimulates the appetite. It calms heat and also hot emotions and is thus helpful in those that are irritated.
Dandelion leaves are also edible and very impactful. Dandelion is a cholagogue, clearing the liver and gallbladder while removing cholesterol from the blood. This plant is very helpful with season transitions, eliminating the heaviness of winter’s indulgences with the entrance of spring. This “weed” also helps to process environmental toxins.
Although dandelion is a mild laxative, it is a drying herb and will make the mouth dry and tingle. This herb is suggested to be paired with a warming herb such as ginger or cardamom to counteract its cold quality.