About Dandelion

Dandelion as natural remedy for good health

(Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale)

Origin, Distribution and Composition
Dandelion is a hardy perennial herb and a tasty salad vegetable. The flower stems of this plant grows up to a height of 30 cm. The sharply-toothed leaves form flat rosettes on the ground. The fleshy hollow stem carries a single bright yellow flower.

The common name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, meaning lion's tooth and refers to the dentate leaf edges. However, some believe that the name is derived from the resemblance of the yellow flower petals to an heraldic lion's golden teeth. The name of the genus come from the Greek taraxos meaning disorders and akos meaning remedy, indicating the curative qualities of the herb.

A very common plant, dandelion grows wild almost everywhere. Dandelion is native to Europe. In India it is found throughout the Himalayas, from 300 to 5400 meters and in the Mishmi Hills.

Nutritionally, the dandelion has remarkable value. It contains almost as much iron as spinach, four times the vitamin A content of lettuce and is a very rich source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, calcium and sodium. An analysis of dandelion shows it to consist of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins C and A. Its calorific value is 45.

Dandelion contains a bitter crystalline principle, taraxacin and a crystalline substance, taraxacerin. It also contains the phytosterols, taraxasterol and humotaraxasterol.

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