Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants p 214
Arnold and Connie Krochmal
New York Times Book co, Inc NY, NY 1973
• Biennial or perennial growing 2 to 12 inches tall
• Deeply serrated leaves form basal rosette
• Roots use to increase urine flow, as a laxative, as a tonic, to treat liver and spleen ailments, and to stimulate appetitive
• Tea of boiled flowers for heart trouble
• Juice in roots to treat liver diseases
• Cooked young greens to purify blood- Indians
• Root tea to cure heartburn- Indians
• Paste of ground leaves and bread dough for bruises
• Leaves for salad greens, flowers to make wine

Common Weeds of the United States p 438-9
Prepared by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture
Dover Publications Inc NY, NY 1971
• Compositae
• Taraxcum officinale weber
• Perennial herb from thick taproot often several feet deep
• Many-branched crowns
• Milky juice
• Reproducing seeds by new shoots from the root crowns
• “Stems very short and wholly underground producing a rosette of leaves a the ground surface”
• “Leaves from 5 to 40 cm long variable in shape from lobeless or entire to being divided into many shallow deep-cut lobes with long soft points and intermediate small teeth, a larger lobe at the tip, or the edges merely toothed narrowed at the base into a short hollow petiole, usually pubescent”
• “Flower heard 2-5 cm in diameter in flower, solitary at the end of a naked hollow stalk 5-75 cm long”
• “Receptacle flat or convex, naked”
• “Flowers all strap-shaped ray flowers, golden-yellow, 5-notched at the tip, 100-300 per head”
• “Bracts (phyllaries) green to brownish, surrounding the flower heads in 2 rows, the outer row hanging down and one-third to one-half as long as the inner, erect row”
• “Achene yellowish to greenish-brown, 3-4mm long, 5- to 8- ribbed on each side with minute curved spines on the rib margins of the upper half of the seed”
• “Beak threadlike, 2-4 times longer than the body of the seed, topped by a tuft of whitish hairs (pappis), 3-4 mm long, persistent”
• “Flowering and fruiting from march to frost of throughout the year in warmer areas”
• “Nearly ubiquitous weed in waste areas, lawns, overgrazed pastures and meadows, open fields and roadsides from sea level up to about 12000 ft elevations”
• Mainly a lawn pest, but also in hayfields and pastures, often an impurity in Kentucky bluegrass and forage grass seeds. Introduced and naturalized from Eurasia: perhaps also native of northern America. Throughout most to the United States”

Weeds friends of foe? P 116-7
Sally Roth
Readers Digest Association Inc Pleasantville, NY 2002
• “At maturity, the spent flower closes up into a cylindrical mass of silky hairs and seeds. The flower stem lengthens even more to raise the seed head above surrounding plants so that the wind can freely disperse the seed”
• Sun, well-drained soil, year-round with peak bloom in spring
• Ground hugging but seed puff rises 12 to 18 inches tall

Desk Reference to Natures Medicine p 130 and 131
Steven Foster and Rebecca L. Johnson
National Geographic Washington D.C.
• Family asteraceae
• “Small perennial with a stout taproot, dandelion has long, toothed leaves that form a basal rosette. Yellow. Solitary flowers are followed by spherical, fluffy “seed” heads. All parts of the plant exude a somewhat butter, milky latex”
• “Native to Europe and Asia, dandelions grown almost everywhere throughout the world’s temperate regions. They thrive in nitrogen [rich soil in pastures, gardener, and lawns and are cultivated in Germany and France”
• “The first recoded reference to dandelion in Chinese medical texts was in A.D. 659. The herb was used to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, breast inflammation, to stimulate milk flow and to reduce abscesses in the breast and intestines. By the tenth century, Arabian physicians were writing about dandelion in their medical journals. Once introduced to Europe, dandelion became a prized medicinal plant. European herbalists incorporated it into remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea. They also used it for liver complaints. Native Americans used dandelion for decoctions to treat kidney disease, swellings, skin problems, heartburn, and dyspepsia.”
• “In traditional Chinese medicine today, dandelion is prescribed for ling and breast tumors, jaundice and hepatitis, mastitis, abscesses, and urinary tract infections. In Western herbal medicine, the herb is considered a remedy for a wide range of conditions that can benefit from mild diuretic action, including poor digestion, liver disorders, urinary tract infections, and high blood pressure. Fresh or dried dandelion preparations are used to stimulate appetite and ease stomach distress. Dandelion root is used as a mild laxative and to improve digestion, as well as treat gallstones, jaundice, and other liver problems. Dandelion is also used for chronic joint complaints, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. IT is still respected as one of the best tonic herbs for building the blood and combating anemia. The juice of the dandelion root is used to treat diabetes”.
• “Dandelion contains a variety of acids, sugars, and other nutrients (iron, zinc, boron, calcium, silicon, and especially potassium), and vitamins A, B complex, C and D. Despite the fact hat dandelion as long been recommended as a diuretic, studies of its potent diuretic properties have yet to identify the substance or substances that are responsible for this action. Some researchers have proposed that dandelion’s diuretic activity may simply be the result of the high potassium content of its leaves and roots. While most conventional diuretics cause a loss of potassium from the body, dandelion contains so much potassium tat despite its diuretic effects, potassium levels do not generally decline. Some preliminary studies on diabetic mice suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels. Extracts of dandelion have been shown to have antimicrobial and antibacterial effects and some animal studies have shown it to have moderate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In test tube studies, dandelion extracts have also shown antitumor activity against liver, colon, and melanoma cancer cell lines”

Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, Second Edition p 64 and 65
Bradford Angier
Stackpole Books, 2008, Mechanicsburg, PA
• “Often the first wildflowers that foretell the spring and one of the last in the fall”
• “Composed of numerous, individual, tiny flower tubes, each broadening into as slim long strap. The golden tubes are arranged on a round disk with the straps extending in a circle, those at the edges unfurling first”
• “Each of the flowers nods by itself at the end of a long hollow stalk that, when broken, emits a bitter milky juice similar to what oozes from the cut or abraded roots. Directly beneath the golden head is a verdant cup composed of slender, pointed, green leaves, a few of which twist back toward the cylindrical stem. Nights and on rainy days, the leaves of the cup lift and cover the gilded pedals with their greenery”
• “Once the blossoms wither, the round disks that hear them become white with the unbranched, short, white hairs that radiate in tiny tufts from the tips of each of the multitudinous sees.”
• “The dandelion’s flowers and seed heads are a favorite spring and summer food of Canada geese, grouse, partridge, pheasant, prairie chickens, and quail. Blackbirds, siskins, and sparrows are among the songbirds that relish the seeds. Deer, noose, elks, black bears and grizzlies, the little prairie dogs, and the even sprier and smaller chipmunks eat the plants.”
• “Raw dandelion greens, 85 percent water, have an abundant 14,000 international units of vitamin A per 100 grams, plus 0.19 milligrams of thiamine, 0.26 of riboflavin, and 35 of the vital ascorbic acid”
• “198 milligrams of calcium, 76 of sodium, 397 of potassium”

1 comment:

  1. Some researchers have proposed that dandelion’s diuretic activity may simply be the result of the high potassium content of its leaves and roots. While most conventional diuretics cause a loss of potassium from the body.High blood pressure cure supplement, natural herbal remedy to lower & control high blood pressure. Use Alistrol everyday to help maintain healthy circulation and support cardio-vascular health.