Dandelion mother tincture: natural remedy for liver and skin
Who among you has never noticed a yellow flower in the meadows, which when ripe turns into a soft round globe? Who has never blown the seeds with long silky feathers at least once in the air? This herb is dandelion, also called "dandelion" or "wild chicory".
The dandelion: botanical characteristics
The dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber, Compositae) is a perennial herb with a vertical rhizome that continues downwards with a taproot root and leaves gathered in a basal rosette, lanceolate and regularly incised. At the beginning of spring, one (or more) flower scape appears at the center of the rosette, about half a meter high, which bears a terminal flower head of abundant yellow flowers, all ligulate. At the flower head there is a characteristic infructescence endowed with numerous achenes with abundant feathery pappus (hence the name "shower head"). It is common throughout Italy in meadows, in grassy areas, in uncultivated land and sometimes even in the woods.
The dandelion: properties
Folk medicine has always recognized the power of this plant to stimulate liver functions, but modern herbal medicine has confirmed this property through studies that have highlighted both the increase in the contraction of the gallbladder (cholagogue action) and the increase in the biliary secretion (choleretic action). This plant also exhibits a powerful diuretic activity superior to most other liver drugs. The laxative action is mild.
The properties of the dandelion justify its use as a purifying and drainage plant. The drainage allows the elimination of toxins by the body, through what can be considered the natural excretors: liver, kidneys, intestines, skin. The final result of a good drainage consists in an increase in diuresis and bile secretions thanks to a highly modulated choleretic and cholagogue activity, in a mild increase in intestinal transit, in an increase in the secretion of the sweat glands and in the regulation of sebaceous secretion .
Stimulation of the liver cell and decongestion of the liver account for the successes achieved in the digestive area with the use of this plant. Not only that, but among the properties of the Dandelion there are the stimulation of diuresis, together with the increase in liver function, lead to an action on the general turnover which translates into an increased elimination of waste by the body and therefore a lightening of the hepatorenal district. The ability to influence turnover makes Dandelion a general tonic used in "spring treatments" from April to May and in the fall.
The dandelion: use in herbal medicine
The dandelion contains flavonoids, minerals (e.g. potassium), phenolic acids (e.g. caffeic acid, chicory), a resin that contains bitter substances (taraxicin, mainly present in the leaves) and sesquiterpene lactones (e.g. germacranolide).
In dandelion herbal medicine, the aerial parts (usually leaves) or the whole plant (including the roots) are used. In particular:
- for ESCOP, the dandelion leaves is recommended in addition to treatments in which a greater diuresis is desirable, for example, in rheumatism and in the prevention of kidney;
- for ESCOP, the root dandelion is more suitable for the recovery of liver and biliary function, dyspepsia, loss of appetite. It is recommended to collect the root in May-June and in autumn, when it is richer in inulin: in fact it is estimated that in autumn the dried root contains up to 40% of inulin, in spring about 2%.
- according to the German Commission E, the whole plant (rhizome and roots included) is specifically recommended in states characterized by alteration of the biliary flow (thanks to the choleretic-cholagogue action) and to stimulate diuresis. Here, therefore, the whole dandelion plant has an aperitif, cholagogue, purifying, diuretic, slightly laxative action and it is recommended to use it in cases of: biliary lithiasis (preventive action), cholecystopathy and liver failure, rheumatism, gout, chronic eczema ( as a purifier), obesity, gastric hypoacidity, loss of appetite, digestive disorders in general.
It is usually recommended to take the dandelion as an infusion or decoction, or juice, or mother tincture.
Already Dr. Scotti, in 1872, in "Medical flora of the Province of Como", tells us that "the dandelion has all the qualities of chicory to a greater degree: it is also febrifugal, purifying, diuretic. This last virtue is attested to him from the vulgar French name of pissenlit. As a blood purifier, it is usefully used in spring, also combined with other herbs, such as chicory and burdock. Dr. Baudens, chief physician of the French expedition to the Crimea, declares that, if it was possible to stop scurvy, it was entirely due to the dandelion, which the soldiers consumed in every culinary and pharmacological form. Fortunately it was abundant ".
Dandelion mother tincture: dosage and how to use it
The dandelion mother tincture is recommended to take it like this: in the morning just get up 30 drops in a little water, in sips, and at the dose of 50 drops about half an hour before the 2 main meals. The drops dilute in a third of a glass of water and each sip is passed under the tongue for half a minute before ingesting.
Here are some recipes, reported in the scientific literature, to make the most of the dandelion mother tincture in synergy:
1) dandelion mother tincture for the skin
- drops for acne (Bergeret, Tétau): burdock mother tincture and dandelion mother tincture in equal quantities for a total of 125 ml, to be taken 60 drops of the preparation in half a glass of water to drink slowly before 3 meals ;
- skin-purifying mother tinctures (Tétau): burdock mother tincture, Viola tricolor mother tincture, dandelion mother tincture, in equal quantities for a total of 125 ml
Use: 50-70 drops, diluted in a little water and sip slowly, on an empty stomach in the morning,
and before 2 meals;
- drops for dermatitis: Bergeret and Tétau suggest both resorting to the blackcurrant bud derivative as an anti-inflammatory, and to drain the other systems with the basic remedies of liver metabolism with the artichoke mother tincture and dandelion mother tincture. Eventually these remedies can be alternated with rosemary derivative. To eliminate the "nervous-sensory" symptoms, lime bud derivative would come to the rescue.
2) dandelion mother tincture to rebalance the general liver functions
Hepato-intestinal disorders can greatly benefit from the use of dandelions. Excellent mother tincture of dandelion alone or associated. For example, according to the scheme suggested by Bergeret and Tétau it is preferable to choose to take in the morning, upon awakening, the artichoke mother tincture 50 drops in a little water and before lunch and dinner the mother tincture of dandelion 25 drops in a little water. Eventually these remedies can alternate with rosemary derivative at a dose of 50 drops before lunch.
Tip: for its purifying action, you can find the dandelion also in this excellent product, Italic Purifying - natural purifying, in this case associated with milk thistle (liver) and tamarind (intestine). You can also find it here in the Primum Dep herbal tea - purifying herbal tea.
Contraindications, drug interactions, pregnancy and breastfeeding, side effects
The dandelion, according to the German Commission E, is contraindicated in cases of obstruction of the bile ducts, in cases of empyema of the gallbladder and paralytic ileus. The German E Commission also recommends using dandelions under medical supervision in the presence of gallstones. According to the Escop:
- there is no interaction reported with drugs;
- regarding pregnancy and breastfeeding there is no data available. However, in accordance with general medical practice, the product must not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding without first hearing the advice of the doctor;
- undesirable effects: dandelion can cause allergic contact dermatitis due to the presence of sesquiterpene lactone beta-glucopyranosyl ester of taraxinic acid.
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