One of the best parts of being an herb nerd is the ability to delight in plants that most people overlook. One person’s weed is another person’s wonder-herb—just ask the humble dandelion. In the era of the perfectly groomed lawn, the dandelion nearly lost its reputation as an herbal medicine. Here at Traditional Medicinals, we’ve been excited to bring dandelion back to its former glory as a robust and bitter digestive spring tonic, featuring it front and center in two of our products, organic Dandelion Leaf & Root and Roasted Dandelion Root teas, as well as a chief component in our EveryDay Detox Dandelion tea. From its early references in Asian and Arabian texts to its present day applications in Traditional Herbal Medicine, dandelion remains a tried-and-true herb for supporting healthy digestion*. In addition to promoting good health, our Dandelion Leaf & Root tea is delicious, offering delicate, earthy, and slightly sweet notes.
Across the globe, throughout history, dandelion has traditionally been used for various, albeit consistent treatments. Ethnobotanists suggest that the Bible’s “bitter herbs” could be one of dandelion’s earliest medicinal references. Asian physicians later recorded dandelion’s healing properties in 659 A.D, claiming its effectiveness in treating digestive disorders. Early European healers looked to dandelion to support the liver. Across the ocean, Native American folklore taught dandelion’s digestive benefits as well, while also using the greens as a poultice to aid in healing wounds and as a tea to relieve menstrual cramps, purify the blood, relieve occasional constipation, and support the liver and kidney.
Our herbalists formulated our Dandelion Leaf & Root tea to support kidney function and healthy digestion*, using sustainably harvested dandelion from the wild meadows of Europe and Morocco—some of the finest pharmacopoeial-grade herbs available. Dandelion hails from the daisy family, taking its name from the French dent-de-lion for its jagged leaf shape, said to resemble that of a lion’s teeth. This ubiquitous, low-growing perennial thrives mostly in northern temperate zones, from Europe and northern Africa to western Asia and North America.
To optimize dandelion’s herbal power for promoting healthy liver function, our partner wildcrafters collect in the early spring and late fall when the plant’s energy is stored in the root. To summon its herbal power to support the kidneys, collectors gather the leaves from late spring through the summer, when the plant’s energy has transitioned above ground. Dandelion’s herbal medicine stems from the combination of its terpenoids, flavonoids and alkaloids, which produce a bitter effect on the tongue and put the digestive system to work, stimulating stomach and intestine enzymes, as well as bile production. Dandelion leaves make an herbal diuretic, helping to relieve water retention by flushing the body of excess waste.
Following winter’s more sedentary pace and classically heavier diet, a bitter spring tonic like dandelion can be the boost you need to kick the busy season back into gear. Our herbalists recommend drinking our tea for up to two weeks, followed by a break before resuming regular consumption. Make sure to consult our package to see if dandelion is right for you. For more ways to enjoy dandelion, keep on the lookout in your natural food store for its fresh, tender leaves during the springtime. They are great for spicing up pesto, smoothies, and salads, while offering wonderful digestive benefits.