Dandelion (Cassia Occidentalis) medicinal herb is a very well known Jamaican plant that is widely used for its herbal benefits. The common names for this plant are Lion's tooth, Swine snout, Puff ball, Priest's crown, Blowball, Cochet, Cankerwort, Swine snout, Wild endive, Lion's teeth, Taraxacum officinale, Cassia occidentalis and White endive. The leaves and the root are primarily used for medicine.
Another name of this herb is Wild Coffee. In Jamaica we also refer to it as piss-a-bed. It is a member of the bitter herbs and it is from the Compositae family. I am in love with this medicinal herb and I am attracted even by its colour.
It is native to North and South America as well as Europe. However, it is a very common herb that is grown almost everywhere. I think everybody is familiar with this plant.
It is a very popular herb here in Jamaica. It is known even by the children. As a matter of fact it is wildly grown in my backyard and so we use it for all medical conditions.
The medicinal properties are alterative, tonic, bitter, stimulant, antacid, laxative, digestive, stomachic, alterant, detoxicant and diuretic.
It is a source of vitamins A, B complex and C, zinc, sodium, selenium, silicon, protein, phosphorus, potassium, glycosides, triterpenes, tannins, inulin, volatile oils and fiber.
It is extremely versatile, as the whole plant can be used for medicinal purposes as well as for culinary uses. All parts of the plant have a mild stimulating effect.
It is one of the oldest medicinal herbs. The young leaves can be used as a highly nutritious salad and it is considered a blood cleanser due to its diuretic and digestive aid.
The French call it the dent-de-lion or lion's tooth. The petals remind them of lion's teeth. It has acquired plenty nicknames along the years including, blow ball or puff ball, tell-the-time and clock-flower.
The puff ball moniker refers to days after the flowering, when a feather globe of seeds will blow within the wind to a brand new destination.
It is said that dandelion medicinal herb can easily foretell the weather. If the day is to become great the flower will open fully and if the flower ball remains tightly closed it is a sign of rain.
It contains 28 parts sodium and it helps to purify the blood. It is seen as a great herbal remedy for anemia. The root is used to increase the flow of urine.
Traditionally, dandelion leaves are eaten as a spring tonic, to gently cleanse the body with the change of seasons, but they are also edible in any season. The leaves are also used as a drink and wash for skin disorders.
This medicinal plant is a good cleanser, so do your body a favor and detoxify with the tea. The bitter compounds in the leaves and root help to stimulate digestion and are mild laxatives. They also increase bile production in the gallbladder.
It is used to treat liver and kidney disease, bladder problems like bed wetting and it also has a diuretic action.
The roasted root makes an excellent substitute for coffee and is good for dyspepsia and rheumatism. The dandelion seeds also are collected from the pods, parched and dried, then ground, and used like coffee for drinking.
There have been no side effects reported on this herb, and it should be considered safe to take. It may even be found in breast enhancement cream.
Infuse an ounce of the herb in a pint of boiling water for ten minutes, strain and sweeten with honey if desire, and drink several glasses during the day.
Make a decoction of two ounces of the root in one quart of water, boiled down to one pint, and then consume in doses of one wine-glassful every three hours.
The tea is warm and soothing to the stomach, and dandelion tea also acts as a blood cleanser as well as a mild diuretic.
Updated March 30, 2020