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What is the dandelion plant and what is it for?

What is the dandelion plant and what is it for?

The dandelion, scientific name Taraxacum officinale and also commonly called bitter chicory or meacamas, it is a plant that, despite being considered in many cases an adventitious herb, has numerous medicinal properties, highlighting its powerful diuretic power to eliminate toxins and fluid retention.

Join us in this EcologíaVerde article if you want to learn what is the dandelion plant and what is it for in the field of natural medicine.

How is the dandelion plant – characteristics

This plant is a species of the Asteraceae or Compositae family. It is a perennial plant with a height of approximately 40 cm, with characteristic yellow flowers so it is easy to identify it. Another of its most defining characteristics are its cypselas, which in many places it is customary to blow to spread them to the wind.

The origin of the dandelion is valued as European, although it is currently spread throughout much of the world. It turns out a plant very common to find in the wild in fields, meadows and roads, a fact for which, as we pointed out above, it is sometimes considered a “weed”.

How is the dandelion plant and what is it for - How is the dandelion plant – characteristics

What is dandelion for – properties and benefits

Dandelion has a large number of nutrients to provide the body: vitamins B and C, potassium, carbohydrates, beta-carotene, flavonoids, oleic and linoleic acids and tannins. Thanks to its nutritional composition, properties and benefits of dandelion there are several:

  • It is a plant of mainly depurative and diuretic properties and allied, therefore, with the liver and the kidney. Its diuretic effects help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
  • In addition, its root has healthy sugars that are of easy digestionso it is sometimes used for people with diabetes.
  • The plant also has mild laxative effectsso it can be used as a remedy against constipation.
  • Its purifying properties make it also indicated to help people who are recovering from chemical or food poisoning, and for this reason it is beneficial for the fight against cholesterol.
  • The infusions of this plant, once cold, can also be used to wash wounds or treat skin conditionsand thanks to its high level of tannins, it helps with peripheral circulatory problems, such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
How is the dandelion plant and what is it for - What is the dandelion for - properties and benefits

How to grow dandelion

Since it is such a resistant plant, planting your own dandelions at home should not be a big problem if you follow our instructions to grow dandelion at home:

  1. The first thing to keep in mind for plant the dandelion It is the climate of the area. This plant prefers temperate climates, and conditions of direct sun or partial shade. In addition, it is resistant to frost and wind.
  2. Regarding the soil, it is a plant that does not require pots or substrate, and in fact grows much better directly on the ground. In addition, this plant is very undemanding with them, and any moist soil rich in organic matter will suffice, although with a good drainage.
  3. To reproduce the plant by its seeds, it is preferable sow in late spring. The ideal is to prepare a seedbed for the seeds, which we will moisten and enrich with compost before planting them. We recommend the Bokasi or bocashi compost, which you can learn more about here.
  4. Leave the seedbed in the sun and keep it moist, and in about three weeks the seedlings should have developed their second leaf, by which time they are ready to be transplanted into their final location.
  5. The dandelion does not need too much watering, being enough to do it about twice a week in hot seasons, and much less in cold seasons, although in the first days after sowing or transplanting you should water more often.
  6. It is also possible to reproduce the plant by root division. If you do, transplant a piece of bush that comes from a plant that is at least 2 years old, from the rootstock point. The best time to carry out this type of propagation is in autumn or late winter, and a single plant can be divided into as many new ones as it has produced rhizomes. By doing it this way, you can transplant directly into the ground, not being necessary the previous step of the seedbed or the temporary pot.
  7. Outdoors, it is recommended to form dandelions in rows or rows, keeping a distance of a few 10 cm between each plant.

In this other EcologíaVerde article we show you more details about the Planting and cultivation of dandelions.

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  • Cebrian, J., (2012), Dictionary of medicinal plantsBarcelona, ​​Spain, Integral RBA Books.

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