Lion’s Tooth; Pissenlit; Pu Gong Ying
Taraxacum officinale; Leondonton taraxacum
A close relative of chicory, Dandelions are one of the first flowers to pepper front lawns and fields as a bright yellow harbinger of spring, serving as a reminder to cut our grass and start weeding our gardens (lest they take over!). Dandelions have a long history of use worldwide — although today much of North America wrongfully sees them as nothing more than a nuisance. Dandelions were used as early as the eleventh and twelfth century by Arabian physicians, and its use spread to India, Europe and eventually North America when settlers brought it over on the Mayflower. In Europe, the leaves often make an appearance in salads as its bitter taste is said to aid digestion, The flowers can be collected and used to make a mild dandelion wine or tea, and the roots roasted to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute — not to mention how amusing they are to children making wishes and blowing their seeds into the air!
Research compiled and summarized by Keila McCullough BHSc, ND (cand.) Distinctly Tea Inc.