This plant, looked upon as a troublesome weed in lawns, is Nature's greatest healing aid for suffering mankind. lt flowers in April and May in meadows and grasslands. lt forms blankets of yellow flowers which turn many a place into a beautiful sight. Dandelion shuns wet places. lt has two outstanding qualities: it is useful in disorders of the liver and of the gallbladder.
Gather the leaves before, the stems during, the time of flowering, the roots in early spring or in the autumn. The whole plant has medicinal powers. I myself have made it a habit in spring to serve the whole plant as a salad or to make an evening meal of the leaves mixed with potatoes and garnished with boiled eggs. While on a cure in Jugoslavia I noticed the guests received a small bowl of Dandelion greens besides the fresh salads. Asked why, the physician, a well-known liver specialist, told me that the Dandelion has a beneficial effect on the liver. Today I know that the fresh stems of the flower, five to six pieces, chewed daily bring swift relief in chronic inflammation of the liver (sharp pain felt in the region of the lower corner of the right shoulderblade). As long as the plant is in flower, diabetics should eat up to 10 stems daily. The stems with the flowers are washed and only then is the flowerhead removed and the stems are slowly chewed. They taste somewhat bitter at first, but are crisp and juicy similar to a leaf of endive. Sickly people who feel constantly tired and are without energy should take a 14-day course of treatment with the fresh stems of Dandelion. The effect is surprising.
But in many more troubles they are of value; in itchy and scaly rashes and eczema. The flow of gastric juices is improved and the stomach is cleaned of all waste matter. The fresh stems can help remove gall stones painlessly - they stimulate the liver and the gallbladder.
Besides mineral salts, Dandelion contains active substances which are of value in metabolic disturbances. As a blood purifier it brings relief in gout and rheumatism, glandular swellings subside if a 3- to 4-week course of treatment with the fresh stems is adhered to. For jaundice and disorders of the spleen, Dandelion is also used successfully.
Dandelion roots, eaten raw or taken dry in the form of an infusion, purity the blood, improve digestion and have a diuretic, sudorific as well as a stimulating effect.
Old herbals state that women used the infusion of the plant and roots as a beauty aid and washed their faces and eyes with it, hoping to gain youthful looks. The leaves keep growing even in the cold time of the year.
Every year in spring I prepare syrup from the flowers of Dandelion which not only tastes good but at the same time is wholesome. My Christmas ginger biscuits are all made with this syrup.
My mother once met a woman, carrying an apron full of Dandelion flowers. Asked about the reason the woman gave the following recipe for the delicious syrup: