All the florets ligulate; are bright yellow, the outer one often being marked with purple on the back. There is an involucre of numerous erect and nearly equal inner bracts, surrounded by other and larger bracts, more often lax and drooping. The penduncles are radical, leafless, bearing single heads of flowers; the leaves obovate, spatulate, deeply pinnatifid, runcinate, pappus pilose. The root is long, dark brown, and very bitter, but not disagreeably so. It is a perennial, and flowers almost all the year round. Found in pastures, waste ground, and meadows.
Medicinal Properties: Deobstruent, Antiscorbutic, Astringent, Diuretic, and Tonic.
It is an old and safe remedy for diseases of the liver, constipation, dyspepsia, gravel, dropsy, and all skin diseases.
Used singly, a decoction of 2 ozs. of the herb or root in one quart of water boiled down to one pint, is taken in doses of one wineglassful every three hours. This is good for scurvy, scrofula, eczema, all eruptions on the surface of the body, &c.
A compound medicine may be made with—
Dandelion Root or Herb ... 1 oz.
Agrimony ... 1 oz.
English Gentian or Buckbean ... 1 oz.
Sea Holly ... 1 oz.
Lump Ginger, crushed ... ½ oz.
Boil in three quarts of water down to three pints, then strain with pressure, and when cold it will be fit for use. Dose: One or two wineglassfuls to be taken three, four, or five times a day for affections of the kidneys, stone in the bladder, gall-stones. It is an excellent medicine, and will speedily effect a cure. It is also beneficial in all eruptions of a scrofulous nature upon the skin.
Dandelion is a good ingredient in many digestive or diet drinks. A dinner drink may be made as follows:—
Dandelion Herb ... 2 ozs.
Nettles ... 2 ozs.
Yellow Dock ... 1 oz.
Boil in one gallon of water for 15 minutes, and strain the hot liquor on to two pounds of sugar (cane sugar preferred), on the top of which is sprinkled two tablespoonfuls of powdered Ginger. Leave till milk-warm, then add boiled water gone cold to bring the quantity up to two gallons. The temperature must then not be above 75 F. Now dissolve ½-oz. of solid yeast in a little of the liquid, and stir into the bulk. Allow it to ferment 24 hours, skim and bottle, and it will be ready for use in a day or two.
Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.