What is the Dandelion Plant like and what is it for?

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The dandelion, with a 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 Green Ecologist article if you want to learn what is the dandelion plant like 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 compound family. It is a perennial plant of an approximate height of 40 cm, with flowers of a characteristic yellow by which it is easy to identify. Another of its most defining characteristics are its cipselas, 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 widespread 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 as "weeds".

What is dandelion for - properties and benefits

Dandelion has a large amount of nutrients to contribute to the body: vitamins B and C, potassium, carbohydrates, beta-carotenes, 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 purifying and diuretic properties and, therefore, allied with the liver and kidney. Its diuretic effects help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
  • In addition, its root has healthy sugars that are of easy digestion, which is why it is sometimes used for people with diabetes.
  • The plant also has mild laxative effects, so 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 conditions, and thanks to its high level of tannins, it helps with peripheral circulatory problems, such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

How to grow dandelions

Since it is such a hardy plant, planting your own dandelions at home shouldn't be a big problem if you follow our Indications to grow dandelions 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 semi-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 that in fact grows much better directly in the ground. In addition, this plant is very undemanding to 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. Ideally, 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 already developed their second leaf, by which time they are ready to be transplanted to their final location.
  5. Dandelions do not need too much watering, being enough to do it about twice a week in hot seasons, and much less in cold ones, although in the first days after sowing or transplanting you should water more often.
  6. It is also possible to reproduce the plant by division of roots. If you do, transplant a piece of clump that comes from a plant that is at least 2 years old, from the point of the rhizome. The best time to carry out this type of propagation is in the fall or late winter, and a single plant can be divided into as many new ones as there are rhizomes it has produced. By doing so, you can transplant directly into the ground, not requiring the previous step of the seedbed or the temporary pot.
  7. Outdoors, it is recommended to form the dandelions in rows or rows, keeping a distance of about 10 cm between each plant.

In this other Green Ecologist article we show you more details about the planting and cultivation of dandelions.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is the dandelion plant like and what is it for?, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.

Bibliography
  • Cebri├ín, J., (2012), Dictionary of medicinal plants, Barcelona, Spain, Integral RBA Libros.
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