Scientific name: Taraxacum (genus)
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- Genus: Taraxacum
The dandelion: one of the most familiar plants known to humankind. Some say it is a weed; others call it a cure for countless ailments.
The word “dandelion” is from French — dent de lion, or the lion’s tooth, points to the serrated edges of the dandelion flower. The dandelion’s genus name Taraxacum comes from the Greek word for “remedy”. Though known as a magical herb in the old times, the dandelion is now considered a weed in numerous parts of the world. Ironically, this garden weed is expensive if you buy it at a store.
Consumable: Sauté tender dandelion leaves or stir them into your salad! Dandelions are extremely nutritious, containing Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and antioxidants.
Medicinal: The dandelion was very popular in traditional medicine, such as in ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Chinese medicine. Before scientists discovered vitamins, the dandelion seemed like a panacea: it reduced liver problems, skin diseases, kidney stones, high blood pressure, as well as a great variety of small ailments. Now we know that the dandelion’s health benefits come from the vitamins in the plant.