The European dandelion
Last week we looked at the Jamaican dandelion. Today, we look at its European counterpart (Taraxacum officianale) which may be found in Clarendon, Manchester and Westmoreland. I am in no doubt that it is probably in St Elizabeth and St Ann and anywhere European settlers usually inhabited.
As a child growing up, the dandelion was somewhat popular, however, people were always dumping up the area in which they grew, threatening to eradicate them. It grows wild in North America and Europe and I can tell you it makes a delicious, vitamin-rich salad. It's a good food for the liver, takes care of the kidney and keeps the prostate toned. Chinese doctors of old prescribed dandelions and for more than a thousand years it has been used in Europe to help treat premenstrual syndrome, high blood pressure, bronchitis, pneumonia, hepatitis, boils, ulcers, obesity, itching and internal injuries.
A poultice made of the chopped herb is good for breast cancer.
Dandelion controls high blood pressure and heart failure. It can be used in conjunction with other medicines. Dandelion roots are good for high blood sugar content. In Japan, studies have shown that dandelion is good for inflammation and is used to treat arthritis. For keeping vaginal yeast at bay, dandelion is a safe bet. It should not be given to children under the age of two and people over 65 should start with a low dosage and increase gradually.
Buckston Harrison is well known for his work as a herbalist, especially in western Jamaica. He resides in Sheffield, Westmoreland.