Dandelion Names: Lion’s tooth, wild endive, blow ball, cankerwort, piss-in-bed, pissabed, Pries’ Crown, Telltime, Swine’s Snout, Priest’s Crown; clock flower; dumble-dor; fortune teller; Irish daisy; milk gowan; mok’s head; wild endive; witch gowan; witches’ milk; Lowenzahn (German); tarassaco, soffione (Italian); Mniszek pospolity, Mniszek Lekarski (Polish); pu gong ving (Chinese); Aghrioradhiki (Greek); chicoria Mexican); Dient de Leon (Spanish)
Meridians/Organs affected: liver, bladder, stomach
Constituents: root: taraxacin, triterpenes (taraxerol, taraxasterol), lactupicrine, inulin, sugars, glycosides, phenolic and citric acid, asparagine, vitamins A,C,B, potassium. Leaves contain carotenoids, vitamins A,B,C,D, minerals (potassium and iron).
History: Dandelion was introduced into European medicine by the Arabs who were writing about it as early as the 10th century. Taraxacum comes from the Greek taraxis, “to move or disturb”, but the name originally may have come from the Persian name for the herb, tarashqun. The shape of the leaves gives the French name, dents de lion, or “teeth of the lion.” Another French name is pis en lit or “pee in bed” from its diuretic effects. It was once deliberately introduced into the Midwest to provide food for bees.