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THE HERBAL CORNER
"DANDELION" (Blowball, Cankerwort, Lion's Tooth, and Puffball)

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Did you know that the obnoxious weed in most everyone's lawn, the DANDELION, is edible, contains many nutrients, and is considered a natural diuretic? DANDELION is also noted for supplying potassium, a mineral often lost through diuretic use.

The DANDELION, also known as Blowball, Cankerwort, Lion's Tooth, and Puffball, is a perennial plant found, to the dismay of many, almost everywhere. It is a bitter but nutritious herb prepared from the roots and leaves of the common yellow-flowered plant. Cultivated DANDELION greens are less bitter and have longer leaves than their wild cousins. The leaves, provided they have not been sprayed with lawn or garden chemicals, work well in salads, soups, stews, or even as part of a mixture of steamed greens.

DANDELION has traditionally been used as a digestive tonic, blood cleanser, mild diuretic, and laxative. Today, DANDELION is also used as a weight loss aid, to relieve inflammation of the liver and gallbladder, congestive jaundice, skin diseases, dyspepsia, and PMS. It may also be useful to lower blood cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure, and prevent heart disease!

Although the active compound underlying DANDELION's many health effects has not been identified, the fresh leaves are high in several nutrients including beta carotene, vitamin C, and potassium.

DANDELION is sold as tablets, capsules, concentrated drops, tinctures, fresh leaves or roots, and extracts. People have been known to eat all parts of the plant, and it appears to be safe and nontoxic, with the exception of provoking allergic reactions, flulike symptoms, or upset stomach in some persons. If any of the following conditions apply, use DANDELION only in consultation with a professional herbalist or naturopath: pregnancy, heart condition, or inflamed stomach or colon. Children under 2 years of age should not be given the herb and adults over 65 should use low-strength preparations only.

Please note: the information contained herein has been compiled from various sources. The above statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We make no claims, either expressed or implied, that any treatments mentioned in this newsletter will cure disease, replace prescription medication, or supersede sound medical advice.

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