Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gerard's Herbal: Knotty-rooted dandelion

This image of the dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, appears in Gerard's Herbal, first published in 1597.

A few facts about John Gerard and his Herball

A few facts about dandelions
1. The name "dandelion" comes from the French "dent de lion" -- lion's tooth --, which refers to the jagged leaves.
2. The town of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, United States makes its emblem of four dandelions. Each year since 2007 it has held a dandelion festival.
3. Leaves of the dandelion are a diuretic; they are also high in potassium.
4. Works by Arabian physicians of the 10th and 11th century refer to medicinal uses for dandelions.
5. Dandelion appears on the FDA's (Federal Drug Administration in the United States) list of safe foods.

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