While many people think of the humble dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a pesky weed, it is actually bursting with goodness!
Dandelion is chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals, such as iron, potassium, and zinc. In the past, the dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.
Today, dandelion root is commonly used for digestive disorders (loss of appetite, indigestion, constipation), liver and gall bladder disorders (jaundice, aid liver detoxification, gall bladder disease, inflammation), and also for chronic conditions (arthritis, skin disorders, gout). It is particularly good for use with liver detoxification as it stimulates hydrochloric acid, pancreatic and small intestine secretions, which aid in the breakdown and assimilation of sugars and nutrients. It is indicated for poor fat metabolism, and is a rich source of fructoligosacharides, food for healthy bowel flora.
Dandelion is generally considered safe in food and medicinal levels. Some people may have allergic reactions to dandelion. Anyone with an allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, or daisy should avoid dandelion, and anyone pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs should talk to a health care professional before adding something new to their diet.
But what's really amazing about the dandelion root is that when it is roasted, it gives a strong roasted, sweetish, bitter flavour that is reminiscent of coffee and is why it is so often used in coffee substitutes. In fact all our blends at Innocent Beans contain dandelion root! The aroma of the roasted roots are much closer to cocoa than coffee and have a really rich, dark, full and spiced aroma that moves past dark chocolate into notes of woodiness and earthiness.