Dandelion week: anatomy of the lion’s tooth.

dandelion tinctures

Dandelion tinctures, from left to right: root, leaf, flower.

So clearly dandelion is not dandelion is not dandelion.

Dandelion Root

Taste: earthy-sweet-bitter.

Temperature: cool.

Affinity: liver, gallbladder, digestion.

Action: nourishing, tonic.

Dandelion Leaf

Taste: fresh-salty-bitter.

Temperature: cold.

Affinity: kidneys, bladder, blood.

Action: stimulating, draining.

Dandelion Flower

Taste: bright-honey-sweet.

Temperature: neutral or slightly cool.

Affinity: heart, mind.

Action: comforting, brightening.


  1. Kiva Rose said,

    May 13, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

    How lovely, what a nice way of presenting the plant!

    Do you consider the root to also be diuretic/heat clearing/bile stimulating? It seems so bitter and cool as to not purely be a nourishing herb to me… what’s your take on that?

  2. crabappleherbs said,

    May 14, 2007 @ 10:50 am

    Hi Kiva. Yes, definitely. In this post I was intending to emphasize the differences between the parts of the plant. There’s also a lot of overlap. So, everything I said in the last post (“the bite of the lion’s tooth”) applies to all parts of the plant, and within that, each part has its different affinities. Does that make sense?

  3. Kiva Rose said,

    May 15, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

    Certainly, my curiosity comes from me trying to understand North American “tonic” herbs as opposed to TCM tonic herbs and sort out how the nourishment works in each case.

    I like the way you have you comments box now, so easy to do… makes me really wish I’d started my blog on wordpress rather than blogspot….

  4. crabappleherbs said,

    May 19, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

    Right. I definitely don’t think dandelion is a nourishing and tonic herb for every constitution. But in the context of its heat clearing and deobstruent properties, the root is nourishing and tonic.

  5. Jan S. said,

    May 22, 2007 @ 9:25 am

    At the risk of asking a question the answer to which may be obvious to the more herbally learned- What is the process used to make the tinctures?

  6. crabappleherbs said,

    May 22, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

    Henriette has a good post on making tinctures here. I would start with the simplers method—no need to worry about weights and measures at first. Just get the feel of it. (95% grain alcohol is available in Vermont, but you have to fill out a form saying you’re not going to drink it, then wait a couple of weeks while it’s on order. If you can’t get it, just use the strongest vodka you can find.)

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