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Taraxacum mongolicum

Botanical Name : Taraxacum mongolicum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Dandelion

Habitat: Taraxacum mongolicum is native to E. Asia – China. It grows on the village outskirts, embankments and damp roadsides.

Description:

Taraxacum mongolicum is a perennial herb, which is usually from 10 to 25cm. The whole plant, covered with sparse white soft hairs, contains white milk. Deep-rooted dandelion root is with a single yellow-brown branch that is from 3 to 5cm in diameter. Radicicolous leaves arrange into a rosette; both sides of petiole base expand into sheath; lion’s teeth like leaf blade is linear-lanceolate, oblanceolate, or obovate, 6 to 15cm long, 2 to 3.5cm wide, and with acute or obtuse apex, narrow base, and lobed or irregularly pinnately divided margin. Single apical capitulum is full of bisexual ray florets; multilayer bracts are ovate-lanceolate; receptacle is flat; corolla is yellow, often divided, and with truncated apex; stamens are 5; pistil is 1, and with inferior ovary, slender style, 2-lobed stigma, and short hair. Achenes are oblanceolate, 4 to 5mm long, about 1.5mm wide, with vertical edges connected to stripes, spines, 8 to 10mm beaks at the top of the fruit, and about 7mm white pappus. Bloom time is from April to May and fruiting time is from June to July.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them[K] Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Antibacterial; Cancer; Cholagogue; Decongestant; Depurative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Galactogogue;
Hepatic; Laxative; Stomachic.

The whole plant is antibacterial, cholagogue, decongestant, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, galactogogue, laxative and stomachic. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc. A decoction is used in treating abscesses, appendicitis, boils, liver problems, stomach disorders etc. It has been used for over 1,000 years by the Chinese in treating breast cancer and other disorders of the breasts including poor milk flow. The stem has been used in the treatment of cancer.

1. Its decoction or water extract has a strong inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic streptococcus bacteria, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Besides, it also has a certain inhibition on pneumococcus, meningococcus, diphtheria bacilli, Shigella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, leptospira, and so on;
2. It has a synergistic effect with TMP (Trimethoprim);
3. It promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the duodenum, protects liver, resists endotoxin, and increases secretion of urine. And it has a better cholagogic effect than capillaris decoction;
4. Its water extract of the aerial parts has anti-tumor effect;
5. In vitro tests suggested that it could stimulate the body’s immune function;
6. Its leaves can ease blocked milk ducts in breastfeeding and promote and lactation.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+mongolicum

Dandelion (Pu Gong Ying)

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