I would like to introduce our first "Tea Time Tuesday" post! The first Tuesday of each month I will introduce a different Chinese herb and discuss the specific properties & health benefits that it offers. Today we have the infamous Dandelion:
Believe it or not, this resilient and dare I say pesky weed is a popular herb in Chinese herbal medicine. Dandelion (known as Pu Gong Ying in Chinese) is so much more than a nuisance in the lawn. As we see these yellow buds popping up in our yards and growing through sidewalk cracks, I often think of dandelion as the mascot of Spring. Spring time represents growth, transformation and change. Based upon the five elements, the organ associated with spring is the liver. The dandelion is prolific during this time of year, growing anywhere that it can spread its roots. Its bitter nature gives it hepatoprotective properties, so it's a great way to protect & detox the liver. Because of it's antibacterial effects, it also offers a safe way to stimulate and enhance the immune system. As the weather is warming up and pollen is abundant, dandelion can clear heat and address those red itchy eyes that you may be dealing with. It is also has diuretic properties, so it can be used for painful urination or UTI. Although Pu Gong Ying has an array of wonderful properties, don't go overboard with it; large doses can be associated with loose stools or diarrhea. Remember - everything in moderation!
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Photo taken in Beijing, China
Acupuncturist & Herbalist