It is sad that in our modern age the Dandelion is viewed most often as a weed to be killed. The dandelion is known to most major forms of herbal medicine as an important medicine. The root and leaves are used to clear "heat" (infection) out of the body. It was seen as particularly useful for infections of the breast and gall bladder. It was also considered a tasty salad green in the spring of the year before it gets bitter. It is that bitter nature that is most important when it comes to clearing infection and swellings out of the body.
In Chinese, the dandelion is known as Pu Gong Ying, or fisherman's herb. There is a story of a young girl of a prominent family who developed a lump in her breast. She felt ashamed because she believed that it must be a sign that she had done wrong. In a effort to commit suicide, she threw herself into the ocean. She was rescued by a fisherman and his daughter. As the daughter was saving the girl, she felt the lump and understood why she tried to kill herself. The fisherman and his daughter took the girl home, and treated her with tea and poultices made of dandelion. The lump began to disappear. When she was fully recovered, she returned to her family. There she planted the dandelion plants in the garden. She insisted that everyone call the yellow flower, "The Fisherman’s herb" in honor of the fisherman and his daughter who saved her life.
— David Bock
This article was from David's LakeCountryOnline.com column, "The Practical Herbalist"
David Bock, C. Ac., Dipl. OM, FABORM
Wisconsin Certified Acupuncturist
National Board Certification in Oriental Medicine
Fellow American Board Of Oriental Reproductive Medicine
Bock Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
888 Thackeray Trail #206
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066