FR: Dent de lion, Pissenlit
GER: Hundeblume, Lowenzahn, Milchdistel, Monchkopf, Rohrlkraut
IT: Dente di leone, Soffione
SP: Amargon, Diente de leon
BOT: Taraxacum officinale
In its natural wild form, it is rather tough and very bitter, but there are improved cultivated varieties.
Dandelions as a salad plant are particularly valuable in winter and may also be cooked like spinach, preferably mixed with sorrel. They have a strong action on the kidneys, hence some popular names in France and Germany. Other names come from the jagged shape of the leaves, supposed to resemble lions’ teeth.
Dandelion wine is made from the petals of the flowers. The leaves and the root are used to give bitterness to herb beers (dandelion and nettle, dandelion and burdock and so on). Dandelion root roasted, dried and ground is used as a coffee substitute, like chicory. It contains no caffeine, is considered to be a sedative and is often sold in health food shops.