Dandelion has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years both in China and Europe. The Chinese use the whole dried plant whereas the traditional European herbalists tended to use mainly the roots. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion is used in combination with other herbs to improve its function and therapeutic effect. It is regarded as a cold herb and hence used for conditions where heat is disturbing the internal balance of the person. When the body has too much internal heat, the heat tries to escape and can lead to symptoms like skin eruptions and boils. Also heat has a tendency to rise so the heat can express itself as red sore eyes. It can also benefit mother’s milk. If for example, the heat imbalance is heating and therefore drying the mother’s milk supply, it may become difficult to express enough milk for the baby’s needs.
A modern use of dandelion in China is for breast cancer, when the pattern of disharmony affecting the woman is diagnosed as advanced blockage of liver energy causing heat stagnation in the breast. The liver meridian traverses through the breast. Herbalists in China, specializing in cancer treatment will of course use dandelion in combination with other herbs. It has had a long history of treating breast abscesses.
In addition, dandelion has been classified as an herb that neutralizes toxins and can benefit the liver and stomach if heat toxins are leading to any imbalance of those organs. Many centuries ago, Chinese physicians used dandelion to treat jaundice and now in modern China it is being used to treat hepatitis of the liver.
So think twice about cursing it when you see it growing as a weed on your lawn. It may be of great benefit to someone.