What Is the Origin of the Dandelion?

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What Is the Origin of the Dandelion?
Dandelions originated in Asia and Europe. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

The common dandelion has made a number of appearances throughout history, and herbalists trace the plant's origins to the Asian and European continents. Though some dispute surrounds the origin of the plant's name, dandelions have a number of beneficial applications.

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Origins

According to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the common dandelion originated in Asia and Europe. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association explains that the dandelion probably found its way to the North America on the Mayflower, and that settlers likely brought the plant along for its medicinal qualities.

Name

The origin of the dandelion's name is subject to some disagreement. Some sources, according to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, claim the word descended from the Greek word leontodon, a word that translates to English as "lion's tooth." Others claim the word came from the French dent de lion or the Latin word dens leonis, both of which also mean "lion's tooth."

Benefits

The dandelion can fill a number of roles that range from sedatives and laxatives to a nutritional supplement. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation also notes that some herbalists have used dandelions in love potions.

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