Dandelion leaf protects the liver, kidneys and eyes, lowers cholesterol and aids digestion. It also fights bacteria and reduces inflammation, while improving your bone health and helping you fight anemia!
Although dandelion is often overlooked as just a pesky weed, it is actually a welcomed addition to both your kitchen and your medicine cabinet. Both the root and greens are packed with health-promoting properties, can tackle a wide range of health problems and the roasted roots can even make a delicious coffee substitute!
The small but potent dandelion can offer its help with:
From filtering toxins to metabolizing drugs, the liver is essential to many aspects of health. If it gets clogged, the toxins soon start to build up in all of our organs, making the perfect environment for the development of illnesses. Dandelion is the perfect helper to keep your liver happy and healthy. It is one of the top cleansing herbs most commonly used and recommended by herbalists.
The Dandelion is especially good in detoxification of the liver, while also restoring hydration. It contains a bitter compound, "taraxacerin" which increases the level of bile secreted by the gallbladder, helping the liver to detoxify more efficiently.
Amazingly, dandelion was also shown to prevented damage to the liver caused by alcohol toxicity.
Dandelion supports the detoxification and cleansing of the digestive tract, especially from the effects of overconsumption of fatty foods, coffee and prescription medicines. It can be effectively combined with Milk Thistle – another digestive and liver supportive herb – to gently move toxins from the body.
Known as a “bitter tonic”, Dandelion stimulates digestion and acts as a mild laxative by softening the stool, thus preventing constipation. The bitter taste comes from the mineral sulphur, which is essential for protein synthesis, liver detoxification, enzyme activity, healthy skin, hair and nails.
High cholesterol is one of the major contributors to coronary heart disease. This waxy substance can build up in the blood vessels, causing arteries to become hardened and narrow and making it harder for blood to flow through.
When combined with regular physical activity and a healthy diet, including a serving of dandelion root or leaf in your day could help keep your heart healthy and ward off heart disease.
Dandelion is a great aid in keeping your cholesterol levels healthy. In one study, it was shown that dandelion led to a reduction in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol as well as an increase in beneficial HDL cholesterol.
Free radicals are compounds that form in your body as a result of things like stress, pollution, and a poor diet. Over time, the accumulation of free radicals can lead to cell damage and chronic disease. Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and have been shown to reduce the risk of conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Every part of the dandelion plant is rich in antioxidants that prevent free-radical damage to cells and DNA, slowing down the aging process in cells. It is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A as well as beta-carotene, and increases the liver's production of superoxide dismutase (SOD). Studies have shown that SOD plays a critical role in reducing internal inflammation and lessening pain associated with conditions such as arthritis.
The diuretic properties of Dandelion help remove excess fluid and salt from the body, which has been shown to lower blood pressure and treat a number of health-related problems. It also inhibits microbial growth in the urinary system, preventing and healing any infections in the kidneys or the bladder.
Dandelion's astringent nature helps to pull out excess fluids and toxins in the liver (where they tend to concentrate) and releases them through the urine. Unlike other diuretics, which are known to drain away potassium from the body, Dandelion is a great choice due to its high potassium levels. It will release the toxins from your body, while keeping all the important elements needed for its proper functioning.
Inflammation is a natural immune response by your body when your tissues or cells are under attack by pathogens like harmful bacteria and viruses.
In the case of certain autoimmune diseases like arthritis, the body’s immune response is triggered though there is no real threat, resulting in damage to tissues and inflammation.
Dandelion has an overall anti-inflammatory effect on the body, but especially on the lungs and intestines. If you suffer from inflammation, dandelion works as a natural remedy to provide relief and prevent the development of many inflammatory-related diseases.
Dandelion can be a natural and effective way to keep your bones healthy and fight osteoporosis. It has a high amount of calcium, which is the building block of your bones.
Dandelions are also very rich in vitamin K, an important contributor to preventing osteoporosis by reducing bone loss and maintaining the mineral density in bones.
Dandelion has been used in North American folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments including anemia.
Adding dandelion to your diet is an excellent way to increase the number of red blood cells and the amount of hemoglobin. This is largely due to the fact that the herb is rich in iron, with 1 cup containing twice as much iron as spinach, but also other nutrients that help protect the red blood cells from free radical damage and increase their number.
Dandelion greens are jam-packed with vitamin A, fulfilling 112 percent of the daily requirements in each cup. Vitamin A is an important nutrient when it comes to eye health. In fact, vitamin A deficiency can even lead to blindness in some cases.
A higher intake of vitamin A was linked to a significantly lower risk of age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes vision loss.
Including dandelion greens and other vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet can help keep your eyes healthy and promote better vision.
Dandelion can be helpful for those looking to lose weight. Because it helps to naturally detoxify the liver and body, it also encourages the release of excess body fat.In addition, the bitter components help to metabolize fat and cholesterol which is important for weight loss.
Dandelion greens are extremely low in calories with just 25 calories in each cup. They also contain a good amount of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full. Including a few servings of dandelion greens in your diet may reduce hunger and promote satiety, which can help ease weight loss.
Pair dandelion greens with regular exercise and a nutritious diet to optimize your results and lose weight fast.
Dandelion root and dandelion leaves are known for their bitter quality. The "bitter taste" in Ayurvedic medicine helps to break up congestion in the liver, decrease water retention and sooth/cool itchy skin conditions as well as improve digestion. It is good to include the bitter taste in your diet on a daily basis. This includes eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, like dandelion greens, as well as bitter root teas like dandelion root.
In the old days of herbal medicine, we would make something called "digestive bitters." This was a liquid tincture with dandelion root or leaf as the main ingredient along with other digestive herbs and spices. When taken before meals it helps to stimulate the digestive juices.
Dosage and preparation:
Tea - Heat the water a little bit below boiling and add two teaspoons of dandelion leaf per cup of water. Let it steep for 5 minutes, strain and drink 3 cups a day.Tincture - 20 to 30 drops, 3 times a day.
Used as a diuretic:4 - 10 g of dried Dandelion leaves to a cup of boiling water, left to sit for 10 - 15 minutes. Enjoy your cup of tea, sweeten if required.
Tonic for liver or gallbladder:3 - 5 g dandelion root made as a tea, taken 3 times per day.5 - 10 ml tincture taken 3 times per day.
The taste of dandelion is quite bitter, although liked by a lot of people. Dandelion tea is excellent with added flavors or a natural sweetener, like honey. Some people add stevia leaves or raspberry leaves during the steeping process. These flavors counteract the bitter notes of the dandelion leaf without overpowering the natural flavors.
Precaution: For most people, dandelion greens and dandelion root side effects are minimal, and dandelion can be a safe and healthy dietary addition.
Still, note that:
Dandelion is high in vitamin K, which may impact blood clotting. If you’re taking Warfarin or another blood thinner, you need to maintain consistent vitamin K intake to prevent interfering with your medication.
Because dandelion acts as a natural diuretic, it may affect the excretion of lithium from the body and could lead to increases in lithium levels. Consult with your doctor if you are taking lithium to determine if dandelion is right for you.
It may also decrease absorption and effectiveness of certain antibiotics, including enoxacin, norfloxacin, trovafloxacin, ciprofloxacin, sparfloxacin and **grepafloxacin.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements in this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician.Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions.If you are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breast feeding or suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs.Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health..
The dandelion is an herb in serious need of an image makeover. Cursed by many gardeners and those in quest of perfect lawns, dandelion is frequently viewed as a pest plant.
Both the Dandelion leaf and root have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat liver, gall bladder, kidney ailments, weak digestion and rheumatism. They are also considered mildly laxative and the leaves have traditionally been used as a diuretic.
Dandelion was first mentioned in Chinese herbals as late as the 7th century, it was used by the Arabian physicians of the 10th and 11th centuries and in Europe, it first appears in The Hortus Sanitatis - the first natural history encyclopedia in 1485.
In the West, the root and leaves are distinct remedies, but the Chinese use the whole plant, which they call pu gong ying; it is used as a galactagogue (an agent that induces the flow of breast milk). Dandelion is believed to clear heat and toxins from the blood and is also used for boils and abscesses.
Dandelion is thought to be native to Europe and the seeds were intentionally brought over to America for propagation by the colonists. This wild edible was not viewed as a "weed" in the olden days. It was seen for the beauty of its golden blossoms and was actually encouraged to grow and proliferate.
In Persian, dandelion is called the “small postman” because it is thought to bring good news.It’s one of the first flowers that pops up in spring, and it stays with us all through the summer.
Incidentally, it's the dandelion's leaves, not the flower that gave it its common name. It was apparently invented by a 15th-century French surgeon, who compared the shape of the leaves to a lion's tooth, or dens lionis. It also shared a nickname in English and French, "piss-a-bed" and "pissenlit" - both refer to the root's strong diuretic effect.
Dandelion leaves may be used as a salad vegetable, particularly in spring. The root, when roasted, can be used as a coffee substitute, and the flowers are often used to make wine.
Dandelions produce many small yellow flowers, called florets, which collectively form one flower head. Once it has finished flowering, the flower head dries out, the florets drop off and a seed head is formed. The seeds are then dispersed by the wind … or those looking to get a free wish.
Common Names: blowball, lion's-tooth, cankerwort, milk-witch, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, monks-head, priest's-crown and puff-ball. Pise-en-lit, Lion's Tooth, Fairy Clock, Cankerwort, White Endive, Wild Endive