Dandelion leaf comes with several benefits. It can improve bone health and promote weight loss. It also has diuretic and laxative properties. Besides this, dandelion lowers cholesterol, reduces inflammation, fights anemia, prevents liver damage, and lowers oxidative stress. Some studies even suggest that it could lower blood sugar levels, fight cancer, and even treat jaundice.
When you think of dandelions, you might picture pesky little weeds that grow in your front yard. But don’t make the mistake of disregarding it as a “weed.” Dandelion has been long considered a beneficial herb by many different cultures around the world. In fact, different parts of the dandelion plant have been used by the Native Americans, the Chinese, and the Europeans in the preparation of herbal medicines and teas to cure several ailments.
Common Names: blowball, lion's-tooth, cankerwort, milk-witch, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, monks-head, priest's-crown and puff-ball.
Add one teaspoon of dried dandelion leaf to one cup of hot water. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes before drinking.
Dandelion leaf can be a natural and effective way to keep your bones healthy and fight osteoporosis. Dandelions have a decent amount of calcium, with just 1 cup (55 g) providing you 10% of your daily calcium requirement. Calcium is the building block of your bones. Dandelions are also very rich in vitamin K, with 1 cup yielding more than 3.5 times the amount required daily. Vitamin K has been known to prevent osteoporosis by reducing bone loss and maintaining the mineral density in bones.
Many traditional medicinal practitioners recommend dandelion as a digestive aid. It stimulates the flow of bile which creates a mild laxative effect and helps in removing waste more efficiently. So, if you’ve been feeling constipated or bloated, try drinking dandelion leaf/root tea.
Dandelion could help you in your weight loss efforts as well by inhibiting fat absorption into your body. Your pancreas releases an enzyme called pancreatic lipase that helps break down and absorb fat. A study found that dandelion extract could inhibit the action of the lipase by 86.3%, comparable to a standard anti-obesity drug at a similar dose, thanks to at least 5 phenolic compounds in dandelion roots.
Cholesterol is not entirely bad for your body. It’s a waxy, fat-like substance which your body uses to make hormones, vitamin D, and compounds that help in digestion. However, high levels of some forms of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in your blood has been known to cause atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become narrow and hardened due to the build up of cholesterol deposits. Studies done on rabbits that were on a high-cholesterol diet found that dandelion root and leaf could protect against atherosclerosis by significantly reducing the LDL levels and increasing the HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
If you’re looking for a quick detox, try sipping on some dandelion leaf tea. Dandelion, known as simhadanti in Sanskrit, has been used in ayurvedic medicine for its diuretic effects and its ability to detox your kidneys It helps your body get rid of excess water and salt through urine, thus decreasing water retention-related bloating.
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. A study conducted on guinea pigs has shown that dandelion has anti-inflammatory effect on the body, especially on the lungs and intestines.If you suffer from inflammation, dandelion could work as a natural remedy to provide relief.
Dandelion has been used in North American folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments including anemia. Research conducted on mice has also shown that the number of red blood cells and the amount of hemoglobin significantly increased when they were given dandelion extracts. This is largely due to the fact that the herb is rich in iron, with 1 cup containing twice as much iron as spinach, as well as It also had antioxidants like phenols, flavonoids, and coumaric acid that help protect the red blood cells from free radical damage and increase their number.
Dandelion finds mention as a liver tonic in different traditional medicinal disciplines in India, Europe, and North America. Studies conducted with dandelion leaf and root have confirmed that dandelion tea can fight liver fibrosis or liver scarring caused by a build up of scar tissue in response to liver inflammation or damage. Left unchecked, liver fibrosis could lead to cirrhosis or liver failure. Dandelion tea can also prevent fatty liver disease caused by fat accumulation in the liver.
Normal metabolic processes, as well as toxins from the environment, give rise to free radicals in your body, which damage cell membranes and trigger inflammation. When the natural antioxidant stores in the body cannot fight the free radicals, the body comes under oxidative stress. This is when you need antioxidants from your diet. The antioxidant properties of dandelion have been documented by several different studies, with one study specifically showing that dandelion protects against atherosclerosis related to oxidative stress. Having dandelion can be a great way to include more antioxidants in your diet.
While some experiments on rats have shown that dandelion water extracts do decrease blood glucose levels, there are others that have not shown significant changes.It is advised that you talk to your doctor if you are diabetic and want to include dandelion in your diet.
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