Dandelion – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 by

The dandelion is a flowering plant believed to have roots in Eurasia. The word “dandelion” is a corruption of the French word “dent de lion” or “lion’s tooth”, which refers to the plant’s jagged, toothy leaves. Though commonly used for ornamental purposes, the dandelion is a plant with heavy use in folk medicine.

List of known nutrients

A 100 g serving of fresh dandelion leaves contains 338 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, making dandelions one of the best sources of this important vitamin. Dandelions can provide more vitamin A than a carrot. Consumption of dandelion can also provide:

  • Bioflavonoids
  • Calcium
  • Carotenoids
  • Chlorophyll
  • Copper
  • Folic acid
  • Glycosides
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Silica
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K

Medicinal uses for dandelions

Highly diuretic in nature, dandelions are naturally effective in preventing urinary tract infections. Their disinfectant properties bolster this by impeding microbial growth in the urinary system. Apart from inhibiting urinary disorders, dandelions can also prevent or mitigate the risk of:

  • AIDS
  • Abscesses
  • Acne
  • Anemia
  • Arthritis
  • Boils
  • Breast tumors and female breast abscess
  • Cancer, including breast cancer and liver cancer
  • Cirrhosis
  • Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Cramps
  • Diabetes
  • Edema
  • Fluid retention
  • Gallstones
  • Gout
  • Heartburn
  • Hepatitis
  • Herpes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Indigestion
  • Inflammation, including nephritis, cystitis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Jaundice
  • Kidney stones
  • Liver disorders, including liver cancer
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Skin disorders, including eczema

Dandelions are rich with highly beneficial antioxidants that diminish free radical damage. Vitamins C and A, vitamins with detoxifying properties, aid in the detoxification process by boosting the liver’s production of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that breaks down harmful oxygen molecules. Furthermore, these antioxidants work together with essential fatty acids and phytonutrients to reduce inflammation all throughout the body.

Pregnant women and mothers may turn to dandelions as these herbs can also serve as galactagogues, foods that promote lactation and make feeding easier.

Jaundice, a disorder of the liver wherein bile is overproduced, can be mitigated by dandelions. Treating jaundice entails three steps: curbing bile production, eliminating the excess bile from the body, and fighting the viral infection. Dandelions do all these by regulating bile production, encouraging urination, and by acting as a disinfectant and antioxidant.

The diuretic effect of dandelions may help in weight loss. By increasing urine output, water weight is decreased.

Since dandelion herbs can induce allergic contact dermatitis, sensitive individuals should be cautious when using them. Patients undergoing potassium-sparing diuretic therapy are also advised against dandelions since they may aggravate potassium toxicity.

Body systems supported by dandelions

The main organ that benefits from dandelions is the liver. Regarded as a liver tonic in folk medicine, dandelions can clear obstructions, stimulate the liver, and maintain bile production. The increase in bile also aids in the elimination of toxins from the blood. Additionally, dandelions can support:

  • Biliary system
  • Bladder
  • Digestive system
  • Kidneys
  • Skin
  • Spleen
  • Spleen-pancreas
  • Stomach
  • Urinary system

Ways to use dandelions

Tenacious and common in back and front yards, dandelions can simply be plucked from the ground if they’re unavailable in vitamin shops or health food stores. The easiest way to consume dandelion is to take it as a tea. There are two types of dandelion tea: tea made from roasted dandelion roots and an infusion of dandelion leaves. The iron-rich dandelion greens can also be used as a vital ingredient in all kinds of recipes, ranging from a dandelion pumpkin seed pesto to an artichoke, kale, and ricotta pie.

Where to learn more

Summary

Dandelions are rich sources of antioxidants.

These herbs are recommended for pregnant women and mothers as it increases lactation.

Dandelions can mitigate the effects of jaundice.

Dandelions are diuretics.

Sensitive individuals should take care when consuming dandelion herbs.

Dandelions are particularly used as a blood purifying herb.

Sources include:

Nutrition-and-You.com
OrganicFacts.net
SunWarrior.com
HealthLine.com
TheKitchn.com
RodalesOrganicLife.com

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