Is the dandelion plant an annoying weed or is it a coveted medical plant?
The dandelion plant is seen as a weed to some and as a natural form of medicine to others.
With its natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic anti-cancer properties as well as other health benefits, maybe we should take a closer look at this plant.
The English word “Dandelion” comes from the French word “Dent De Lion,” which means Lion’s Tooth.
The term lion’s tooth is referring to the structure of the leaves looking like a tooth with serrations on it.
The first known documented use of the French word dent de lion was a translation by a Scottish poet and bishop of Dunkeld Gain Douglas in 1513.
Taraxacum officinale is the most common species of dandelions and is the one that you can find easily on country walks and is one of the most important medicinal plants.
It has been used for thousands of years to treat countless physical ailments, especially digestive disorders and liver diseases.
Before taking any whole plant or plant-made supplements, consult your doctor first, especially if you are taking any medications.
THE DANDELION PLANT IS A GREAT SOURCE OF MANY DIFFERENT VITAMINS AND MINERALS
The leaves of the dandelion plant can be eaten cooked or raw and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K.
Additionally, they also contain vitamin E, folic acid, small amounts of B vitamins, and a type of fiber most beneficial for the health of the intestinal microbiota.
As well as providing a significant amount of various minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and silicon.
But the medicinal properties of this wonderful plant are due to the combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as beta-carotene and polyphenols, chicory, chromogenic and taraxinic acids, phytol, and tetracosanol.
DANDELION ROOT HELPS TO DETOX THE LIVER
There are 78 organs in the human body and the liver is the largest and the most important because of its function.
The liver is responsible for cleaning the blood and creating bile, triglycerides, cholesterol, and glycogen.
Many different detox teas contain dandelion root for purchase, but if you choose to make your dandelion detox tea.
Use 9 to 12 grams of dried and ground dandelion root or two to three teaspoons.
HELPS WITH GALLSTONES
The leaf of the plant helps to stimulate a sluggish gallbladder and along with milk thistle, gallstones can be flushed out.
HELPS KEEP THE LIVER HEALTHY
Many different animal studies have shown the possible benefits of dandelions leaf extract for humans, but currently, there is no human research being done.
The benefits found in studies are that it helps to prevent liver damage and disease, as well as reduces the levels of excess fat stored in the liver.
Other medicinal plants are used to aid the liver, such as turmeric.
HAS ANTICANCER ACTION
Perhaps one of the most interesting properties of the extract of the leaves and the root is its potential to prevent the growth of cancer cells in different organs.
One study has shown that the root extract can reduce the growth of cancer cells in the liver, colon, skin, and stomach.
In another study, rats were given dandelion root extract, which changed certain pathways that are involved in the suppression of the growth as well as the spread of breast cancer
These findings are encouraging, but more studies are needed to test whether dandelion may help treat cancer in humans.
Traditional natural medicine uses this plant to treat constipation and other symptoms of poor digestion. These effects are most likely due to the prebiotic inulin content.
Some research indicates that dandelion may have antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
Several in vitro studies have found that dandelion extract significantly reduces the ability of harmful bacteria and viruses to replicate.
PROTECTS THE SKIN FROM THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF THE SUN
Animal research indicates that dandelion leaf and flower extracts protect skin from damage from sun radiation, aging, and acne.
They promote the generation of new cells in the skin, which could delay the aging process.
They also reduce inflammation and irritation of the skin, while increasing hydration and collagen production. This can help prevent and treat certain types of acne.
WHERE TO GET DANDELIONS
The whole dandelion plant can be purchased at most health food stores, but it can also be harvested in your yard or garden.
They are best harvested in the spring when they are young and before flowering, and in the fall.
THE CROWNS OF THE DANDELION PLANT
Before the flower opens, there is a green upside-down teardrop-shaped at the top of a long green stem.
The crowns of the plant have a sweet taste and are the best part of the plant. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about two days or dehydrated.
THE FLOWERS OF THE DANDELION PLANT
When harvesting the flower, make sure to separate the flower from the green base because of the bitter taste. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about two days or dehydrated.
THE LEAVES OF THE DANDELION PLANT
The leaves of the plant should be plucked for the steam when harvesting and the best leaves are closer to the steam.
The outer leaves are the largest and have a bitter taste. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about two days or dehydrated.
THE ROOTS OF THE DANDELION PLANT
The best time to harvest dandelion roots is in the spring. Because the root is a heavy tuber, it will take a little work to remove it from the ground.
They can be stored in the refrigerator for about two days or dehydrated.
ARE DANDELIONS A SAFE PLANT?
The plant has low toxicity and is likely safe for most people, especially when consumed as food. In some people, it can cause allergic reactions, as with any food.
Anyone who has any sensitivity to daisies, chrysanthemums, ragweed, or marigolds should avoid consuming the dandelion plant.
Some studies indicate that it has estrogenic action, so it may be contraindicated in patients with estrogen-sensitive cancer.
If you take any medications, especially diuretics, lithium, Cipro, or any antibiotics, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
HOW DO YOU TAKE DANDELION?
The leaves, stems, and flowers can be eaten in their natural state and raw (in a salad, for example) or they can be prepared in a meal.
Dandelion roots are generally dried, ground, and made into dandelion tea or dandelion coffee.
There are other ways to consume dandelions which are capsules, extracts, and tinctures.
RECOMMENDED DOSES FOR THE DIFFERENT WAYS TO TAKE DANDELION
- Fresh leaves: 4–10 g / day
- Dry leaves: 4–10 g / day
- Leaf tincture: 0.4–1 teaspoon (2–5 ml), three times daily
- Fresh leaf juice: 1 teaspoon (5 ml), twice daily
- Fluid extract: 1–2 teaspoon (5–10 ml), daily
- Fresh roots: 2–8 g / day
- Dry powder: 250–1,000 mg, four times a day