Health Benefits of Dandelion
Not Just a Weed but a Coffee Substitute and Nutrient Packed Herb
Dandelion is sometimes not seen as a nutritious weed but as an annoying pest in our yards. This article shows the many health benefits of this healing herb.
Since ancient times, Chinese doctors have used dandelion to treat respiratory illness, dental problems and internal injuries. Dandelion was first shown to increase urine production by tenth century Arab doctors.
The Doctrine of Signatures, during the European Middle Ages explains that the plant’s physical characteristics show their healing value and that anything yellow was tied to the liver’s yellow bile and is considered a liver treatment, giving dandelion its reputation in treating jaundice and gallstones.
Dandelion has moist roots, stems and leaves and explained by the Doctrine of Signatures, anything moist was connected to urine production leading to dandelion to be a diuretic to treat water retention.
Leaves, roots and tops of the dandelion plant are usually used. Roasting the roots make a delicious and nutritious tasting coffee substitute. Dandelion leaves are a zesty addition to salads, soups, and stews.
Dandelion contains many nutritional contents like bioflavonoids, biotin, calcium, choline, folic acid, insulin, iron, linolenic acid, magnesium, niacin pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potash, proteins, resin, zinc, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, all which are needed for optimal health.
Healing with Dandelion
High blood pressure and congestive heart failure are often treated with prescription diuretics, while dandelion might help as a natural diuretic; always consult with your doctor first, as high blood pressure is a serious condition.
Another diuretic use of dandelion is for premenstrual syndrome by helping to relieve the bloated feeling.
One cup serving of raw dandelion leaves contains 7,000 international units of vitamin A, that’s one and a half times the Recommended Dietary Allowance and more than you’d find in a carrot. Dandelion also contains some vitamin C; vitamin A and C are antioxidants that help prevent the cell damage scientists believe eventually causes cancer.
It is shown that dandelion stimulates the flow of bile, which helps digest fats and prevent gallstones.
Dandelion root may also have anti-inflammatory properties.
If using dandelion as a diuretic, take it as a leaf infusion, root decoction or tincture. The taste is reasonably pleasant with a slightly bitter sharpness.
To make a leaf infusion, use a half ounce of dried leaves per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. Drink up to three cups a day.
For a root decoction, gently boil two to three teaspoons of powdered root per cup of water for 15 minutes. Cool. Drink up to three cups a day.
In a tincture, take one to two teaspoons up to three times a day.
Dandelion should not be given to children under the age of two. Remember to always consult your doctor before taking any herbs.