Did you know…a common weed has such astonishing medicinal benefits that gardeners may want to start growing it instead of uprooting it?
While gardeners can’t get rid of the dreaded dandelion fast enough, Western medicine is eager for more of this potent medicinal plant.
Used for centuries by herbalists for healing and preventative purposes, scientific scrutiny confirms that the medicinal properties of the dandelion are not only legitimate, but highly impressive.
Traditional Native American and Arabic medicine employed the dandelion health benefits to treat conditions including…
- Spleen problems
- Digestive disturbances
- Skin disruptions
- Liver and kidney diseases
Today, alternative health practitioners make natural diuretic tonics from dandelion health benefits greens to boost renal (kidney) health and use dandelion root to detoxify the liver.
Dandelion’s Detoxifying Power—From Roots to Greens
In August 2009, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published proof of the diuretic properties of dandelion greens. The study found those properties made the greens an effective treatment for liver, gallbladder, and kidney imbalances.
Dandelion root also positively affects the liver by controlling the gall bladder’s release of bile. This improves digestion, especially of fats, a base requirement for good health. Many underestimate the importance of the liver.
However, this large organ—shaped like a rubber reflex hammer and located in the front lower abdominal cavity, manages a variety of crucial bodily functions, such as…
- Protein creation
- Filtration of blood to remove toxins
- Production of master antioxidant glutathione
- Creation of infection-fighting immune cells
- Formation of blood coagulation factors
Liver stress leads to a host of unpleasant consequences. Indicators of compromised liver function range from mild symptoms such as gas…bloating…constipation…or diarrhea to full-blown jaundice, easily diagnosed from its trademark yellowing of the skin and sclarae (whites of the eyes).
Emotional and psychological problems, chronic fatigue, and puzzling aches and pains may also point to decreased liver functions.
The most common diseases of the liver include…
- Fatty liver
- Liver cancer
In addition to having astounding detoxifying effects, dandelions are extremely nutritious. Compared to other nutritive vegetables powerhouses—such as spinach and broccoli—dandelion greens stack up well.
The greens provide 1.5 times as much vitamin A, 4 times as much calcium, and 7.5 times as much vitamin K as broccoli. Dandelion greens beat spinach 2 to 1 on iron content and 3 to 1 on riboflavin.
Additionally, dandelion health benefits are a potent source of vitamin E (17% of the daily adult dose) and lutein and zeaxanthin, crucial carotenoids completely absent from spinach.
Where to Find Dandelions…Everywhere!
The fresh, mildly bitter flavor of dandelion greens attracts fans of haute cuisine as well as the health-conscious. The greens may well be available at your local health food store at a reasonable price.
However, as long as you abstain from chemical fertilizers and other toxic lawn treatments, you could consider controlling your yard’s dandelion population by harvesting and eating the nutrient-packed plants instead.
Dandelion leaves make a wonderful addition to salads or stir-fries. Additionally, the flowers can be made into wine, and the whole plant can be consumed in tea, capsule or extract form.