Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial plant with hundreds of different species. Grown mainly in Europe, Asia and North America, in areas with a temperate climate, dandelion is recognized by its bright yellow flowers and its reputation as a lawn or garden weed.
However, dandelion is also a long-used medicinal herb. Supplements and medicines are made from both the stem and above-ground plant and used for a number of purposes like detoxification and fluid retention.
Want to know more? Check out 10 of the ways dandelion has been used as a health remedy:
1. Digestion Supporter -- Dandelion has been used to remedy digestive issues such as gas, bloating, heartburn and upset stomach and regulate digestive function for regular bowel movements.
2. Appetite Booster -- While many people are looking for ways to turn off their appetite, if you're looking to increase your caloric intake (loss of appetite can be a side effect of certain medications) you can try dandelion to help you consume more.
3. Liver Detoxifier -- On the January 7 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," dandelion tea was featured as a natural way to kick off a detox, cleaning out the blood and supporting proper liver function. Making sure the liver is protected supports metabolism and hormone balance.
4. Weight Loss Aide -- The benefits mentioned above from liver detoxification can translate to weight loss, keeping the metabolism heightened and preventing spikes in hormones like cortisol and estrogen that can lead to weight gain in various parts of the body. Dandelion greens are also a healthy ingredient to cook with (more on that later).
5. Skin Condition Reliever -- Conditions like boils and eczema have been traditionally treated with dandelion, which is also believed to tone the skin and improve appearance and texture.
6. Coffee Alternative -- Roasted dandelion root is a popular, natural alternative to coffee for those who need a kick of energy to get them through their day. Also seen on "The Dr. Oz Show," the ground root can be brewed right in the coffee pot. However, the taste can be quite bitter, so adding an almond or soy milk can help.
7. Recipe Saver -- The greens of the dandelion plant can also be used to prepare raw and cooked dishes. Just like the root, they're bitter in taste, which can be cut with an acidic ingredient, like lemon juice. The greens are rich in nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, minerals like magnesium and fiber.
8. Gallbladder Protector -- Just like it does with the liver, dandelion can help cleanse and detoxify the gallbladder, to help prevent the development of gallstones, which can be extremely uncomfortable.
9. Women's Health Supporter -- Women everywhere would like the secret to preventing a painful urinary tract infection (UTI). When taken as an herbal supplement, dandelion root is said to support healthy function of the entire urinary tract and fight infection. This effect is heightened when combined with uva ursi, another medicinal herb known for benefiting women's health.
10. Fluid Remover -- The cleansing and detoxifying properties of dandelion have another purpose, which is to remove excess fluid from the body by increasing urine flow. Working as a natural diuretic, dandelion can help reduce a bloated or distended abdomen and produce some weight loss (mild to moderate).
Pregnant women should avoid consuming dandelion until further research is done to determine its effectiveness in treating any of the aforementioned conditions. Anyone currently diagnosed with any of these conditions should speak with their doctor before adding dandelion to their routine. Individuals who suffer from allergies, especially to ragweed and plants like it, should also speak with their physician before ingesting dandelion, as the chances of an allergic reaction are greater.
If you're looking to explore the benefits of dandelion, you can buy the greens at the supermarket, or try a tea, capsules or a liquid extract. Shop for quality dandelion supplements like those mentioned above and more at eVitamins!
Products you may like:
Solaray Organic Dandelion Root Why you may like this product? Don't overlook dandelion as
just a weed. Each serving
provides 1,000 mg of pure,
organic dandelion root extract
and can be taken up to four
times a day for relief of
everything from heartburn to
Nature's Answer Dandelion Root AF Alcohol Free Why you may like this product? If you're looking for an
alternative to pills, try
Nature's Answer's balanced
liquid. This 1:1 liquid
extract is alcohol-free, in a
base of coconut glycerin and
filtered water. It provides
2,000 mg of dandelion root per
serving and is also available
in a traditional tincture
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