The bright yellow flowers in your lawn aren't just pretty weeds that pop up in the summer. Dandelions are a centuries-old remedy for many different health concerns. From the skin to the liver, bones, and even a valuable source of essential vitamins. Dandelion greens can be sautéed, boiled and eaten raw. You can also make your own dandelion tea, a healthy alternative to coffee. The health benefits of dandelions are numerous but don't go plucking them out of your yard just yet. For proper consumption, select your dandelion greens and teas from a reputable farmer or grower. You can also use the dandelion root, stems and flowers for different meals.
One one-cup serving of dandelion greens contains ten percent of your daily recommended value of calcium. Calcium is essential for building healthy bones and retaining their strength over time. Lack of calcium in a healthy diet can lead to brittle bones. It can also give you weakened joints, and a greater likelihood of breaking a bone in a fall as you age. Calcium is also used for nerve transmission and blood clotting. In fact, by drinking dandelion tea or eating the greens, you can easily avoid tooth decay, muscle tension, hypertension and high blood pressure, and calcium deficiency.
Vitamin K is the main vitamin involved in bone mineralization and blood clotting, even more so than calcium. This essential dietary vitamin also helps maintain brain function and a healthy metabolism. One serving of dandelion greens contains around 500 percent of your recommended daily value of Vitamin K. Dandelion greens and roots are also a valuable source of Vitamin A. This particular nutrient helps your body maintain healthy vision, brain and nerve function, and healthy skin. Vitamin A is an antioxidant. It helps to reduce inflammation by fighting free radical damage at the cellular level. One serving of dandelion greens contains 100 percent of your daily Vitamin A needs.
The liver produces bile, an acidic substance that is responsible for healthy digestion. Your liver works hard to keep your body healthy - it stores amino acids, synthesizes and metabolizes dietary fats and cholesterol, stores glucose, and regulates your internal functions. The vitamins and nutrients present in dandelions help your liver detoxify itself and ensure that it's able to maintain a healthy function. Dandelion tea is also a good source of vitamin C, helpful to ward off infection and ensure that your liver can assist with mineral absorption from the foods you eat.
Type 2 Diabetes, Pre-diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome are all a function of decreased insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the chemical compound produced in your pancreas that helps your cells receive the nutrients they need from the food that you eat. Dandelion tea and juice help people with diabetes by stimulating the production of insulin from the pancreas and keeping blood sugar levels on a more regular ebb and flow. Insulin also helps regulate the levels of sugar in your bloodstream, preventing health-risking highs and dangerous lows.
Both chronic skins conditions, such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis, as well as temporary rashes from toxic plants or bug bites, can benefit from the inside of a dandelion stem. The sap of a dandelion stem is highly alkaline, and it has germicidal, insecticidal and fungicidal properties. There are also analgesic properties in dandelion sap, useful for relieving the itching or irritation from eczema, ringworm, psoriasis, and other mild skin infections. Do not use dandelion sap to treat sunburns or burns, however.
Dandelions are high in antioxidants - compounds that help prevent cellular deterioration and damage. Small molecules called free radicals are present within your body, and act to damage healthy cells, inhibit new cell growth, and can even cause certain kinds of cancerous growths. Antioxidants help your body fight free radical damage be restoring the balance in your body and protecting healthy cells from premature aging and deterioration. Consuming dandelion tea on a regular basis can help fight the signs of aging, dulling, and wrinkling of your skin.
Dandelion tea and greens are high in dietary fiber, making them a beneficial aid for digestion and intestinal health. Fiber is responsible for quickly moving foods through the digestive tract, helping it function optimally. This works by drawing fluids from the body to add bulk to the stool. Choosing a diet high in fiber can help with weight loss, as fiber helps you feel fuller, longer, and reduces dips in blood sugar that cause cravings for unhealthy foods. Furthermore, by slowing your digestive system, your food is processed more slowly through your gut, lessening the hunger cues that trigger overeating.
Dandelion root has a natural diuretic effect, allowing your liver to eliminate toxins quickly and thoroughly. It also helps strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn, and soothe digestive issues. Because dandelion helps reduce uric acid and stimulates urine production, it’s beneficial for fighting bacterial infections within the digestive tract and reproductive organs. This can help with many common infections, but a physician should treat sexually transmitted diseases.
Dandelion tea can help prevent infections of the urinary tract in men and women, as well as bladder disorders, kidney problems. And even cysts on reproductive organs. The vitamins and minerals found within have been demonstrated in laboratory settings to inhibit the formation of irregular growths in these areas. A specific combination of dandelion root and leaf and a plant named uva ursi is taken by mouth helps reduce the number of UTIs in women. In this combination, uva ursi is used because it kills bacteria, and dandelion is used because of its ability to increase urine flow and fight infection.
While dandelion greens, roots, stems, and tea all have individual and joint health benefits, don't go grazing on your lawn just yet. Dandelions found in your yard may have been subjected to pesticides and lawn chemicals that make them unsafe for consumption. Always choose farmed dandelions from a reputable grower or your local grocery store. Dandelions can cause allergic reactions when taken by mouth or applied to the skin of sensitive people. If you’re allergic to ragweed and related plants (daisies, chrysanthemums, marigolds), you’re likely to be allergic to dandelion.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.