7 Health Benefits of Dandelion

Taraxacum Officinale is the scientific name for dandelion, which is also known as common dandelion. Have you ever wished while holding a dandelion flower? When the dandelion blossom becomes white, they are also known as puffballs, you hold it close to your face, make a wish, and blow on it.

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But wait, that isn’t the purpose of this article. Dandelion is much more than the stereotypes that surround it. People are often upset by this plant, consider it unwanted, and try to get rid of it. However, they are unaware of the advantages of this adorable tiny plant. We will go through the top seven health benefits of dandelion in this article. Also included are some simple and quick methods to apply in your daily life.

For generations, people have used herbs and roots to treat and prevent illness; dandelion is one of the herbs to use in your everyday life to keep you healthy. The dandelion is edible in all parts. That means you can consume the entire dandelion plant, from root to flower. Although it is often seen as a weed, dandelion has a long history of usage in herbal medicine.

Research shows that the healing and preventing of illness through a dandelion plan is being used for centuries. In traditional Native American and Chinese medicine, dandelion extracts were used to cure breast cancer and leukemia. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is known as “pu gong ying,” while in French, it is known as “pissenlit.”

According to registered dietitian Nancy Geib, RD, LDN, dandelions are abundant in vitamins and minerals. They even outnumber kale and spinach in terms of green nutritious vegetables.

Dandelion greens provide a rich amount of the following minerals and vitamins:

  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • A, C, and K vitamins

Dandelion greens have the following nutritional value:

  1. Dandelion leaves are naturally low in sugar, with just 5 grams of carbohydrate in one cup of fresh greens.
  2. Dandelion greens have a massive amount of vitamin K, studies find that one cup of dandelion leaves contains more than 300 percent of your daily value of vitamin K.
  3. According to Jennifer Di Noia, professor of research at William Paterson University, there are meals that have been associated with lowering the risk of chronic illnesses.
  4. Jo Robinson, the author of Eating on the Wild, compared dandelions to spinach. Dandelion leaves, according to her, have more than eight times the antioxidants and two times the calcium of spinach. Dandelion has five times more vitamin K and vitamin E than spinach.

How to identify the dandelions?

Dandelions are weeds that are often confused with other plants that seem similar. Before you go out to harvest or buy the dandelion plant, there are a few things to think about.  The dandelion’s leaves are hairless and have jagged edges. They may grow in any location. Dandelions are not only good for humans to eat, but they also enhance soil quality when they die and get composited with the soil.

Health benefits that you can get from the dandelion plant.

  • Rich source of vitamin A:  

Our bodies require vitamin A to maintain good eyesight, skin, combat premature aging, and reduce inflammation. You may get your daily dose of vitamin A by drinking one cup of dandelion tea.

  • Kidney issues/ Diuretics:

Diuretics are sometimes known as “water pills” because they perform exactly what their name suggests: they drain away excess water in your body. This means diuretics cause you to urinate more than usual in order to remove extra sodium (salt) and water. When a fluid (water) is eliminated from our body, it helps to cure ocular edoema, hypertension, and liver disease. Dandelions increase the effectiveness of diuretics in your body.

Consult your doctor before taking dandelion for high blood pressure or kidney problems. Increased urination can cause dehydration, dizziness, and muscle cramps. So be mindful of how much dandelion you consume.

  • Wound Healing:

Dandelions are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K, making them excellent for wound and injury recovery. Vitamin C is widely known for quickly repairing skin and recuperating from injuries.

  • Dandelion oil for skin:

Dandelion oil is an excellent addition to your everyday skincare routine. A massage with dandelion oil relaxes your muscles and joints immediately. It also works well as a sunscreen, and you may apply it before or after sun exposure. Check out this easy DIY method for making dandelion skincare oil.

  • Rich in Antioxidants:

Dandelions contain a lot of antioxidants. Our bodies require antioxidants to protect them from cell damage, and dandelions are a good source of getting antioxidants. Consuming dandelion tea is a fantastic way to avoid cell damage.

  • Dandelion for digestive issues:

Dandelion root is an excellent way to help with stomach disorders. The root of the dandelion contains fiber, which aids digestion. Dandelions can promote an increase in Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. They act as probiotics and help to promote digestive health. To alleviate digestive difficulties, drink dandelion root or leaf tea.

  • May benefit in heart health:

According to research, dandelions have a good effect on the hearts health of rabbits. But the research for humans requires more data. However, the minerals in dandelion aid in the reduction of LDL (bad cholesterol) and the increase of HDL (good cholesterol levels) in rabbits. Dandelions are high in potassium, which helps in lowering blood pressure.

Some data shows that dandelion has properties that kill the cancer cells without damaging the non-cancer cells. But more research needs to be done on this huge claim. Studies show that dandelion root extract can identify cancer and non-cancer cells. The claim needs more research to back up the claim.

How to use the dandelion plant? 

As previously said, you may consume all parts of the dandelions. Here are various methods for consuming and reaping the benefits of this miraculous herb.

  • The green leaves of dandelions:

You can eat the leaves of the dandelion plant raw as well as cooked. Some people enjoy eating young and fresh dandelion leaves. They become bitter as they age but still edible. To reduce the bitterness, put them in boiling water and instantly transfer them to the cold water, once they are dry, you can use them in your recipe.

  • Dandelion roots:

Wash the roots thoroughly to ensure that all dirt is gone. Chop the roots into small pieces and roast them in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees before boiling them for a few minutes in water. Take a sip of your fresh Dandelion root tea.

  • Having dandelions in form of juice:

Yes, you read it correctly, you can drink dandelions juice. Dandelions can be consumed in the form of juice. Here’s an easy and quick recipe for dandelion juice:

  • 3 Dandelion leaves
  • 2 Carrots 
  • 1 Cucumber
  • Half grapefruit

This is a simple and tasty dish of dandelion leaves that combines the bitterness of the dandelion leaves with the sweetness of the carrot. Depending on your preferences, you can reduce or increase the number of fruits. This juice is high in vitamins A, C, and K and is good for your eyes, bones, and skin.

Things to consider before consuming dandelion:

Dandelions are ubiquitous, but you must be cautious and keep a few things in mind before eating them. Chemicals, pesticides, and metals such as Cadmium, Copper, Lead, and Nickel are easily absorbed by dandelions.

Furthermore, dandelions may be toxic if they are exposed to harmful chemicals, cultivated in unpurified soil, water, air, and consumption of wild dandelions. Picking dandelion from someone’s yard, the roadside, or any other location that has been exposed to chemicals, dirty water, or any other dangerous material is not recommended.

Another option is you may grow the dandelion in a container to ensure that you only get the advantages of the dandelion plant and not the harmful impacts of other substances. Growing your dandelion is a good option because you will be mindful of the harmful sprays. A healthy food store is another option for purchasing dandelion leaves, roots, or oil. Consider purchasing young, fresh leaves

How to store dandelions:

As soon as you pick or buy the dandelions, thoroughly wash them under running water to eliminate any pests or dirt. If you wish to preserve the dandelion leaves, do so, in the same manner, you would do to keep other vegies greens. Place the dandelion leaves in a dish, cover with a paper towel, and wrap in the plastic wrap. Then place the bowl in the fridge, it should stay fresh for 4 to 5 days.

Final remarks:

Dandelion usage is beneficial from root to flower. Some medicines may react to dandelion; consult your doctor before using dandelion for self-treatment of any illness. Also, if you are currently taking any supplements, be cautious because consuming dandelion supplements alongside other supplements might result in an overdose.

 The United States Food and Drug Administration  (FDA) has likewise considered dandelion consumption safe. If you are allergic to herbs, talk to your doctor before consuming any form of dandelion.