Dandelions are considered a common pesky weed to the average person. They’re brutal to dig up and destroy and seem impervious to most strains of weed killer. Dandelions belong to the sunflower family, and its name means lions tooth. They’re a herbaceous perennial growing from a thick root that thrives on any terrain. But before we go uprooting them, did you know they actually have unique properties that are advantageous to our health? In fact, dandelions are deemed a superfood with enormous benefits.
Dandelions are a rich source of beta-carotene which we convert into vitamin A. This is essential for skin, mucous membranes, and eyes. They are also rich in vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, (helps regulates heart rate and blood pressure, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, (for generating red blood cells), manganese, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. They’re high in fiber which assists your body in purging waste. You’ll also find B-complex vitamins, trace minerals, and organic sodium.
Centuries back dandelions were used for their medicinal value and deemed a powerful healer. They were used to purify the blood, settle a stomach, prevent gallstones, and much more. Today this humble plant is still well respected and used for a plethora of reasons.
When collecting dandelions is critical to remember that you want plants that have not been sprayed with toxic chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides. If you’re not able to find fresh, clean plants, then many health food stores will sell fresh, or freeze-dried plants. You can also get Dandelion tea, capsules, and tinctures as well.
Liver, Kidney & Digestive Aid
Dandelions act as a mild laxative that encourages digestion, sparks appetites, and balances the bacteria in the intestines. As a stimulant to liver and gallbladder function, one of the main uses of the dandelion root is to relieve the symptom of constipation without the drastic effects and gripping pain of harsh laxatives. As a diuretic, it helps our kidneys clear out waste, salts, and excess water by increasing urine production. They also flush out the liver by removing toxins and bile and reestablishing electrolyte balance.
Dandelion tea or juice can assist diabetics by normalizing blood sugar levels. Centuries ago many Native Americans would drink the broth from boiled dandelion plants to treating many disorders, including diabetes.
Dandelion milk is beneficial for fungal infections. The milky fluid of dandelion is highly alkaline and has fungicidal and insecticidal properties. Caution is required while using this milk; avoid any contact with the eyes. This same milky sap can be used on other skin conditions like eczema and ringworm without the risk of side effects or hormonal disturbances commonly caused by prescription treatments.
Dandelion juice is a great treatment for acne with its four impressive properties – good detoxifier, diuretic, stimulant, and antioxidant. New hormones tend to accumulate and leave toxic substances in the body if they are not balanced. These toxins are inclined to seep out of the sebaceous glands and along with sweat through the sweat glands on the skin.
Stings & Burns
Split open the stem of a dandelion flower and you have a soothing agent for the treatment of burns, stings, or bug bites. The leaves and roots have been used in Chinese medicine to poison ivy, hives, and sunburn.
Dandelions are super-rich in antioxidants so they’re appreciated for their anti-aging benefits. The appearance of age spots, fine lines, age spots, and tiny wrinkles around the eyes and lips will be reduced. It will also help tone saggy skin.
With lots of iron, minerals, and protein content, dandelions are ideal for treating anemia. Because of its high iron and zinc content, holistic practitioners have used the dandelion root to treat anemia.
High Blood Pressure
Dandelion juice is an inherent diuretic, so it naturally helps lower blood pressure. Dandelion root fiber is beneficial in removing cholesterol and helps in lowering blood pressure as well. Plus the high potassium level in dandelions is effective in reducing blood pressure by replacing sodium.
Dandelions have a lot more benefits and uses; it such a remarkable little plant. You can eat the roots, stems, and even the flowers. But please note, if you’re on any medication, then talking to a naturopath or holistic health care provider is advised. So, next time you get the urge to dig up the dandelions maybe put a few leaves in your smoothie like me, or make tea out of the roots. Your body will enjoy it!