Dandelion is considered a pesky weed that pops up in people’s garden, on their landscape and just about anywhere they could squeeze themselves. They are however a very valuable herb that is rich in nutrients and posses a number of healing properties; some of which have been scientifically proven.
Scientific name: Taraxacum officinale
Common names: Dandelion, Common Dandelion, Lion’s Tooth, Priest’s Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Swine’s Snout and Dent de Lion, among others.
Constituents in Different Parts
Dandelions contain a number of important minerals and phyto-nutrients including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, folate and copper.
Leaf: bitter glycosides, carotenoids (including lutein and violaxanthin), terpenoids, choline, potassium salts, iron and other minerals, Vitamins A, B, C, D.
Root: bitter glycosides (taraxacin), tannins, triterpenes (including taraxol and taraxsterol), phytosterols, volatile oil, choline, asparagine, carbohydrates (including inulin, up to 40% in autumn, 2% in spring; sugars), pectin, phenolic acids, vitamins, potassium.
Chemical Constituents: bitter glycosides, carotenoids, terpenoids, choline, potassium salts, vitamins A, D, C, various B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.
13 Uses of dandelion
Dandelion are traditionally used to address many health issues and these are just some of them.
- Diuretic – dandelion is a natural diuretic. Diuretics cause the kidneys to release more urine and excess salt (good for water retention, oedema and bloating).
- Liver support – detoxifies and supports the liver (improves liver health – good for liver diseases).
- Blood cleanser – detoxifies the blood. It helps to cleanse the blood of toxins and other substances.
- Supports spleen, kidneys and gallbladder – cleanse and improve the functions of these organs.
- Anemia – preliminary studies indicate that dandelion is potentially useful for anaemia as it is rich in iron.
- Anti-cancer – dandelion has been proven effective in killing cancer cells.
- Anti-diabetic – preliminary studies have indicated that dandelion possesses anti-diabetic properties.
- Bone health – dandelions are rich in calcium and thus help to strengthen bones.
- Skin health – it addresses skin conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
- Immune booster – helps to strengthen the immune system. It boost the production of bile; bile helps to transport toxins out the body.
- Constipation – dandelion acts as a laxative. It relieves constipation by increasing the production of bile in the GI (gastrointestinal tract).
- Digestive aid – it stimulates appetite, promotes digestion, and improve natural flora in the intestines.
- Cholesterol – studies done on diabetic mice show that dandelion lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.
Parts of the plant used medicinally
All parts of the dandelion is used, the leaves, flower, seeds and roots. The root is however considered the more powerful part of the plant.