Dandelion is a wild plant, it grows all around the world, and in some parts of Europe it is grown for medical purposes. It is very similar to chicory and can grow up to 30 centimeters. The leaves are shiny and without hairs. Each plant has one yellow flower throughout the growing season – it opens at dawn and closes at dusk and at damp weather. For this reason, dandelion served as a sign of the coming rain in some cultures.
When the flower is matured, it takes a form similar to snowball, which is then scattered by winds or playful children. Nutritional supplements mostly contain root (which has sweet taste) or leaves, but the whole plant and flowers have a medical value.
How does it work?
Healers have long recommended dandelion for treating problems with liver and digestion, and leaves for treating problems such as water retention. Various active ingredient of dandelion improve liver and kidney function, and the plant works well on many disorders and removes toxins.
MAIN USEFUL EFFECTS: research on beneficial effects of dandelion on liver shows that this plant increases the production and flow of bile (and this helps digestion) from the liver and gall bladder, which is useful in the treatment of gallstones, jaundice and hepatitis. The leaves have a strong diuretic effect (increased urination) because they contain a lot of potassium.
Dandelion is sometimes mixed with other dietary supplements that enhance liver function, including silybum, black radish, celandine, beet leaves.
The root can (in combination with other nutrients that also improve liver function) help remove excess estrogen symptoms that occur in endometriosis and cyclic pain in the breast. By increasing the liver’s effectiveness in removing excess estrogen from the body, dandelion helps to establish a hormonal balance in women with these disorders.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: dandelion’s root has a gentle laxative effect and tea can help with a mild constipation. This plant helps absorb iron, both from food and dietary supplements, which is useful in some cases of anemia. Initial results of some research suggest that dandelion could help treat cancer. The Japanese have produced a dried root extract for tumor therapy, and the Chinese use dandelion extract in treating breast cancer (this test was also conducted on animals and showed good results). In order to establish the actual efficacy of this plant on certain types of cancer, further research is needed on humans.
Scientists have shown that dandelion can lower the blood sugar level in animals, which tells us about its possible role in the treatment of diabetes. The diuretic effect of the leaves is beneficial in treating water retention.
How to take it?
DOSAGE: To strengthen liver function in hepatitis, gallstones and endometriosis: take 500 mg of root extract in the form of a powder, twice a day. This amount can be found in some lipotropic combinations. An alternative is to take one to two teaspoons of liquid dandelion extract, three times a day. If you have constipation: drink a cup of dandelion root tea, three times a day. If you have anemia: take a teaspoon of fresh juice or dandelion tincture with a half glass of water, every morning and every night. If you have problems with water retention: drink a cup of dandelion leaves tea, three times a day.
USE GUIDELINES: fresh dandelion juice or liquid extract should be taken with water. Capsules and pills with dandelion extract can be taken with or without food. No adverse effects were reported in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Possible side effects
Dandelion is safe to use, but large doses can cause skin rashes, stomach problems or diarrhea. If you experience these side effects, stop taking the preparations and contact your doctor.
IMPORTANT: dandelion preparations should not be used during the acute gallbladder inflammation. Be sure to seek medical help.