Dandelion: Benefits, nutrition, side effects, how to use

If there is a dandelion plant in your house, then think yourself really lucky as it not only enhances the beauty of your garden, but can also be beneficial in many health related problems. In this article, we will reveal secret benefits of dandelion, as well as its nutrition value and side-effects. In addition, you will also learn how to use dandelion and how to make dandelion tea.

WHAT IS DANDELION?


The scientific name of dandelion is Taraxacum officinale. It is a type of plant, belongs to the Asteraceae family, whose flowers are yellow in color. Other names include common dandelion, lion’s tooth and blowball. Dandelion plant is rich in many medicinal properties and this is the reason why dandelion leaves, flowers and roots have been used for a long time.

Dandelion has actually been used for several hundred years as a medicine to treat diabetes, liver, kidney and stomach disorders. It is a rich source of vitamins A, C, D and B complex and iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

DANDELION PLANT DESCRIPTION:


The plant is native to Europe and Asia. Dandelion plant grows 8 to 24 inches in height. It requires low to moderate amount of water, but it will respond to increased water. Its plant does not require any specific type of soil. Dandelion plant contains bright yellow flowers that bloom continuously throughout the season, but primarily in the early spring and fall. Dandelion flowers attract bees and like cool temperatures.

DANDELION NUTRITION PROFILE:


According to Food Data Central, per 100 gram serving of raw dandelion contains:

  • Energy: 45 kcal
  • Protein: 2.7 g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.2 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Calcium: 187 mg
  • Iron: 3.1 mg
  • Magnesium: 36 mg
  • Phosphorus: 66 mg
  • Potassium: 397 mg
  • Sodium: 76 mg
  • Zinc: 0.41 mg
  • Copper: 0.171 mg
  • Manganese: 0.342 mg
  • Vitamin A: 10200 IU
  • Vitamin B6: 0.251 mg
  • Vitamin C: 35 mg
  • Vitamin E: 3.44 mg
  • Vitamin K: 778 µg
  • Thiamin: 0.19 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.26 mg
  • Niacin: 0.806 mg
  • Folate: 27 µg
  • Water: 85.6 g
  • Fatty acids, total saturated: 0.17 g
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated: 0.014 g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated: 0.306 g

BENEFITS OF DANDELION:


The health benefits of dandelion may include:

Dandelion Flowers

1. HELPS REDUCE INFLAMMATION:

Inflammation can cause many types of problems in the body such as arthritis, diabetes, allergies and heart disease. According to a research, dandelion contains anti-inflammatory properties. In such a situation, dandelion can help prevent inflammation to some extent.

According to an another research, it has been found that dandelion contains polysaccharides, a type of carbohydrate. It is believed that it contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties of dandelion can also help provide relief in the problem of inflammation in the body.

2. FOR HEART HEALTH:

Dandelion can also be used to keep the heart healthy. According to a study, both dandelion leaves and its root extracts have hypolipidemic properties, which can help lower cholesterol. These properties may work provide protection against the oxidative stress associated with atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque starts to accumulate inside the arteries.

Later, it may lead to problems like heart attack and stroke. In such a situation, dandelion root tea can be consumed to maintain heart health.

3. DANDELION FOR WEIGHT LOSS:

The benefits of dandelion can also be seen for weight loss. For this, you can consume dandelion root tea. According to a scientific research, consuming dandelion root tea before having meals can work reduce extra fat and cholesterol along with stimulating gastric secretion. In addition, dandelion leaves can also have diuretic effect, which may help in weight loss.

According to an another research, dandelion also contains an acid, called chlorogenic, which can be helpful in reducing obesity.

4. FOR HEALTHY BONES:

When it comes to bone health, calcium is considered a most important element. It helps protect against bone diseases such as osteoporosis. At the same time, dandelion contains calcium in plenty. On this basis, consuming dandelion can be considered beneficial for bone health.

5. FOR CANCER:

The benefits of dandelion can also be seen here. According to a scientific research, dandelion has anti-cancer properties.

At the same time, according to an another research done on rats has also found that dandelion extracts may help in preventing cancer cells. However; cancer is a fetal disease. Seek emergency medical treatment if you have cancer or any other serious disease.

6. FOR LIVER:

Dandelion can also be used to keep the liver healthy. According to a research, dandelion has hepatoprotective effect, which can help keep the liver healthy and prevent problems related to it.

In addition, it also contains liver cleansing properties and its consumption can help in detoxifying the body. For this, you can consume dandelion tea.

7. HELPS INCREASE IMMUNITY:

The benefits of dandelion can also be seen for immune system. It helps improve immunity to some extent. In fact, research done on animals confirms this. In research, adding dandelion extracts to the diet of animals showed positive effects on their immune system.

In such a situation, it can be believed that the consumption of dandelion can be helpful in increasing immunity.

8. IN ANEMIA:

Iron deficiency is one of the main causes of anemia. At the same time, iron is present in abundance in dandelion. In such a situation, it can be believed that the consumption of iron-rich foods such as dandelion can be helpful in preventing the problem of anemia. In addition, a research clearly mentions that dandelion has been used as a home remedy for years.

In an another scientific research, anemia patients have been advised to drink a tonic prepared from dandelion and yellow dock. To make a tonic, boil 14 grams (about 3 teaspoons) of both the herbs in four cups of water on low flame. When one-fourth of the water remains, the tonic is ready. Anemia patients can drink one to two teaspoons of this tonic daily.

9. HELPS REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE:

Dandelion contains potassium in plenty. And, according to a research, adding potassium to a regular diet can help lower blood pressure.

Keep in mind that this is not possible due to potassium alone. Here, you also need to reduce the amount of sodium in the diet for better effect. At the same time, if someone has a complaint of low blood pressure, then a doctor should be consulted.

10. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL:

The benefits of dandelion can also be seen in reducing cholesterol. A research done on animals confirms this. According to the research, consuming dandelion can help increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. In this case, the hypolipidemic effect of dandelion can be helpful in controlling cholesterol.

Also, keep in mind that this research has been done on animals, so there is no exact scientific evidence yet for how effective it will prove to be on humans.

11. IN DIABETES:

The use of dandelion can also be helpful when it comes to preventing diabetes. In fact, according to a research, dandelion has anti-diabetic properties, which can be beneficial for type-2 diabetes patients by controlling blood sugar levels. On this basis, it can be said that dandelion can be beneficial for diabetic patients.

12. BENEFITS OF DANDELION FOR SKIN:

The benefits of dandelion are not only for health, but also for the skin. Dandelion flowers and leaves may help protect the skin against the harmful rays of the sun. In addition, it has also been used for skin related problems like eczema. However, do a patch test before using it.

There are many such elements contained in dandelion which are capable of nourishing the skin and giving it a new golden look. If you break the stem of the dandelion through the middle, you will see a milky white juice. This element is valuable for skin health. This juice is naturally a very effective alkali. These properties make it the best for skin health. You can apply its juice on your skin to treat itching, ringworm, eczema and other skin disorders.

According to a study, dandelion flowers contain three effective peptides that inhibit microbial and fungal activities taking place in the body. And; since it is also a good anti-oxidant and detoxifier, it is also a successful acne treatment.

HOW TO USE DANDELION:


You can use dandelion in many ways; including:

  • The easiest way to use dandelion is to eat it with a vegetable salad. For this, mixing dandelion leaves in vegetable salad can be consumed.
  • After boiling it, dandelion can be consumed cooked with onions and garlic or vegetables.
  • You can also include dandelion while making vegetable soup.
  • Dandelion can also be used as a tea. It is easily available in the market or you can purchase it online.
  • Dandelion supplements can also be consumed.
  • After drying its root, leaves and flowers, it can be consumed by making powder.

In a research, it has been advised to take 1 to 15 drops of dandelion tincture mixed with water for constipation. At the same time, in the problem of water retention, it has been mentioned to drink 4 to 10 grams of decoction prepared from its dry leaves thrice a day.

Its dosage completely depends on the age and health condition of the person. Therefore, before consuming it, consult a doctor once.

HOW TO MAKE DANDELION TEA?


Here’s how you can make dandelion tea:

Material Required:

  • Dandelion root
  • Water (as required)

How to Make:

  • Put two cups of water in a pan and keep it on the gas burner.
  • Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped dry dandelion root to it.
  • Boil it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Dandelion tea is ready. Filter it and sip it like normal tea.

DANDELION SIDE EFFECTS:


Along with many health benefits, dandelion can also have some side-effects. If consumed in excessive quantity, dandelion ca cause many side-effects; including:

  • If you are allergic to dandelion, then avoid its consumption. People who are allergic to marigold, daisy and ragweed plants may experience itching in the mouth and throat after consuming dandelion.
  • Consuming dandelion in large quantities can also cause diarrhea and acidity.
  • If a person has kidney related problems, then he should not consume it. Its excessive consumption can cause kidney problems. At present, further research is needed in this regard.
  • Dandelion may work reduce sugar levels in the body. So, if you are taking diabetes medicines, then consult a doctor before consuming it.

TAKE AWAY


After reading this article, you must understood what is dandelion, what are the benefits and side-effects of dandelion. In addition, you have also learned about dandelion nutrition value, how to use dandelion and how to make dandelion tea. If you have any question or suggestion, please leave in the comment section below.

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REFERENCES:

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