Dandelion also known as lion’s tooth and wild endive, is a perennial herb native to the northern hemisphere. Dandelions dot the lawns of most North Americans and Europeans, and are more often thought of as a weed and a nuisance to those striving for a well-manicured lawn.
Health Benefits of Dandelion
- Bone Health: Dandelion is rich in calcium, which is
essential for growth and strength of bones, and is rich is anti oxidants
like vitamin-C and Luteolin, which protect bones from age related damages
due to free radicals, such as weakening and loss in density.
- Liver Disorders: Dandelion can help liver in many ways.
While its anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and Luteolin keeps it functioning
in full gear and protect it from aging, other compounds in it help treating
hemorrhage in liver, maintaining proper flow of bile etc. It also stimulates
liver and promotes digestion.
- Diabetes: Dandelion juice can help diabetic patients by
stimulating production of insulin from pancreas and thus help keeping low
the blood sugar level. Since it diuretic in nature, it makes the diabetic
patients urinate frequently which too helps remove the extra sugar from the
body. Moreover, diabetics are prone to renal problems. The diuretic
properties of dandelion can help removing the sugar deposition in the
kidneys through urine. Moreover, dandelion juice is slightly bitter to
taste, which also effectively lowers sugar level in the blood, as all bitter
- Urinary Disorders: Dandelion is highly diuretic in
nature. In fact, its French name literally means “urinate in bed”. Thereby
it helps clean deposits of toxic substances in the kidneys and the urinary
system. Moreover, its disinfectant properties inhibit microbial growth in
the urinary system.
- Skin Care: Dandelion sap, also known as dandelion milk,
is useful in treating skin diseases which are caused due to microbial and
fungal infection, as this sap is highly alkaline and have germicidal,
insecticidal and fungicidal properties. Care should be taken while using
this sap as to avoid its contact with eyes. This sap can be used on itches,
ringworm, eczema etc. without risk.
- Acne: Dandelion juice is a good detoxifier, diuretic,
stimulant and anti oxidant. These four properties make it a good treatment
for acne. Before we know how it treats acne, we must know what causes it.
Acne is caused mainly during teens, when the body undergoes many
physiological and hormonal changes. The hormones, which bring about changes
in the body, if do not maintain proper ratio among themselves or are not
regulated properly, tend to deposit as toxic substances in the body which
tend to come out with sweat through the sweat glands or sebaceous glands on
the skin. Now, during these changes, these glands secret more oils which,
mixed with dead skin, block the pores and the secretion is obstructed. Due
to this, these toxic substances cannot escape and result in acne. This is
further worsened by the microbial infections on the effected places.
Dandelion juice, being a stimulant, diuretic and detoxifier in nature, can
help regulate proper secretion of hormones, increases sweating and widens up
the pores facilitating removal of toxics through sweat and also through
urine, as it is diuretic too. Its sap, if externally applied on acne, can
inhibit microbial infection.
- Weight Loss: Our urine contains up to 4% of fats. So,
more we urinate, more water and fats are lost from the body. Dandelion,
being diuretic in nature, promotes urinating and thereby helping lose weight
without side effects.
- Cancer: Dandelion is high in anti oxidants such as
vitamin-C and Luteolin which reduce the free radicals (very much responsible
for causing cancer) in the body, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. It
also detoxifies the body, which also helps protect from cancer.
- Jaundice: Jaundice is primarily a disorder of the liver
in which it starts over producing bile, which ultimately gets into the blood
stream damaging the whole metabolism. The excess of bile is also reflected
through color of the skin, eyes etc. The treatment of jaundice includes
three main steps. First, checking production of bile; second, removal of
excess bile from the body and third, fighting the viral infection. Dandelion
is very helpful in all of these. It promotes liver health and regulates bile
production. Being diuretic in nature, it promotes urination through which
the excess bile is removed. Finally, being anti oxidant and disinfectant in
nature due to presence of vitamin-C and Luteolin, it fights viral infection
too. It is more beneficial if taken with sugarcane juice, since it replaces
the sugar in the body which is very much lowered due to action of bile,
causing extreme fatigue and weakness.
- Gall Bladder Disorders: Dandelion is very beneficial
for gall bladder and liver, as it improves their functioning, protects them
from ill effects of oxidants and infections and regulates secretions from
- Anemia: Dandelion has pretty good iron, vitamin and
protein content. While iron is the integral part of hemoglobin in the blood,
vitamins (particularly vitamin-B) and protein are essential for formation of
red blood cells and certain other components of the blood. This way
dandelion can help anemic people.
- High Blood Pressure: Urinating is an effective way of
lowering blood pressure. In fact, most of the modern drugs for lowering
blood pressure are based on this phenomenon. Dandelion juice, being diuretic
in nature, increases urinating, both in quantity and frequency and thus
helps lower high blood pressure. The fiber in dandelion is also helpful in
reducing cholesterol and thereby assists lowering of blood pressure, since
cholesterol is one of the factors which make blood pressure high. Then there
is potassium, which is in plenty in dandelion juice and is very effective in
lowering blood pressure by replacing sodium.
- Other Benefits: Dandelion can also be used as a
vegetable and is a good source of fiber. It promotes digestion. In old days
it was also used to treat scurvy, due to presence of vitamin-C in it. It
also has healing effects on dyspepsia, infections in the stomach, intestines
and urinary system.