What is Dandelion? What are the Health Benefits, Uses and Side Effects of Dandelion?

Overview of Dandelion

The dandelion botanical name is Taraxacum officinale, some other common names are dudhali, kanpholl, payaswani and kanphul. It is native to Europe and a very common plant that grows wild almost everywhere.

In India, it is found throughout the Himalayas up to 5400 meters and in the Mishmi Hills.

Dandelion is a hardy perennial herb and makes a tasty salad, the common name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, meaning Lion’s tooth, and refers to the dentate leaf edges.

dandelion leaves

However, some believe that the name is derived from the resemblance of the yellow flower petals to a heraldic lion’s golden teeth.

The name of the genus comes from the Greek taraxos meaning disorders and Akos meaning remedy, indicating the curative qualities of this herb.

Dandelion contains a bitter crystalline principle, taraxacin, and a crystalline substance, taraxacerin. It also contains phytosterols, taraxasterol, and humotaraxasterol.

Benefits and Uses of Dandelion

It has rich nutritional value, it contains almost as much iron as spinach, four times the vitamin A content of lettuce, and has a rich source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, and sodium.

An analysis of dandelion shows it to consist of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Its minerals and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin C and A. Its caloric value is 45.

dandelion roots

The entire plant is used by herbalists, although the tea is usually brewed from its roots. This tea is not only a tonic but also increases the secretion and discharge of urine and acts as a mild purgative.

Here are some health benefits & Uses of Dandelion

Bone Disorders

The readily available organic magnesium in dandelion makes the juice of leaves, with or without the roots, valuable for all bone disorders.

It is often mixed with juices of carrot leaves and turnips for treating these disorders.

General Debility

Dandelion can be used as a general body tonic for its influence in supporting waste functions of the bowels, bladder, and skin, which are the hard-working eliminating organs of the body.

Liver and Gall Bladder Dysfunctions

Dandelion benefits both liver and gall bladder in their vital role of handling fats within the body and aiding the detoxifying role of the liver. It is, therefore, useful in the disorder of these organs.

Combined with juice of watercress and a diet without meat, sugar, and starch, helps to make the liver and gall bladder normal, and also has a beneficial effect on the nervous system.

Urinary Disorders

Dandelion tea, made from the buds, flowers, fresh leaves or even blanched leaves, can be very useful in case of urinary disorders. It can be very helpful in case of slow start to passing urine.

It is, however, important with most urinary troubles to drink plenty of water or other harmless, non-alcoholic drinks to promotes a free flow of urine.

Warts

Dandelion is beneficial in treating of warts, milk from the cut end of dandelion should be put on the wart twice or thrice a day.

Other Uses

Tender leaves of dandelion make for a tasty salad, the leaves should be torn to pieces to retain their pungent flavor and not cut. These can also be cooked in a little boiling water or in combination with spinach.

A tasty and beneficial soup can be made with chopped dandelion leaves, the dried leaves are used for tea and as an ingredient in diet drinks. Dandelion coffee is made from dried, roasted and ground roots.

It is a natural beverage without the harmful effects of conventional tea and coffee.

Side Effects and Precautions of Dandelion

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.

Here are some side effects of Dandelion

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take Dandelion without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take Dandelion if you are suffering from any kind of critical disease.
  • If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Dandelion.
  • If you are above 65 years old and want to start Dandelion, consult the doctor, and talk about your health conditions.
  • If you are on any supplements, vitamins, or herbal medication, consult the doctor before taking Dandelion.
  • Dandelion may interact with other medicines like blood sugar or blood pressure allopathy medicines.

Frequently Asked Question

Q - What does dandelion do to your body?

The entire plant is used by herbalists, although the tea is usually brewed from its roots. This tea is not only a tonic but also increases the secretion and discharge of urine and acts as a mild purgative.

Q - Is eating dandelion good for you?

Dandelion has rich nutritional value, it contains almost as much iron as spinach, four times the vitamin A content of lettuce, and has a rich source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, and sodium.

Q - Is it OK to drink dandelion tea everyday?

Drinking dandelion tea is good for health but in prescribed quantity, it also depends upon the purpose. 

 


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