Dandelion – The Healing Queen of Spring

Article by Kristine F.

What’s the next thing right after sunshine to relate with spring? Of course, yellow dandelion heads! This simple plant has not just bright flowers, but strong healing properties as well. Native Americans, Chinese traditional medicine, medieval European witchcraft – in all times dandelion has found a place in traditional medicine everywhere in the world where it grows.

If we translate the Latin name of dandelion – Taraxacum Officinale, we get “Official Remedy for Disorders”. Dandelion is packed with such vitamins as A, B and C, zinc, iron and potassium, manganese and calcium. All parts of dandelion can be used for healing. While yellow flowers are popular for those with a sweet tooth (making jams and wines from them), fresh leaves find a place in salads, soups and on sandwiches, but dandelion root is a part that holds the most of healing powers.  So what for can you use it?

Dandelion

Image by Acutance

Kidney disorders

Due to its diuretic properties dandelion is well known kidney cleanser and tonic that was recognised already by American Indians and Ancient Greeks.  As it promotes toxin elimination through kidneys, it is one of the most popular natural remedies for kidney stones and remedy for kidney inflammation.

Weight loss

Although there isn’t any scientific study that proves dandelion’s effect on weight loss, this plant is used in many weight loss supplements. Dandelion won’t make you lose excess weight fast, but it can help at the beginning phase of your efforts to lose weight. It has diuretic properties and firstly will help you to lose water retention in your body. While some people claim dandelion is appetite suppressant, others say it actually increases appetite, but the fact is that dandelion really helps the digestive system to work more efficiently and helps to detox your body. Don’t expect that dandelion alone will make you to lose weight while you are sitting on a couch in front of TV, but it can boost your fat metabolism if you use it as a supplement.

Blood circulation

Dandelion can normalize blood sugar and cholesterol levels because of the inulin in plants content. As one of the greatest natural detoxifiers, dandelion also cleanses blood and improves blood circulation, but why do we need proper blood circulation? Because it improves human mental performance, helps to boost metabolism, strengthens immune system and prevents heart diseases – proper blood flow is simply important for your wellbeing.

Tea Time

Image by Beau Finley

The most popular way of using dandelion is, of course, tea made of fresh or dried dandelion baby leaves or dandelion root. It makes a great tea for detox and cleansing periods. You can also use fresh baby leaves for salads and soups, and make your own dandelion infused oils and extracts from dandelion root.

This simple and beautiful plant, often perceived as unasked weed in gardens, actually holds a lot of properties to improve your health. So, go ahead and make a place for dandelions in your medicine chest!

References

  1. Peter Gail “The Many Health Benefits of Dandelion”, The Leaf Lady, accessed April 1, 2014 http://www.leaflady.org/health_benefits_of_dandelions.htm
  2. University of Maryland Medical Center “Dandelion”, last updates May 7, 2013, accessed April 1, 2014 http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion
  3. Roger Doiron “Reap the Benefits of Dandelion Greens”, Mother Earth News,  April/May 2008, accessed April 1, 2014 http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/benefits-of-dandelion-greens-zmaz08amzmcc.aspx?PageId=1#ArticleContent
  4. Common Sense Home “Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots”,  published October 10, 2012, accessed April 1, 2014 http://www.commonsensehome.com/harvesting-and-using-dandelion-roots/
  5. WebMd “Vitamins and Supplements: Dandelion”, accessed April 1, 2014 http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-706-DANDELION.aspx?activeIngredientId=706&activeIngredientName=DANDELION
  6. Brad Chase “Dandelion Extract for Losing Weight”, Progressive Health, accessed April 1, 2014 http://www.progressivehealth.com/using-dandelion-for-weight-loss.htm
  7. Organic Medicinal Herbs “Dandelion”, accessed April 1, 2014 http://www.herbsorganic.co.za/pages/working%20on/dandelion/dandelion.htm
  8. Maud Grieve “Dandelion”, Botanical.com – Home of Electronic Version of “A Modern Herbal”by Maud Grieve, originally published on 1931, accessed April 1, 2014 http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/dandel08.html

Kristine F. is a full time writer/ghostwriter from North-Eastern Europe. Living in a climate that allows enjoying all 4 seasons, growing up at the countryside  and learning about herbs from her family, Kristine got passion for nature and natural remedies. Now she is living in a city trying to keep the life simple yet meaningful. To share her knowledge about natural remedies, DIY projects and personal discoveries about the power of nature and human brain, she has recently started a new blog: http://mugwortsdreams.blogspot.com/

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