Benefits of Dandelion Root

Dandelion root comes from the dandelion plant, also known as Taraxacum officinale.

Although considered a weed by people who are trying to grow a lawn, dandelion root is a nutritious healing herb that has been used for more than a thousand years to treat a wide range of medical problems.

Dandelion root has been used for hundreds of years as a treatment for jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin that occurs in people suffering from serious malfunctioning of the liver.

Since ancient times, Chinese physicians have prescribed the dandelion root and plant for hepatitis, as well as for a variety of ailments such as colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, boils, ulcers, itching, dental problems, and even obesity.

Tenth century Arab physicians discovered that dandelion increased urine production and thus was useful as a diuretic. During the middle ages, Europeans also began using dandelion as a diuretic as well as a treatment for jaundice and gallstones.

By the 17th century, the English used dandelion for so many ailments that it became known as “the official remedy for disorders.”

American Indians quickly adopted dandelion for use as a tonic when introduced to North America by the early colonists.

Health Benefits of Dandelion Root

Herbalists today recommend dandelion as a diuretic for weight loss, premenstrual syndrome, swollen feet and ankles, high blood pressure, heart health, yeast infections, and even cancer prevention.

German physicians routinely use dandelion to help stimulate bile flow, which can help digest fats as well as help prevent gallstones.

Although dandelion root is the most well known part used, the entire dandelion plant is edible and useful for a variety of ailments.

Dandelion root is believed to be especially helpful in the treatment of liver ailments. Dandelion leaves, raw or steamed, are useful as a diuretic to help flush excess water from the body. Dandelion flowers are a rich source of lecithin, a nutrient that is also useful in the treatment of liver ailments.

A cup of fresh dandelion leaves contains 7,000 IU of vitamin A, more than is found in a carrot. Dandelion also contains some Vitamin C.

Dandelion roots contain more than 1 milligram of boron and 200 milligrams of calcium. Dandelion is also a fair source of silicon.

Young, tender dandelion leaves can be added to salads. The taste is reasonably pleasant although dandelion does have a slightly bitter taste, especially the older leaves.

The leaves can be dried and used to make a leaf infusion, using approximately 1/2 ounce per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes. If the flavor is too bitter for your taste, try adding a little honey.

The powdered root of dandelion can be made in a decoction by gently boiling 2 to 3 teaspoons per cup of water for 15 minutes. Cool and drink.

Precautions on use of Dandelion

The dandelion plant is easy to recognize and safe to pick and use unless, of course, the area has been sprayed with any type of weed killer. Dandelion might cause skin rash in sensitive people. Young children should not be given dandelion.

Health food stores and herb shops usually carry dandelion tinctures, capsules and teas.

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