KOSA Acupuncture is pleased to share the information on the benefits of dandelion. Only in the twentieth century did humans decide that the dandelion was a weed. Before the invention of perfectly manicured lawns, dandelions were more praised as natural medicine, food source, and outright magic.
Back in the day, the grass was dug out to make room for the dandelions – just imagine!
According to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, “The use of dandelions in the healing arts goes so far back that tracing its history is like trying to catch a dandelion seed as it floats over the grass. For millennia, dandelion tonics have been used to help the body’s filter, the liver, remove toxins from the bloodstream. In olden times, dandelions were prescribed for every ailment from warts to the plague. To this day, herbalists hail the dandelion as the perfect plant medicine: It is a gentle diuretic that provides nutrients and helps the digestive system function at peak efficiency.”
Dandelions are also good for your lawn. Their roots break through hard-packed soil to help aerate the earth and help reduce erosion. Their deep taproots pull up calcium and other nutrients from the depths of the soil, making them available to other plants. These nutrients actually help fertilize the soil, improving the quality of grass and other surrounding plants.
- Benefits of Dandelion
- Picking and Processing Dandelion
- How To Use Dandelion
- Learn More At Our Forum
- Important Notes
1. Highly Nutritious
Acting as an incredible source of a range of vitamins, including vitamin C, dandelion greens can be eaten on their own or as part of a meal. The way to serve this highly nutritious food source is to either serve it raw, where all its nutritious value can be harnessed or to cook it and serve it as part of a mixed vegetable side dish.
There are also several useful minerals to be found in dandelion greens, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. The root is a particularly nutritious part of the plant to consume, rich in carbohydrate and fiber, which are vital in order to keep your intestinal tract tuned up and healthy.
The root is also useful for encouraging the production of useful bacteria within the gut. Whether it is consumed dry, or crushed and brewed as a tea, the dandelion root is perhaps the most nutritious part of the highly nutritious plant.
2. Contains Potent Antioxidants
With a breathtaking array of powerful and potent antioxidants, it’s no wonder than dandelion has such a range of potential health applications. Molecules that help to limit the effects of free radicals in the body, antioxidants are a vital ingredient in anyone’s diet.
Although these so-called ‘free radicals’ can occur naturally within the body, having something which can keep them at bay is very important as if they are left unchecked, they can cause disastrous effects to cells and tissues within the body.
Dandelion may not seem like the most appetizing thing to add to your plate or to chew on as a supplementary part of a diet, but the fact that it is packed full of antioxidants means that many people could really benefit from including this little weed in at least some part of their weekly diet. A tiny weed that packs a powerful antioxidant punch, the dandelion.
3. Fights Inflammation
The fact that dandelion contains certain bioactive compounds such as polyphenols means that it could prove useful when it comes to fighting inflammation.
Although inflammation is a perfectly natural way in which the body tries to address an injury or an illness, it is true that any excessive inflammation can potentially cause long term damage to the tissues of the body and even the DNA of a person.
Whilst animal testing, particularly with mice, has proven beyond doubt that dandelion has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and huge potential in terms of this application, more trials with humans are necessary before it becomes more widely accepted as an acceptable choice of anti-inflammatory to rival those that can be bought over the counter or prescribed by a health care professional. The evidence is starting to stack up regarding just how versatile dandelion can be when it comes to providing invigorating benefits for your health.
4. Regulates Blood Sugars
Incredibly, there are two different bioactive compounds within dandelion, which make it useful in the regulation of blood sugar levels. These compounds, chicoric and chlorogenic are found in all parts of the plants and may well actually reduce blood sugar levels, never mind just regulating them, which would be pretty impressive in itself.
It all comes down to the performance of insulin secretion that comes from the pancreas, and tests including animals have found dandelion to be successful in improving this performance, whilst also working to improve the absorption rate of glucose within muscle tissue. A two-pronged attack which ultimately leads to improved insulin sensitivity and a reduction in blood sugar levels.
For the millions of people around the world living with Type 2 diabetes, dandelion could be the latest tool in the box to provide them with another option for blood sugar level management, but more testing is necessary.
5. Reduces Cholesterol
Cholesterol is one of the most harmful things that we can have in our bodies in terms of heart health and the functionality of other major organs. Any natural remedy or alternative to over the counter medication has to be a good option worth exploring for anyone who wishes to lower their cholesterol levels with the view to becoming more healthy.
The presence of dandelion in the blood has been shown to be an effective method of limiting and lowering cholesterol, and whilst early testing has been limited to rodents, there is hope that the research can be scaled up and that the application of dandelion to reduce cholesterol in humans is not a long way off.
Some people aren’t prepared to wait for the green light from science though and are simply choosing to use dandelion already, to help them tackle their cholesterol levels. If it works for them, there’s no reason why it won’t work for you!
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
The fact that tests on animals have shown dandelion to be effective when it comes to lowering blood pressure is a good early sign, as high blood pressure is something which more and more people are suffering from, putting them at greater risk of heart attack or other coronary complications.
Dandelion effectively lowers blood pressure as it has certain compounds within it that are effective at bringing about a reduced level of blood pressure. This, in turn, takes some of the strain off the heart and the cardiovascular system of the body, which shows how dandelion can have a knock-on positive effect, beyond the initial positive effect for which is it applied.
Early tests on animals, specifical mice, have shown how dandelion really can bring about reduced blood pressure, but before this is applied to humans, much more research and evidence is needed to justify the use of this marvelously versatile little plant.
7. Promotes a Healthy Liver
Dandelion can help promote a healthy liver as it works to protect the liver from the effects of excess alcohol or other substances. Dandelion can help increase pancreatic secretions, as mentioned above, and it can help the liver in a similar way, allowing it to expel waste much more effectively and speedily than without.
Tests on animals have shown that with the presence of dandelion in the system, the function of the livers of mice was boosted significantly. Further testing is obviously necessary before this becomes a viable option for application with humans, but the early signs are good. Natural remedies like this are becoming increasingly popular, as people look to steer away from the clinical practices which have become the norm.
Interestingly, as there continues to be a rise in the number of people affected with liver problems, there is also a rise in the number of people giving natural remedies a try.
8. Aids Weight Loss
Obviously, when it comes to weight loss, everyone is looking for that miracle pill or the hidden secret to help them shed a ridiculous amount of weight or body fat, in a ridiculously short time frame.
Dandelion isn’t that miracle answer, mainly because that doesn’t exist, but it is certainly plausible that dandelion could help people looking to lose weight, as it contains some properties which boost metabolism and limit the absorption of fats into the body. These two things working together can definitely bring about significant weight loss and trials on animals have proven to be effective.
What is absolutely necessary though, is for further and more detailed tests to be carried out, before dandelion can be paraded and marketed as the newest and best tool in the fight against obesity. People tend to see their weight, or their weight troubles more specifically, as a sensitive subject, and so many bold claims must be handled with care.
9. Natural Diuretic
One of the more interesting properties of dandelion is its ability to act as a natural diuretic. A diuretic is a substance that causes the body to stop holding onto water. There are various reasons why people may want to use a diuretic.
As mentioned, individuals that suffer from hypertension disorder where they have high blood pressure need to relieve the pressure on the heart. As a result, they use diuretic medications to drop the fluid in the tissues around the heart and lungs, reducing blood pressure.
Diuretic medications are particularly dangerous, and many people take them for off label use. For example, some athletes may use them when cutting weight. The diuretic helps them shed water weight before the weigh-in, allowing them to compete at a lower weight class with a competitive advantage.
Dandelion acts as a potent natural diuretic suitable for removing excess subcutaneous water from the body. If you want to drop a dress size overnight, drink a few cups of dandelion tea.
10. Potential Anti-Cancer Benefits
Dandelion root powder helps to stimulate circulation and build the immune system. Research shows that it’s better than chemotherapy for treating prostate and lung cancer. According to a study from the Windsor Regional Cancer Center in Ontario, Canada – Consuming dandelion root extract assists with the reduction of chronic myelomonocytes, a type of cancer affecting seniors.
The dandelion root extract is effective at killing cancer cells, as demonstrated by The Windsor regional study. There are plenty of anecdotal studies showing patients responding to treatment with dandelion root extract. Some studies show that 48 hours after administration of dandelion extra, the subject’s cancer cells begin to show signs of degradation. As a result, the body starts to replace them with new cells.
There are also numerous studies showing that dandelion extracts are successful in the treatment of other cancers such as breast, liver, prostate, and lung cancer. Dandelion root tea tastes terrible, but it’s effective at restoring your health.
11. Good for Digestive Health
One of the best reasons for using dandelion extracts is to improve the immune response. More than 70% of the immune system lies within the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, by improving the health of your digestive system, you can increase your immune response and help yourself avoid disease.
Dandelion is full of fiber and nutrients. Dandelion greens are an excellent source of soluble fiber, and you can eat them in salads or add them to morning smoothies to gain the nutrients from the fresh greens.
The flowers do better as extracts, but they also edible. We recommend that you use dandelion roots for your extracts as well. You can also dry out the roots and crush them into tea. Some people like to boil down the roots until it forms a thick paste, which they use for medicinal applications in traditional medicines.
Fresh dandelion plant extract is available from your local drugstore or online health retailers. Including this extract in your diet is an excellent way to improve the health of your immune system and avoid infection from seasonal pathogens, such as influenza. Fiber and nutrients.
12. Boost the Immune System
As mentioned, more than 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. As a result, it’s very critical that we take care of our digestive health to boost our immune system. When we have a low immune system, we are more exposed to contracting viruses and bacteria that can cause harm to our health. By boosting the immune system, you prevent pathogens from replicating in the body, allowing the immune system to expel them before they have a chance to colonize and create severe illness.
People that have a low immune function are often sick, and they are at high risk of developing severe diseases or complications from minor illnesses. One of the best ways to boost the immune system is with dandelion plant extract. The fresh plant extract is excellent in building the health of the immune system. Adding a few drops to your diet every day is all it takes to increase your immune response and avoid getting sick during the annual flu season.
It’s possible to make dandelion root extract by yourself. Dry dandelion roots and crush them into a powder. Mix in some distilled water, and let it simmer on a low heat over the stove. Eventually, the liquid will contract into a thick, black, sticky liquid. Blend this liquid with oil, such as olive oil, to create a carrier liquid. Bottle your dandelion root extract and use it every day as desired.
Dandelion is also great for the health of your skin. We recommend using the fresh plant extract in combination with the carrier oil, such as extra-virgin coconut oil.
Add 6 to 10 drops of the dandelion oil to 1-teaspoon of extra-virgin coconut oil, and blend. Store the salve in a small jar, and use it on your skin in the morning, and in the evening, as a moisturizing compound.
The polyphenols in the dandelion extract help to improve collagen production in the skin. As a result, the therapy enhances the natural plumpness and firmness of your epidermis. Dandelion is also high in antioxidants. These antioxidants work in your bloodstream to remove free radicals. Free radicals are dangerous particles that cause cell oxidation resulting in the signs of aging.
When free radicals build up in the bloodstream, it results in the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and lines in the face.
To give your current nighttime moisturizing cream of boost mix in six to 10 drops of dandy lion fresh plant extract. This dose is not strong enough to alter the fragrance or consistency of your night cream. However, it will fortify the formula with the potent polyphenol’s found in dandelion that benefits the skin.
14. Boost Red Blood Cell Production
Anemia describes a condition where the body fails to produce enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Low levels of hemoglobin are somewhat dangerous and can place a person at risk of severe physical distress. People that have iron deficiency anemia find that they feel tired or fatigued all day, even after a good night’s rest.
If you feel like you cannot keep your eyes open every day, then you should visit your doctor for a diagnosis. Your doctor will draw a blood sample and send it to a lab for analysis. If your results show that your blood is low in hemoglobin, your doctor may decide to issue you with an iron supplement, or they may try to change your diet to include iron-rich foods. In most cases, with supplementary iron in your diet, you should make a full recovery from the anemia symptoms within a few weeks.
However, well, anemia is a treatable disease. It is challenging to detect, and many physicians may confuse the symptoms of anemia with those of other illnesses or disorders.
Source: SimplyHealth Today
Picking and processing your own dandelion might be an option if you have a yard with plenty of the plants. If you don’t have any dandelion in your yard currently, you can purchase dandelion seeds online to grow your own dandelion patch.
The entire dandelion plant is edible: flower, leaves and roots. It has a taste that resembles that of a spicier arugula. If you plant to harvest your own dandelion, make sure you harvest from an area that is not treated with chemicals or fertilizer of any kind. Avoid areas near freeways or public parks.
Some grocery stores even sell dandelion greens if you’re not up to foraging.
If you do plan on harvesting your own dandelion, the best time to do it is in the spring when they are young (before they flower) and again in the fall.
When it comes to harvesting, you want to try to pick the youngest leaves, which will be located on the inside of the growth. The oldest (and bitterest) leaves will always be on the outside. The best greens from the dandelion plant often come before the plant has produced its yellow flowers.
To harvest the leaves, all you need to do is pluck them out of the ground and collect them in a basket, bowl or bag. They’ll keep for a couple days in the fridge, but the fresher, the better (so try to eat them as soon as you pick them!).
Dandelion crowns are the densely packed circle of small leaves that are just about to produce a yellow flower. The crowns are the best tasting part of the plant (and the sweetest). Pick them if you can, before the plant has had a chance to flower. Dandelion crowns can be stored in the fridge for a couple days, or dehydrated for 1-2 days at 115ºF in a dehydrator (and then stored in a mason jar).
To harvest dandelion flower, pluck them off the green stem. Try to separate the flower from the green base, which can be quite bitter. You can store the flowers in the fridge for a couple days, or you can dehydrate them in a dehydrator at 115ºF for 1-2 days until they are completely dried out. Once dried, you can store in a mason jar and make tea with them throughout the winter months.
To harvest dandelion leaves, just pluck off the greens from the stem. Remember, the best tender greens are those that grow nearest to the stem. The larger outer leaves will be much more bitter (but they are still beneficial if you can handle the bitterness!). The leaves will store in the fridge for a day or two, but it is best to use them right away. You can also dry the leaves in a dehydrator at 115ºF for about 8-15 hours (or until crispy and dried). Once crisp, transfer to a mason jar and store in the cupboard to make tea.
Harvesting dandelion root can be a pain in the butt, but it is so worth it. The best time to harvest dandelion root is in the spring, since this is where all the vitamins and minerals are stored during the cold winter months. You can use a weeding tool to dig at the base of the root and pull up. Otherwise, you will just have to dig with a spoon or other tool to dislodge the hearty tuber from the ground. Once you’ve harvested the root, clean and scrub them thoroughly in the sink, and chop them into pieces, just as you would a carrot. You can use the root directly as is for boiling down into tea, or you can dehydrate them at 115ºF for 1-2 days, until completely dried out. Then, you can store the root for use over the winter as tea.
If you are not interested in picking and processing your own dandelion, or don’t have access, here are some products you can utilize in your home to gain full benefits from the plant. Since these products come from other companies, use their instructions on their products on how much to consume.:
– Organic Dandelion Leaf & Root Tea
– Organic Raw Dandelion Root Tea
– Organic Dandelion Tincture (whole plant)
– Organic Raw Dandelion Root (to make your own tea or tincture)
The above products are sold at the greedy Amazon but they can be purchased at cheaper prices at the various stores.
Dandelion can be utilized in all its forms. Whether you want to use the flower and leafy greens in your salad, or steep a body-warming tea with the root, you can receive so many benefits from the plant!
Dandelion Crowns & Flowers
Dandelion crowns and flowers can be consumed fresh on top of salads, or straight up as a snack. There are also many different applications for using the crowns and flowers as outlined below:
- Dandelion Flower Infused Oil
This oil can be used to heal chapped or cracked skin, and is also useful to soothe sore muscles and other aches and pains. The shelf life of the oil is about 1 year.
To make it, fill canning jar about half-way with dried dandelion flowers. You can dry the dandelion flowers in a dehydrator at 115ªF for about 1 day (or until completely dry).
Once the flowers are in the jar, cover them with about twice as much as your favorite carrier oil (olive, sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado and hemp oil are my favorites). Cap the jar, and place in a dark cabinet for 4-6 weeks, shaking occasionally as you remember.
Once the infusion time has passed, strain the dandelion flowers from the oil into another canning jar, and store in the fridge for up to 1 year.
- Dandelion Flower Salad
Young dandelion petals have a honey-like flavor; mature blossoms are bitter, but still nutritious and pretty. You can consume fresh dandelion flowers on top of your salad if you want to reap the benefits of the raw flower. Simply cut off the green stem at the base of the flower (the bitter part), and toss in whatever salad you’re making.
You can also use dandelion flowers as garnish in desserts. The bright yellow hues make them the perfect option for livening up desserts of any type.
Dandelion greens are the bitter part of the plant, meaning they’re great for increasing production and release of bile in the liver. They can be eaten raw in salads, juiced, or even made into vinegar!
- Dandelion Vinegar
To make dandelion vinegar, harvest the leaves, stems and flowers from a fresh dandelion plant. Rinse them well, and fill a jar full with the plants (don’t pack too tightly). Next, pour apple cider vinegar over the fresh plants until the jar is filled. Cover the top of the jar with wax paper or plastic wrap, and then screw on the lid (to prevent the acid of the vinegar from eating away at the metal on the lid). Place the jar in a dark cabinet and store for 4-6 weeks, shaking occasionally. Once the infusion is done brewing, strain and store in another jar. It is now ready to use!
You can use dandelion vinegar on your salads by combining it with some olive or hemp oil and some maple syrup and salt to taste.
Another use of dandelion vinegar is using it as a spot-dabber on itchy bug bites.
You can also use dandelion vinegar as a diluted hair rinse. Dilute 1/4 cup dandelion vinegar with 1/4 cup water, and rinse your hair with it to produce silky soft locks.
- Dandelion Juice Shots
Dandelion juice made from the raw plant is incredibly healing for the liver, and other organ systems of the body.
To make, all you need is a juicer, and dandelion leaves that are freshly harvested. Run the dandelion leaves through the juicer to make 1-2 shots of fresh dandelion juice. I personally like to just take a shot, because it is so bitter, but some people like to make juice combinations with dandelion like adding in some apple, lemon and ginger (for about 3-4 cups of dandelion greens, add 1 apple, 1/2 peeled lemon and a thumb-sized piece of ginger).
- Dandelion Salad
Harvesting fresh, young dandelion greens and adding them to a salad of mixed baby greens is a great way to incorporate these plants into your diet!
Dandelion root can be used to make a medicinal tea for treating digestive issues, gallstones, inflammation, muscle aches, and bloating. It can also be roasted into a concoction that works as a great coffee replacement. There is so much you can do with dandelion root. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Dandelion Root Tea
Once you have harvested your dandelion root as outlined above under “preparation”, you will want to boil down the dandelion root in water to release all the beneficial nutrients.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot, and add 1/4 cup dehydrated dandelion root. Reduce the heat to simmer, and put a lid on the pot. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, and then take off the heat to let sit and cool.
You can drink the tea as is, or add your favorite sweetener (maple syrup with dandelion is an amazin combination!). Depending on your stove and how hot the water was boiling and simmering, you might get more or less yield at the end. Drinking about one cup every day should suffice. If you have any extras left over, store in a mason jar in the fridge, and heat up the next day to consume.
- Dandelion Root “Coffee”
If you are looking for a replacement for coffee, look no further! Roasted dandelion root tastes very similar to coffee, and many people have used it to kick their caffeine addiction. There is even a company out there that sells a “Dandy Blend” as an alternative to coffee drinking!
Using fresh dandelion root that has been cleaned and cut into cubes, roast at 400ºF for about 30 minutes until they’re completely dry and brown, but not burned. If your oven tends to run a bit hot, set the oven to 350 degrees and roast them for 40 minutes. They should come out dry and toasted, but not burned.
You can either take the roasted root and steep it into a tea, or you can grind down the roasted root to make into a powder similar to coffee. You can then take this powder, and utilize it as you would coffee in your coffee pot or french press.
Serve the dandelion coffee with coconut cream and a sweetener.
Whole Dandelion Plant
You can utilize the whole dandelion plant in things like tinctures where you can provide your body with the benefits of the whole plant all year long.
- Dandelion Tincture
To make a dandelion tincture, harvest an entire dandelion plant and wash each part very well. Once you’re done, chop the entire plant as finely as you can. You’ll want about 3-4 cups of fresh plant cut up.
Place the pieces of the freshly cut plant in a mason jar (jar size depends on how much plant you’ve gathered up) then cover with an 80 proof or higher alcohol like vodka. Make sure you cover the lid with plastic wrap or wax paper before securing the lid, as the alcohol can eat away at the metal lid as it sits.
Cap the jar and store in a cool dark place for 2 to 3 weeks, shaking occassionally. Once it has finished sitting, strain into a clean mason jar or pour into individual tincture bottles with droppers.
Traditional herbalists recommend a dosage of up to 30 to 40 drops, three or four times per day, but since tinctures are quite powerful, I recommend taking no more than 5-8 drops a day. Use this tincture to help with constipation or a sluggish liver that leads to poor digestion and acne.
Our body’s self-healing power is very powerful.
It is the patient’s job to eliminate the root causes by following KOSA Acupuncture’s advice.
We walk patients through so that they can easily change their lifestyle so that they can minimize or eliminate the root causes.
This will expedite the patient’s healing progress by making responsible organs healthy and healthy organs treat conditions.
It is our job to educate patients with true information and treat all responsible organs so that all the conditions can be treated at once.
Read More: Everything About Food And Health
Nevertheless, each condition would show different improvements in progress.
KOSA Acupuncture’s persistent goal is to lose patients ASAP.
Patients become so healthy that they don’t have to take drugs (or medicines) and see any medical practitioners anymore. We have successfully achieved this goal with a very high success rate.
Patients have nothing to lose other than pains, discomforts, drugs, and excessive weight.
Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.
Listen to your body, which knows how to heal itself.
Numbers on the test cannot judge if you are a patient or not.