What are Dandelions?
Dandelion greens belong to the sunflower family and have been long in use for its medicinal and nutritive value. Taraxacum officinale is the scientific name of the commonly used dandelion though there are wide varieties of dandelion. If you ask someone what dandelion is they are more likely to think of it as a pretty flower rather than a plant or herb with numerous health benefits. You can eat a fresh dandelion greens or even consider using dandelion tablets and supplements after consulting your doctor.
Dandelions are a rich source of many important nutrients that are needed by the human body for proper functioning. The greens are good for liver, gall bladder and useful for people with anemia. Here are some more dandelion benefits.
Improve Bone Health:
Being a good source of calcium, dandelion herb can benefit bones and keep joint troubles at bay. Additionally, certain antioxidants such as luteolin and vitamin C are beneficial in protecting the bones from damage caused by aging and these are found aplenty in dandelion greens.
Promote Digestive Health:
Dandelion leaves are a good source of fiber and thus, promote good digestive health. Eat dandelions for relief from constipation and for maintaining a healthy digestive tract. However, a fiber found in dandelions known as inulin can cause allergies in people who are susceptible to it. Therefore, it makes sense to add dandelions to your diet in small quantities.
Dandelion can benefit people with diabetes as its juice can stimulate pancreatic insulin production and help in maintaining normal blood sugar levels. But this is not all; the diuretic nature of dandelions can also help people with diabetes by increasing their urination. This increase in urination flushes out excess sugar from the body and prevents from any sugar buildup in the kidneys.
A word of caution – diabetics who are already on modulators for blood sugar should consult their doctors before adding dandelions or dandelion supplements to their diets.
Keep Urinary Tract Healthy:
Being diuretic, dandelions help clean out toxins from the kidneys and keep the urinary tract healthy. Dandelion is also a powerful disinfectant so consuming it can keep microbial infections away from the urinary tract. Dandelion consumption is useful in keeping away infections in general.
Dandelions can keep cancers at bay, as it is rich in antioxidants. The fiber in dandelions also clears out toxins from colon thus, lowering chances of intestinal cancers. It keeps the urinary tract healthy and this further reduces cancer risks in many parts of the body.
Regulate Heart Health:
Potassium in dandelions can help regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Its rich fiber content and diuretic properties also keep blood pressure at healthy levels and this bodes well for overall heart health.
Dandelion milk, which is the sap from the plant, is useful in treating fungal infections from the skin. This sap is a powerful portion as it is highly alkaline in nature and also is a strong fungicidal and germicidal agent. Dandelion sap can be used as an all-natural skin treatment without any side effects for various skin conditions such as eczema, acne, itches and ringworm. But keep the sap from entering your eyes or else it can cause itchiness and it is also useful to do a patch test on the skin before its full application to rule out any allergic reactions.
Aid in Weight Loss:
Dandelion consumption aids in the elimination of excess body fluids, which helps in shedding a few pounds. People who wish to lose weight can increase their consumption of dandelions to fulfill their nutrient requirements in lieu of fewer calories.