Among all the health benefits that nature brings us, it is possible that medicinal plants and herbs are the most appreciated by human beings. We can find an infinity of remedies typical of traditional medicine that would not be possible without the existence of medicinal herbs.
The dandelion is one of the most recognized plants for its beauty but few people know its many properties and benefits. In this article we will see what dandelion is and what it is used for .
What is the dandelion?
Scientifically known as taraxacum, dandelion is a species of flower belonging to the family asteraceae . It is believed to be a type of plant that originated in certain regions of Europe and North America, and appeared approximately 30 million years ago in Eurasia.
The dandelion is distinguished by being an herbaceous and perennial plant that grows and develops very easily in temperate climates. It is also highly appreciated by farmers for its ease of reproduction and because it grows quickly and effectively.
Although the dandelion has a large number of properties these are not popularly known, so it is usually used as an ornamental plant because of its flowers. There are two different types of dandelion flowers, depending on the subspecies of this one and both are edible in their entirety, but all are characterized by having bright yellow flowers.
Although its benefits and properties are not well known, in traditional medicine dandelion has been widely used in the treatment of stomach conditions, gas, joint pain, eczema and rashes or certain types of infections, especially viral infections.
Furthermore, as we mentioned, dandelion is totally edible and is also highly appreciated as a culinary ingredient.
This plant is usually added to salads, soups, wines and infusions and in many places the roasted dandelion root is used as a substitute for coffee.
What’s it for? Uses and properties
Traditional medicine has used the dandelion in the treatment of various physical conditions, conditions and diseases . However, not all of them have been supported by scientific evidence. Currently, laboratory studies are trying to determine how to use the different properties of dandelion to treat various physical conditions in a more natural way.
Among the main uses and properties of dandelion are the following characteristics.
1. Improving bone health
Dandelion is a plant rich in calcium and calcium is a basic mineral in the development and strengthening of bones. In addition, is also rich in vitamin C and luteolin , two antioxidants that protect bones from age-related deterioration, which is largely due to the effect of free radicals.
2. Treatment for liver disorders
Dandelion extract is traditionally known for its liver benefits. The above-mentioned antioxidants promote the proper functioning of the liver and protect it from aging. In addition, there are other compounds in this plant that can be effective in treating bleeding in the liver.
Dandelion-based dietary supplements can help maintain an adequate flow of bile, while stimulating liver function and aiding digestion. Proper digestion reduces the risk of constipation and serious gastrointestinal problems.
3. Helps control diabetes
It has been proven that dandelion juice or concentrate can stimulate insulin production in people with diabetes , thus maintaining low blood sugar levels.
In addition, thanks to the diuretic properties of dandelion, it increases the need to urinate in diabetic patients, which helps eliminate excess sugar from the body.
4. Treatment for skin conditions
The sap that is extracted from the dandelion is a natural and effective treatment for those skin conditions or diseases caused by bacterial and fungal infections. The reason is that the sap of this plant has alkaline, germicidal, insecticidal and fungal properties.
Although special caution should be taken in contact with the eyes, the sap extracted from dandelion can be applied to eczema, itchiness and itchiness without risk of side effects .
5. Prevention and treatment of acne
In addition to its diuretic properties, dandelion is a powerful detoxifier, stimulant and antioxidant, making it an effective treatment for acne. Especially that caused by hormonal alterations.
Dandelion extract can help regulate and balance hormones , increase perspiration and encourage the opening of pores. All this helps facilitate the expulsion of toxins through sweat and urine. In addition, applying the sap of this flower externally can inhibit microbial infections and reduce the signs of acne.
6. Decreases fluid retention
Dandelion, thanks to its diuretic nature, promotes urination and helps eliminate excess water from our body. In addition, our urine contains a percentage of 4% fat, so the more we urinate, the more water and fat will be lost, so it also promotes weight loss.
7. Treatment of constipation
The high fibre content of dandelion makes it a very beneficial aid for proper digestion and intestinal health . Fibre stimulates intestinal functioning and reduces the chances of constipation and diarrhoea.
8. Prevents anemia
Dandelion has relatively high levels of iron, vitamins and a high protein content. While iron is an essential part of hemoglobin in the blood, B vitamins and proteins are the basis for the formation of red blood cells and other blood components. Therefore, dandelion can help people who are anemic keep this condition regulated and under control .
9. Regulates blood pressure
Finally, following the diuretic properties of dandelion, increased urination is an effective way to reduce blood pressure. Dandelion juice increases urination both in quantity and frequency. Therefore, helps reduce high blood pressure .
In addition, fiber in dandelion is also useful in lowering cholesterol and therefore helps to lower blood pressure, since cholesterol is one of the factors that increase blood pressure.
- Schütz, K., Reinhold, C. & Schieber, A. (2006). Taraxacum-a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 107(3): 313-323.
- Menghini, L., Genovese, S., Epifano, F., Tirillini, B., Ferrante, C. & Leporini, L. (2010). Antiproliferative, protective and antioxidant effects of artichoke, dandelion, turmeric and rosemary extracts and their formulation. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 23(2): 601-610.