Dandelion

Dandelion

Dandelion
Dandelion herb is used as a diuretic, and can treat digestion issues, regulate blood glucose and alleviate liver complaints. The benefits of dandelion are vast and it can be administered as a pill, a beverage, such as dandelion tea or dandelion wine or food. Dandelion root and leaves are edible and can be added to soups and salads. As with any alternative medicines please consult your health provider for treatment, correct dosage, benefits and risk factors.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    The dandelion is a perennial plant with an almost worldwide distribution. While many individuals consider the dandelion to be an unwanted weed, herbalists all over the world have revered this valuable herb. Its common name, dandelion, is a corruption of the French for "tooth of the lion" (dent-de-lion). This name describes the herb's leaves, which have several large, pointed teeth. Its scientific name, Taraxacum, is from the Greek taraxos (disorder) and akos (remedy). This alludes to dandelion's ability to correct a multitude of disorders. A hardy perennial, which grows in all temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, dandelion reaches 3 to 35 cm in height. It is easily recognized by its deeply toothed, hairless leaves, measuring 5 to 30 cm in length and 1 to 10 cm in width, which form a rosette at ground level, and the single golden yellow flower that emerges from the rosette's center on a straight, purplish, leafless, hollow stem. The flower, which is actually a collection of tiny florets, appears from early spring until late autumn. When the florets mature, they produce downy seeds that are easily dispersed by the wind, giving rise to dandelion's aliases of "puffball" and "blowball."

    Although its flowers are most evident in early summer, dandelion may be found in bloom, and consequently prolifically dispersing its seeds, throughout most of the year.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    As anyone who has ever removed one from the lawn knows, dandelion plants have a long, dark brown tapering taproot, from 2 to 3 cm in width to at least 15 cm in length. The whole plant, including the root, contains a milky white sap or latex. On top of the root, but still below the surface, is a crown of blanched leaf stems, which dandelion aficionados consider the tastiest part of the plant. They can be used in salads or as a cooked vegetable. Next, comes the rosette of leaves. These are the dandelion greens, which must be gathered before the plant blooms or they will become quite bitter and tough. The young greens, which have a slightly bitter, tangy flavor that adds interest to salads and can also be cooked like spinach, are the part most often consumed. Dandelion roots can also be eaten as a root vegetable or roasted and ground to make "coffee," and the flowers can be used to make dandelion wine and tea.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Dandelion's calorie count is exceptionally low - a cup is only 25 calories, while its nutrient content is exceptionally high. In fact, the dandelion contains greater nutritional value than many other vegetables. It is particularly high in vitamins and minerals, protein, choline, inulin, and pectin. Its carotenoid content is extremely high, as reflected by its high vitamin A content. Dandelion has 14,000 IU of vitamin A per 100 g compared to 11,000 IU for carrots. In addition, dandelion is an excellent source of vitamin C, riboflavin, B6, and thiamine, as well as calcium, copper, manganese, and iron.

  • 4 Answers
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    A , Fitness, answered
    What are the health benefits of eating dandelion?

    Surprise: Dandelion is not just a pesky weed. In this video, fitness expert and author Tim Ferriss explains how to replace your coffee with dandelion, and the benefits you'll reap from doing so. 

    See All 4 Answers
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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Individuals with allergies to daisies or other members of the Compositae family may wish to avoid dandelion. If picking wild dandelion greens from lawns or meadows, be sure the area has not been treated with weed killer or fungicides and that it is not located close to a heavily traveled road, where it will be exposed to pollutants from automobile exhaust.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Wild dandelion is plentiful in most parts of the United States. Dandelion greens are often available commercially as well, especially at open markets and health food stores. The fresher the dandelion, the better. Though dandelion greens are available until winter in some states, the best, most tender greens are harvested early in the spring, before the plant begins to flower. Cultivated dandelion greens sold in markets are typically longer, less bitter, and more tender than their wild cousins. Choose brightly colored, tender-crisp leaves; avoid those with yellowed or wilted tips or brown spots. Usually, the lighter green the leaf, the more tender the taste.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Store dandelion greens unwashed and wrapped in damp paper towels in a plastic bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator, where they should remain fresh for three to five days.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Chemicals in dandelion can sometimes cause mild skin irritation. You should use caution when handling dandelions. If you have gallbladder problems or diabetes or take a diuretic, risks will increase as these conditions or medicines can interact with dandelion.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    You should know that, as an herbal supplement, dandelion has not been evaluated by the FDA for its effectiveness. Know that the chemicals in dandelion can irritate your condition if you have gallstones, so you should avoid taking it. Also if you have diabetes, you should take extra caution before taking dandelion as is could cause you to have hypoglycemia, leading to serious problems.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Do not use dandelion if you are taking a blood thinner, such as warfarin. You should also avoid dandelion if you have gallbladder problems, have diabetes or are taking medicine to control blood sugar levels, or are taking a diuretic. If you are allergic to pollen, you may also be allergic to dandelion, so avoid taking it.