I’m sure you thought dandelion was just a humble garden weed, but did you know there are some considerable health benefits of dandelion that will undoubtedly change your opinion? Its flowers and leaves have nutritional and healing properties, and it’s good to know it is found all over the world, so that everyone can enjoy the health benefits of dandelion. But, what is in dandelion that makes it such a wonder weed? Did you know that per serving, dandelion has more protein than spinach? Nutritionally, this is one serious powerhouse. It contains a whole host of vital minerals, mostly in the leaves, including iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and phosphorus and the vitamins A, C, E, K, and B (1, 2, and 6). The root has its own nutritional value too. It contains calcium, potassium, iron, sulphur, magnesium, silicon, phosphorus and chlorophyll. With all this nutritional superpower, it’s no wonder there are some significant health benefits of dandelion:
1. Dandelion for Diabetes
One of the most amazing health benefits of dandelion is that it can stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. But it doesn’t stop there. Dandelion is also a natural diuretic and by causing more frequent urination, it helps remove excess body sugar and helps reduce sugar build up in the kidneys, reducing the risk of renal problems that many diabetics are susceptible to.
2. Dandelion Skin Care
Skin diseases that care caused by microbial or fungal infections can be treated with dandelion milk (dandelion sap). The sap has fungicidal, insecticidal, and germicidal properties and is also highly alkaline. These make it a good treat for eczema, ringworm and other itchy complaints.
3. Dandelion and Cancer
The ancient traditional medicine systems of the world, including the Arabian, Chinese and Native American, have long known about the dandelion’s health benefits. Modern natural health medicine, however, is just really waking up to the knowledge that dandelion can have anti-cancer effects – particularly for breast cancer and prostate cancer. Studies have shown that dandelion root has a very potent impact on melanoma (cancer cells) that are resistant to chemotherapy, with the great advantage of not doing any harm to healthy cells.
4. Dandelion and Liver Health
Dandelion stimulates the liver naturally and promotes digestion and this in turn improves the function of the liver. The chemicals in dandelion remove toxins and help to rebalance electrolytes and also re-establish hydration.
5. Dandelions and Urinary Tract Health
Because of its diuretic properties and because it also helps to remove toxins, one of the related health benefits of dandelion is that it promotes good urinary health. The detoxification cleanses the kidneys and urinary tract, while at the same time, microbiological growths (germs etc) in the whole urinary system are inhibited by the disinfectant properties of the dandelion plant.
6. Dandelions and Bone Health
Calcium is essential for the growth and on-going strength of bones and dandelion is calcium-rich. The dandelion plant also contains a high concentration of antioxidants like Luteolin and Vitamin C, which help protect bones from toxic free radicals which can cause premature aging, loss of density and general bone weakening.
7. Dandelion for Digestive Health
One of the properties of dandelion is as a mild appetite stimulant, so this is probably something to stay away from if you’re trying to lose weight. However, if you want to improve overall digestive health, the mucilage and inulin in the plant will soothe the digestive tract, making the progress of food much easier. The antioxidants help with the absorption of toxins from food and also encourage the growth of friendly gut bacteria while inhibiting and discouraging unfriendly gut bacteria and flora.
Are you as astounded as I was to find out all these health benefits of dandelion? If you are going to take advantage of these magic properties, please research how best to one, source them, and two, how to use it. Various dandelion products are available in health food stores and drug stores, but you may want to harvest your own. Will you be adding dandelion to your diet any time soon?