HomeHealthHealthDandelion: what it is for, how to use it and side effects

Dandelion: what it is for, how to use it and side effects

Dandelion is a plant with the scientific name Taraxacum officinale, also known as monk’s crown, pint and taraxaco, it is rich in vitamins, inulin, phytosterols, amino acids and minerals, especially potassium.

Thus, due to its properties, dandelion can be used to assist in the treatment of digestive disorders, liver and pancreas problems and skin changes, for example.

Furthermore, according to a study done in China in 2011 [1], tea from this plant also seems to be able to more quickly eliminate the virus infection Influenza, responsible for the common flu.

what is it for

Dandelion contains natural substances that guarantee health benefits, such as phenolic compounds, flavonoids, carotenoids and oligofructans, guaranteeing this plant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties, being therefore useful to help in the treatment of different diseases.

Thus, the dandelion can serve to:

1. Protect the liver

Some studies confirm that the polyphenols, flavonoids and polysaccharides present in this plant have beneficial effects on liver functions, helping to reduce inflammation and oxidative damage that are common in liver disorders. In addition, dandelion acts as a liver protector in the presence of toxic substances, such as industrial chemical agents and medications in higher doses.

In addition, this plant helps in the regeneration of the liver and to reduce the accumulated levels of fat, being useful to assist in the treatment of hepatitis and cystic fibrosis, for example.

2. Prevent heart disease

Dandelion’s natural bioactive substances have hypocholesterolemic and antioxidant properties, which are effective in preventing the formation and/or progression of atherosclerosis.

Some studies have shown that dandelion leaves help prevent oxidative damage to cells and lower levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, preventing the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

3. Stimulate weight loss

Some studies indicate that dandelion roots have an anti-obesity effect, as they can act on lipid metabolism, decreasing the size of fat cells and inhibiting their formation due to the blockage of pancreatic enzymes.

In addition, studies carried out with the extract of the leaves and raw roots of the dandelion showed that this plant is able to promote the reduction of triglyceride levels in the body, helping to reduce body weight.

4. Help control diabetes

Some studies carried out in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with dandelion leaf and root powder showed a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels in these patients, as it could have an effect on insulin production and act as a hypoglycemic.

5. Help prevent cancer

Dandelion extract contains triterpenoids, sesquiterpenes and phenolic compounds, which are potent natural antioxidants with anti-cancer action.

Some studies confirm that dandelion root extract can inhibit the growth of cells of different types of cancer, such as colorectal, breast cancer, among others.

6. Promote gastrointestinal health

Dandelion roots are rich in oligofructans, also known as prebiotics, which act as a source of carbon and energy to stimulate healthy gut bacteria.

Thus, this plant would be able to help fight constipation and prevent the development of intestinal disorders such as hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.

In addition, dandelion could improve symptoms related to mild digestive problems such as a full stomach, flatulence and slow digestion.

7. Help with the flu treatment

According to a study carried out in China in 2011 [1], dandelion can also help in the treatment of flu, having been observed that teas with more than 15 mg/mL of dandelion seem to eliminate the Influenza virus from the body.

However, it is important that the consumption of dandelion tea is complementary to the treatment indicated by the doctor, as it is possible to guarantee the elimination of the virus and favor recovery.

How to use dandelion

You can use dandelion root or leaves to prepare teas, tinctures, and juices. In addition, it can be found alone or combined with other medicinal plants in the form of capsules or tablets, which can be found in pharmacies or health food stores.

1. Dandelion tea

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground or powdered dandelion root;
  • 200 ml of boiling water.

Method of preparation

To prepare the tea, just add the boiling water with the root spoon and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, strain, let cool and drink up to 3 times a day. In case of gastrointestinal problems, tea should be drunk before meals.

2. Dandelion juice

Ingredients

  • Young dandelion leaves;
  • Coconut Water.

Method of preparation

Blend the leaves in a food processor along with coconut water and drink three times a day. Generally, dandelion leaves have a bitter taste, so you should use younger ones, whose flavor is less intense.

In addition, other ingredients can be mixed, such as apple juice, mint and ginger, for example, to improve the flavor and give this juice more properties. Discover the properties of ginger.

3. In the natural way

Dandelion can also be used in its natural form in cooking. Since it is a safe plant for consumption, dandelion can be used to prepare salads, soups and even some desserts.

when it is not indicated

Dandelion should also not be used by people who are hypersensitive to this plant, who have obstruction of the bile ducts or intestinal occlusion, acute inflammation of the gallbladder or the presence of peptic ulcer.

The effects of dandelion during pregnancy and breastfeeding are not yet confirmed, so its use during this period is not recommended.

In addition, it is not recommended to consume this medicinal plant together with diuretic and hypoglycemic drugs, since dandelion could potentiate the effects, as well as it should not be used by people who use lithium.

Possible side effects

Dandelion is considered safe and well tolerated due to its low level of toxicity.

However, despite being rare, it can cause gastrointestinal disorders or allergic reactions in sensitive people, due to the presence of allergenic components such as taraxin acid and sesquiterpene lactone.

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