NUTRITION: THE BENEFITS OF DANDELION
By: John M. Di Fazio II
One of the many ancient remedies that I have personally researched and explored for over twenty years is Dandelion. Dandelion has benefits which include cleansing of the liver, reducing inflammation, and removal of excess water as a natural diuretic. The roots, leaves, and flowers contain herbal nutrients that, when consumed consistently, can remove toxins from the tissues of the liver. And because it is a natural diuretic, it helps to remove excess fluids, especially helpful in reducing the inflammation in the limbs related to Edema, and may help to reduce blood pressure as well. Some of the polyphenols present in dandelion, such as hydroxycinnamic acid and flavonoids, may also contribute to lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels. It’s possible that dandelion may also help to support blood sugar stabilization due to the liver’s relationship with the pancreas.
While some of the cardiovascular and blood sugar benefits are still in study phases, the presence of potent antioxidants in dandelion cannot be dispelled. Dandelion contains nutrient compounds that protect against cell damage and oxidative stress, such as beta-carotene. Also present in dandelion flowers and roots are an abundance of polyphenols which help to neutralize free radicals and promote overall health of the systems of our bodies. The reduced oxidative stress that occurs when dandelion is consumed, due to the presence of polyphenols, is beneficial in reducing inflammation, which if left unchecked, can cause permanent damage to DNA and body tissues. The most prevalent benefit of the nutrients in dandelion is the effect for our skin. The epidermis is our largest organ, and its health is directly connected to our liver health. The liver filters toxins, fats, and impurities from our bodies. The nutrient compounds in dandelion, especially dandelion root, cleanse the liver of any buildup of toxins, fats, and impurities, allowing for proper function of the liver, and proper enzyme levels within the liver. The result is clearer, healthier skin, and the generation of new skin cells. When dandelion root is consistently consumed, the skin will appear vibrant and free of blemishes such as “liver spots,” as they’re commonly called.
Many Mediterranean cultures have used dandelions for their health benefits for centuries. Today, Sicilians, Italians, Sardinians, and Greeks still use dandelions regularly for salads, teas, and extracts. The leaves and flowers add both nutrition and color to salads and soups. The roots can be boiled as a tea, or dried and ground to create extracts. The dandelion leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked. They contain abundant amounts of Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, and folate as well. They also contain minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron.
The dandelion root contains high amounts of inulin, which is a soluble fiber. Inulin supports the growth and consistency of healthy digestive tract bacteria which contributes to a healthy digestion and removal of waste from the body. The root can be eaten raw, but is slightly bitter. It’s more appetizing as a tea, or dried and ground into a powder for tea, cooking or extracts.
- Fresh, or dried leaves: 4-10 grams daily
- Fresh Roots: 2-8 grams daily
- Homemade extract: 1-2 teaspoons daily
Dandelion is also available in Extract or Capsule form.
Organic Dandelion Liquid Extract: 1 ml
Dandelion Root Capsules: 1.575 grams (3 capsules)
Always consult your physician prior to beginning a new supplement regimen.
I have personally used dandelion on a consistent, daily basis for over twenty years. I regularly receive complements on the health of my skin, as well as my youthful appearance. My experience is confirmation that this ancient remedy is as effective as its history has suggested. It is a wonderful thing to have natural remedies at our fingertips, and I hope to see more mainstream use of these gifts which God provided. Hopefully many more people will begin to see the benefits that are available in nature, and will seek natural remedies rather than synthetic pharmaceuticals.