Dandelions are one of the first food sources to pop up in the spring. We can start eating the greens as soon as they emerge and our Bees can start drinking their nectar as soon as they flower. 

 

Dandelion's official name is taraxacum officinale which literally means the official cure all (derived from the Greek words Taraxus = illness/disease and acus = remedy. 

It has many other common names, Piss-en-lit is a great one because it reminds me it’s a diuretic (which is great for high cholesterol and diabetics). And two of my other favorites are Bitterwort and Blow-ball. Dandelion IS a bitter wort(root) which is great for digestion and fortifying.  And it may be obvious why I like the name Blow-Ball!  

 

“If you can’t beat them, eat them.” ~James A. Duke, botanist

Dandelion is so Nutritious!

The leaf contains all of these vitamins: A (eye health), B1, B2, B3, B12, C, E, K, Beta carotene (precursor to Vitamin A), lutein (yellow pigment also found in spinach thought to help the eyes), Zeaxanthinin, lecithin, Omegas, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and more! (1). It’s also high in anti-oxidants which are known to eliminate free-radicals which help reduce aging, including in the heart and eyes. The leaves are especially helpful in reducing macular degeneration(2).

 

Medicinally:

Dandelion is known for its cleansing and opening properties. It's a powerful detoxifier and diuretic (meaning it clears water and salt accumulation), and it's also effective for lowering bad cholesterol(3) as well as, Chronic hepatitis, Cleaning the bile duct, Enhancing digestion, Reversing diabetes, Curing low blood sugar, Treating prostate cancer, and more(1). It is also a valuable female herb because it balances hormones and assists in the excretion of hormones and fats. It’s good for endometriosis, PMS, menopause, and even nervous system and chronic nervous disorders (like PTSD when the body is constantly producing stress hormones). And Dandelion also works to control glucose metabolism, tumors and inflammation, just to name a few conditions (4).

 

 It has been said that perhaps dandelions may have been one of the “bitter herbs” mentioned in the Bible. Dandelion is one of the key herbs used to purify the blood and support the kidneys and pancreas in herbalism.  Dandelion leaves are especially helpful as a diuretic and helpful for cellulite and fluid retention.  The roots and leaves are both diuretic and known to be helpful in dissolving urinary stones and metabolic waste (like toxins and cellulite, etc.). Dandelion neutralizes acids in the blood that can accumulate from a high fat diet, winter hibernation of heavy foods, therefore, it aids in weight loss and detoxing. 

Dandelion is well known for treating poor digestion, water retention, and diseases of the liver because it contains phenolic acids, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Md_Islam228/publication/273004369_ZERO-WASTE_MULTIPLE_USES_OF_JATROPHA_AND_DANDELION/links/553708830cf218056e954ae3/ZERO-WASTE-MULTIPLE-USES-OF-JATROPHA-AND-DANDELION.pdf Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites thought to provide micronutrients through cell signaling pathways and offer antioxidant effects. Polyphenols are micronutrients which provide an anti-oxidant effect for our cells!!!

 

Not only is Dandelion a nutrient dense, free seeding food-medicine, it’s also packed with powerful medicinal constituents in its sap that flows from a plucked stem! This sap can help with pain and inflammation if taken internally as a tincture, two symptoms common with most conditions. It’s leaves and roots are considered anti-aging, too because it stimulates our NrF2 factor which helps us clear out oxidative stress (NrF2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28026992).

Dandelions contain t a r a x a c i n, a bitter glycoside which stimulates and cleans the flow of bile, aids digestion, and alleviates fluid retention (diuretic). Glycosides are anti-oxitant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, hepatoprotective (protects the liver (study about non-alcoholic fatty liver https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691513002561), and even heart disease, because it clears sludge from the arteries, thus lessen the risk of high cholesterol helping the heart to function with ease. Taraxacin is powerful!!! No wonder it grows all over the Earth. 

 

 

LEAVES:

Always pick the youngest leaves and add them to your salads, stir-fries, soups, and get creative! Also, dry some to have for tea and medicine making over the next few seasons. The older leaves are more nutritious, but also more bitter, so if you’re up to it…. In any case only harvest leaves in the spring. The leaves are super high in vitamin A, essential for good eye health and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye, so it promotes good vision, especially in low light (2019 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002400.htm).

Best Ways To Prepare the Leaves

Eat them fresh, steamed, sautéed or Make Tea: Steep for 5min. (or longer) young leaves dry or fresh.

The leaves contain more Calcium and Iron than Spinach. One cup of raw dandelion greens contains 1.7 mg of iron, which is about 21% of the total for men and only about 9% for women. A cup of cooked dandelion greens delivers 1.89 mg of iron (https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/much-iron-dandelions-6312.html). *The mineral elements analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry of the leaves enumerate elements like Mg, Na (sodium), K, Ca (calcium), Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu (Copper), Pb (lead) and Cr (chromium).

Medicine in the LEAVES

The leaves spend all their time gathering chlorophyll from the sun for us which is essential for our cells for everything from fighting disease, digestion, and aging to even healing the skin and organs and killing cancer (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322361.php).

 The leaves are a diuretic which helps to cleanse the liver and kidneys. They can also be juiced or used in smoothies for the liver, skin, acne, gout, kidneys (because it increases urination). The leaves are used in bitters to increase digestion before and after a meal and help with bloating and indigestion.

The leaves are also a great food source for your beneficial gut flora! The inulin in Dandelion is a prebiotic fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut known as bifidobacteria. These guys help reduce the bad gut flora while enhancing digestion, bowl movements and the immune system. Studies also suggest Dandelion “may reduce colonic enzymes that may be involved in enhancing the carcinogenic effect of certain chemicals”…Basically Dandelion helps prevent the big C... so eat lots of greens!  (David Purlmutter, MD, 2019).

Leaves may help regulate type 2 diabetes: Source of inulin which is helpful for diabetics and balances blood sugar levels. So eat them on your burgers!!! And with every meal!

Contains Chlorogenic acid (CGA), which has been shown to inhibit glucose 6 phosphatase, an enzyme that promotes the formation of glucose in the liver. All parts of Dandelion have CGA and CRA which are essential fatty-acids. Chlorogenic acids (CGA) represent a large family of phenolic.  Luckily, these fatty acids help reduce your bad cholesterol (LDL) and build up your good (HDL) with the help of Dandelions Niacin (B3).

Dandelion leaves actually reduce the activity of an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides (bad fats or LDL) resulting in an excretion of them (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2788186/. Wow, dandelion is a weight reducing, heart healthy and detoxifying herb!!

And even the extract of the leaf shows promising antioxidant potentiality.

Interesting Fact:

 You can drink the “tea” water after poaching Dandelion leaves for eating (add peppermint or another tea to cut the bitterness), can make a nice iced-tea. 

You can also make a tea and spray on growing foliage after it cools as a nitrogen rich foliar fertilizer.

For the environment, the leaves even act like “a large sink” for air pollution, helping to remove toxins from the air (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23037307_).

 

Flowers

Once the florets open, they can be plucked and de-petaled to eat on top of salads or infuse them in vinegar or water, you can strain and add tons of sugar and make dandelion wine!... or you can strain and use in dressings or as Bitter (a tonic for digestion and clearing). Petals are great dried for tea, tinctures, or even salves and lip balms, too. Use the petals to infuse a jar of honey with, and the petals also make a vibrant garnish or addition to salads. or maybe even make Dandelion Flower head Fritters. 

Looking Out For the Bees:

And even though Dandelion is a powerful environmental detoxifier, the pollutants are not transferred to their pollen in the florets, meaning any honey made from Bees who pollinated dandelions in a toxic environment are safe to consume!!! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23037307). However, I could not find any studies that confirmed pollutants weren’t transferred into the parts we eat (roots, leaves and flowers) and there is evidence that Dandelion helps chelate heavy metals from the soils, so do not eat dandelion from polluted areas.

Another interesting fact about Dandelion flower heads is they can provide vitamin D3 like stinging nettle plant does, not many plants can do this, so eat your Dandelion flowers folks! (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/J157v05n01_09?journalCode=iher20)

 

Medicinally:

The flowers can be infused in coconut or olive oil and applied to the skin to help with everything from acne and irritation to dark spots. Dandelion is good at removing dead skin cells and rejuvenating it, so use you infused oils in your skin care routines! (Secret remedies E-book). Steep partial or fully dried flowers in oil for no more than two weeks.

 

To make wine:

Steep teas for 2 days before adding 3 times the amount of sugar to water and let the wild yeasts work their hooch magic.

Interesting facts:

*Dandelion flowers can set seed asexually when no pollinators are available.

*The petals (and leaves) are used as a natural textile dye, and for a deeper yellow dye, harvest florets that have grown in full Sun.


The flowers of dandelion are a rich source of lecithin. This is the essential nutrient that elevates the brain’s acetylcholine.  This means that it may help retard or stop the regression of mental ability caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Roots

Once the flowers fade away, around the end of august for New England, USA, you can plunk up the roots. The key is to find tops with no more blooms and almost fresh, new leaf growth. The roots have the most energy in them when harvested in this state (usually autumn). Dandelion roots are so incredible, not only are they nutritious and medicinal, they even work to improve the soil’s mineral content and clean up toxins from the soil, too!

Roots can be washed and roasted or steamed to be eaten like food. They are an excellent addition to soups, goes well roasted with other roots like carrots, burdock, ginger and maple syrup. Dry any remaining roots for winter storage (chopped into pieces) and they can be made into a tincture, tea, or oil at any time! To make a root tea simmer an ounce of root for 40 min, and let cool. Add lemon or another tea for an additional few minutes to quell the bitterness of the root. Drink a quart a day spread out over 3-4 servings (the first two being before breakfast). Make it fresh every few days or so and drink for up to 3 weeks and then reevaluate how you feel!

The roots can be eaten raw, roasted, as a tea, in tinctures, pickled, or even juiced! Remember, Dandelion is a bitter herb, meaning it is bitter tasting and good for digestion and cleansing and fortifying the body.

Best ways to prepare and use Dandelion Root

Make a decoction (boil) out of raw or roasted roots. Simmer for at least 20-40 min.

Tinctures can extract the digestive bitters, for a concentrated application. 

Powders can be made by roasting, drying, and then powdering the root. It’s best to store whole dry roots and powder them as needed. Can be mixed in water or tea or smoothies and drink it.  Make a coffee substitute out of powdered roasted roots! Simmer dandelion for 5-mins. and then add chicory root for another 5 mins. Let the powder settle and ladle yourself a cup. Or strain thru a coffee filter or pour into a French Press.

The roots of dandelion are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are able to be cooked or roasted, so add a few to your roasted veggies!. You can wash, dry, and chop them up, roast the roots at about 325 for 15 minutes. Then cool and store for use.
When blanching add vinegar and fat to allow for maximum absorption of all the minerals, phytonutrients and vitamins. ..iron…calcium..Potassium, ect… Dandelion tastes best when mixed with other herbs.

The Roots are amazing!!!

Consuming the roots can act as a mild laxative while replenishing nutrients and balancing trace elements in the body (p. 220 Lee Scott), this is especially used in the Southwest for constipation with hemorrhoids. The root stimulates bile flow which naturally promotes elimination through the bowels while replenishing nutrients. The root is a diuretic helping to replenish potassium lost during increased urination (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155102/).

In Germany the roots are used as a digestive aid (don’t take if you have gallstones or pain and inflammation in your digestive track) and it is also used as a liver and urination stimulant (2019, Komen). Dandelion is a Liver herb! Drinking a tea from the roots everyday may help protect your liver against the oxidative and stressful effects of drinking alcohol. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347918

Dandelion has also been shown to kill cancer, lower bad cholesterol, it’s anti-microbial, and it even helps balance hormones including insulin which it great for diabetics!

 

Interesting ROOT fact:

The roots can grow up to 15’ underground!

Dandelion can leach toxins out of polluted soils such as, manganese, lead and cadmium.

And Dandelion and Chicory (blue flowers) are from the same family and can be found growing together in the meadows!

 

Sap

Not only is Dandelion a nutrient dense, free seeding food, it’s also packed with powerful medicinal constituents in its sap that flows from a plucked stem helping with pain and inflammation, two symptoms common with most conditions.  The white sap/latex (like sesquiteripenes) is what accounts for its anti-inflammatory effects. (Sesquiterpenes molecules deliver oxygen molecules to cells, like hemoglobin does in the blood. Sesquiterpenes can also erase or deprogram miswritten codes in the DNA).

 Just like in Wild Lettuce, who has the same kind of sap, they are both great for painful inflammatory conditions.

If you get a bee sting, put some Dandelion sap on it! (test for allergic reaction to the sap first by putting a dab on a healthy patch of skin). Some say it can even diminish warts.

Infusions of all or any parts can be made in water, oil, alcohol, vinegar, or honey (an herbal oxymel, meaning acid and honey).

Interesting fact:

The sap can also be made into rubber (https://patents.google.com/patent/US20180271043A1/en).

 

Puff Balls are ruderal in nature, meaning they are free flying seeds that will sprout just about anywhere and even in the poorest of soils and growing conditions. Dandelions are found growing practically everywhere on the planet, even Antarctica!!!  Some say taraxacum is derived form the Greek word for "all over the world" You can grow your own Dandelions easily by harvesting one of these puff balls from a clean environment (not a roadside or polluted area) and plant them in your garden. You’ll have fresh greens and roots by winter.

Interesting Fact:

*Humans have even used dandelions in their research for engineering flight patterns; Scientists observe and learn from the way dandelions carry their seed in the wind (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07084-8).

 

Taraxacum covers almost 300 species of dandelions and is known practically all over the world. Dandelion also comes from the Sunflower family which is the largest of all plant kingdoms. Originally from Eurasia, t.officinal is the most prevalent in the northern hemisphere and is a member of the astereceae (Sunflower) family, like Daisies, Burdock, wild lettuce, Chamomile and Yarrow… to name a few. They are a free food growing virtually everywhere and is invaluable to the honey industry, (although one could argue that the flowers lack essential nutrients honey bees need). 

Dandelions are survival masters. They are tenacious and resourceful being able to survive in any environment while pulling up nutrients from the Earth. They are said to be the first food and medicine sources for all! They are still here, still powerful, still free flying… Need a nitrogen rich cover crop for your garden??? ...plant dandelion and then till it in!

Nature knows best, since dandelion greens are some of the first edibles to pop up in the spring, they are a great way to detox the liver and blood from all those heavy winter foods. Bitter Dandelion helps get things flowing again! And when harvested in the winter, the roots make a great laxative eaten in any form, all while replenishing nutrients. The roots are high in pectin fiber which alleviates constipation (also lowers cholesterol) and binds to toxins to removes them from the body.

 

It is known as a female herb for its hormone balancing and detoxing effects, its ability to reduce water weight gain during menus, and UTI’s. It is used in this formula and study https://patents.google.com/patent/US6143300A/en. This is all mainly due to its ability to remove excess hormones from the body thru urination.

 

In Chinese medicine: bitter food, helps break down fats a little quicker along with helping digestion, of course. It helps to cool the blood while reducing anger.

Ayurveda: it provides detoxification through the liver. Dandelion helps to pull excess heat out of the body, (especially the liver) and helps to cool the blood and neutralize any acids.

Making Herbal Vinegars and Ferments with your Dandelion

 For these I like to use just use the flower tops (pull out the petals) and young dark green leaves this helps to make a mineral rich tonic or condiment.

Vinegar and fermentation processes help leech out the minerals and nutrients in the plant and also make them more bioavailable to us when we consume them. Make an ACV infusion for about 3-4 weeks or more. Combine the vinegar and plant parts in a glass jar and give a gentle shake for a few weeks, then strain, bottle and use. Don’t use the metal tops, glass is best, or put some parchment or plastic in between the metal lid and the jar. Store in the fridge for best results.

I love making a kimchi/sauerkraut home-jobies with the leaves, florets and, usually some ramps and wild chives and a few wild carrots if I can find them, and garlic powder. Clean, chop and toss all the parts into a clean jar leaving plenty of room from the rim. Toss with salt and smush down with a clean stone or plate. Smash it down every day and check for liquid formation. Once it starts smelling good to you, Eat it! This can be done in dark room or in the fridge with a cloth cover.

Try adding other local plants you find to your brews like, mugwort tops, chickweed + nettles.

 

Dandelion Flower Essence:

Feeling its vibe? A flower essence can help you capture its subtle vibration to take on when your need to work and play be easy, flowing, carefree, less dense… Can also help to smooth out old tight knotted energy patterns in the muscles and tissue. Helps you to go with the flow with ease and balance.

Dandelion is subtle but strong enough to help those who struggle with compulsive behaviors (i.e. OCD, addictions, nervous habits, nail biting).

Dandelion is ruled by Jupiter:

Jupiter plants are airy, make a big display and are very low in density hence dandelions prolific Blowballs that just float away. The planet itself, is made up of mostly metallic hydrogen layers which surround a small core made of ice and rock. Although Jupiter has huge mass, it is very light, and free flowing.

Herbalists are familiar with the beneficial effects of Jupiter's herbs. In the body, this planet governs the liver and lungs. Its herbs are considered beneficial to these organs and to all diseases that stem from corruption of the blood. Liverwort, lungwort and selfheal are three Jupiter herbs used to promote healing of these kinds of infirmity. Plants of borage, sage and chervil bring Jupiter's beneficial influence into our herb beds and our salads.

Jupiter is known as "The Great Benefic," the planet of extreme good fortune (Culpepper). Where  Saturn plants set limits and boundaries, Jupiter plants expand them. Jupiter invites us to go beyond our limits, to stretch and expand our horizons by doing something entirely different. Jupiter insists that we don't become rigid or stale. Gardeners who experiment by planting even a few new varieties of plants each year are paying homage to Jupiter (Maggie Anderson). Those who share their harvest with others are living in accordance with the highest principles of this helper, “give away” planet.

Jupiter has a digestive and free flowing virtue, opposite of Saturn, so be sure you are not taking any Saturn Herbs as these two virtues will cancel each other out.

Having trouble with Jupiter retrograde, ask Dandelion for help with steadiness and ease during this "airy" transition.

Dandelion Nutrition Facts

Dandelion is rich in many nutrients yet low in calories. It contains a good amount of fiber as well as vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C.

One cup of chopped dandelion greens (55 grams) contains approximately:

  • 24.7 calories

  • 5.1 grams carbohydrates

  • 1.5 grams protein

  • 0.4 gram fat

  • 1.9 grams fiber

  • 428 micrograms vitamin K (535 percent DV)

  • 5,588 international units vitamin A (112 percent DV)

  • 19.3 milligrams vitamin C (32 percent DV)

  • 103 milligrams calcium (10 percent DV)

  • 1.7 milligrams iron (9 percent DV)

  • 1.9 milligrams vitamin E (9 percent DV)

  • 0.2 milligram manganese (9 percent DV)

Dandelion greens also contain a small amount of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and copper (https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2960?manu=&fgcd=&ds=).

My favorite Dandelion Recipes:

Dandelion flower fritters

Dandelion infused Honey

Raw leaves and flowers in meals

Constituents

Saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenols. However, the highest flavonoids, which are yellow, are found in extracts made from the flowers (all tests were done with both aqueous and methanol extracts).

Dandelion also contains glycosides and terapinoids which are reddish brown tannins and sometimes greenish or blue black (like if you over boil them). Each constituent was discovered using powdered extracts and then looking for outcomes, such as a brown ring mean glycosides.

*Alkaloids reduce headaches associated with hypertension and can protect against chronic diseases. *Saponins protect against hypercholesterolemia and have antibiotic properties. 

*Steroids and triterpenoids both work to reduce pain and inflammation. 

Mineral Content

 One study used Fresh leaves of Taraxacum officinale, washed, dried and ground to powdered form and then an extract was formed using ethanol. The extract was used for the various analysis including phytochemical, proximate, elemental analysis as well as antioxidant and antibacterial activity. Results: There is a high percentage of crude fiber followed by ash and carbohydrate contents and low in crude protein. The phytochemical screening revealed the presence of tannins, terpenes and phenolic compounds in the leaves.

The leaf extract possess some degree of antimicrobial activities on E. coli and S. aureus, while P. aeruginosa and Salmonella typhi showed no activity. 

The mineral elements of the leaves were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry finding tons of minerals, like Mg, Na (sodium), K, Ca (calcium), Mn, Fe (iron), Zn, Cu (Copper), Pb (lead) and Cr (chromiuim) to name a few. The results of this study indicated that the leaves are a potential sources of useful nutrients and could be used to fulfill the growing demands of plant-based foods. (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Amina_Muhammad4/publication/331230498_Asian_Journal_of_Biological_Sciences_Research_Article_Nutritional_and_Pharmacological_Potential_of_Ethanol_Leaves_Extract_of_Taraxacum_officinale/links/5c6d4cf94585156b570ba946/Asian-Journal-of-Biological-Sciences-Research-Article-Nutritional-and-Pharmacological-Potential-of-Ethanol-Leaves-Extract-of-Taraxacum-officinale.pdf)

 

Kills Cancer

Tea made from the leaves, flowers and roots helps to fight breast cancer (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18425335).

Not only breast cancer, but the root extract has been effective against several cancer cell models, with no toxicity to non-cancer cells (see below links) It “showed high cytotoxic effects (of leaf extract) against human liver cancer cells (HepG2)” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28699009).

 

“Kills chemo-resistant melanoma” The efficacy of dandelion root extract in inducing apoptosis in drug-resistant human melanoma cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21234313

Dandelion root extract targets the mitochondria of colon cancer cells (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5341965/)

Root extract killed 95% of colon cancer cells https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5341965/

Root kills Leukemia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3281857/

Roots kills pancreatic cancer cells “this study provides new scientific data on t.officinale and suggests that extracts (or individual components present in the extracts) may be of value as novel anti-cancer agents” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22647733).

Effective against breast cancer using aqueous extracts of leaves flowers and roots (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18425335).

Lowers Bad Cholesterol:

Both root and leaf educes bad cholesterol when eaten with fatty foods, which reduces the risk of heart disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820990/

Dandelion root and leaf could protect against oxidative stress linked atherosclerosis and decrease the atherogenic index.” (https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/11/1/67).

Protects and Heals the Liver:

Not only can it reverse liver damage and heal an unhealthy liver, the root and leaf can actually prevent liver damage when taken in stressful circumstances for your liver. It has the ability to prevent free-radical damage most likely due to the high amount of anti-oxidants (i.e.; overeating or drinking) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347918).

Liver herbs, especially dandelion root, can help with hay fever or allergies caused by the over-reaction of the liver to foreign protein bodies. A healthy liver is extremely important for individuals with sensitivities to pollen dust chemicals, mold, food, and animal hair.

A healthy liver produces an enzyme called histaminase which acts as a natural antihistamine to protect against and deactivate these foreign Invaders.

 

Anti-Microbial

Root alcohol extract has shown to be effective against Staph (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25644491) and e.coli (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c321/5a1549a6b4647ffdde8f51aed73dc2bb1932.pdf). Also, this study showed the leaf extract possess some degree of antimicrobial activities on E. coli and S. aureus. (Potential of Dandelion Leaf Tincture, 2019).

Effective against oral infections: http://impactfactor.org/PDF/IJPPR/8/IJPPR,Vol8,Issue10,Article6.pdf

Effective against urinary tract infections: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c321/5a1549a6b4647ffdde8f51aed73dc2bb1932.pdf. Also helps to rid the body of pathogenic influences.

 

Skin

Dandelion extract is efficient at cell renewal and cell turnover, so its ideal for healing the skin and anti-aging. Dandelion helps with inflammation, eczema, acne, and dark circles from iron deficiency.

 

Dandelion assists the Gallbladder:

The Gallbladder is mainly a storage organ that helps in the digestion of fat and helps to make bile more concentrated to increase its effect on fat cells. Meat eaters need the gallbladder to digest the high fat content. Dandelion helps the gallbladder release sludge if you’re a meat eater. And if you’ve had your gallbladder removed, then eating dandelion greens with your fatty, meaty meals will help break down and release fats from your body.  

 

Balances hormones

Balances levels with two compounds taraxerol and taraxasterol. They help to balance and treat menopause symptoms and PMs.

Also lowers blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin and helping to pee out the excess sugar, also helps to eliminate blood sugar spike.

Helps to cease over-reactions of the liver and production of the enzyme histamines ( a hormone) in response to allergens, including food allergies.

 

 

Diuretic properties

Eliminates water retention from anabolic steroids for body builders and water retention from PMS, removes toxins, assists with weight loss and prevents urinary tract infections with the help of dandelion’s anti-microbial activity.

The two flavonoids apigenin and luteolin act as a natural diuretic to help remove excess fluid and salt from the body which have been shown to lower blood pressure and treat a number of health-related problems including diabetes heart failure kidney and liver disorders.

Dandelions astringent nature helps to pull out excess fluids as well as toxic buildup in the liver where they tend to concentrate, and releases them through the urine. Because the roots are high in potassium it's a favorable choices as diuretics are known to leach potassium from the body. Dandelion leaves have the ability to protect the liver from oxidative damage and inflammation (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4661801/ & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20812277).

 

Weight loss and Digestion

High in choline (B4) helps to metabolize fats, so good for liver health, reduces congestion of the liver and optimize liver function. 

Taraxol & taraxacin are very bitter so it stimulates digestive fluids, salivary glands and hydrochloric acid in the stomach. 

These two constituents also stimulate bile production (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691513002561) which increases your metabolism and its diuretic properties help to excrete the fats resulting in weight loss and detox.  Dandelion also helps to protect from fatty liver and weight gain: “positively changed plasma antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid profiles in cholesterol-fed rabbits, and thus may have potential hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691513002561).

 

Diabetes 

As far as the pancreas goes, Dandelion is a very important herb when it comes to helping the pancreas to increase insulin, increasing insulin is beneficial for diabetics.

Kidneys

Helps the kidneys by purifying the blood, increasing urination and peeing out toxins. (Need reference)

 

Detoxing

Dandelion is always working to get tings flowing, in the bowls, in the lymph and in the organs, cellulite, hormones…that’s why they are known as the master cleanser. (Need Reference)

 

Folklore

A farmer noticed that his cattle’s milk was lacking that good ½” of cream that comes from raw milk he’d always noticed growing up on the farm. One day while looking in his pastures it occurred to him there were no dandelions due to agricultural eradication and done by so many other farmers for miles around, well, country wide. He wondered if the milk in the dandelions was a key component to producing rich cow’s milk, after all, it’s been used for as long as we can remember to encourage lactation for new mothers; cows and humans are both mammals who produce milk…so…. He decided to do a little experiment and began hand feeding his cows every day with dandelions and sure enough, overtime, their milk was restored to the rich and creamy topped raw milk he’d always grown up with. It’s no surprise they have been used in herbal medicine to induce lactation in new Moms. And through my research I found that “Dandelion contains Galactagon which stimulates milk production”.

 

According to Native American herbalism, no more than three fresh doses of an aqueous solutions should be made at a time from the fresh leaves, stem and sap.

PLANTS teach us so, so much!

Contraindications:

May interact with the anti-biotic quinolone (ciprofloxacin). Because dandelion acts as a natural diuretic, it may affect the excretion of lithium from the body. Consult with your doctor if you are taking lithium to determine if dandelion is right for you.

Final Thoughts….

 As an excellent liver cleanser, dandelion aids in increasing the output of the liver as well as the flow of bile into the intestines and the activity of the pancreas and spleen. This makes it a great treatment for hepatitis, yellow jaundice, and other liver-related problems. By helping to purify the blood, dandelion helps with certain types of anemia. Certain acids that build up in the blood due to weight loss are known to be destroyed by dandelion. It also helps with low blood pressure and builds energy as well as endurance.

 Dandelion is excellent for female organs as well. It is known to enrich breast milk in nursing mothers which benefits both mother and child. It is also known to aid women suffering from premenstrual syndrome, and they may find that the diuretic action of dandelion helps to relieve some of the symptoms, while the compounds taraerxol and taraxasterol help to balance hormones.
 
The flowers of dandelion are a rich source of lecithin. This is the essential nutrient that elevates the brain’s acetylcholine.  This means that it may help retard or stop regression of mental ability caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Lecithin also aids the body in maintaining good liver function. Dandelion also helps to open the urinary passages as part of its cleansing process. Proper kidney function is essential for living healthy. The sesquiterpene lactones (bitter) compounds found in both dandelion leaf and dandelion roots have diuretic effects. This diuretic effect of dandelion leaf is important in cleansing the kidney because it increases urination.  This increase in urination helps to remove certain toxins from the kidney. (
https://www.naturesformulaforhealthyliving.com/natures-formula-dandelion).

PS. Don't worry about saving your dandelions for the Bees tho... find out why here.

 

 

References

1. NOVA Science Publishers 2007: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Md_Islam228/publication/273004369_ZERO-WASTE_MULTIPLE_USES_OF_JATROPHA_AND_DANDELION/links/553708830cf218056e954ae3/ZERO-WASTE-MULTIPLE-USES-OF-JATROPHA-AND-DANDELION.pdf

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16380590

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820990/

4. https://www.nature.com/articles/jhh201446

Dr. Josh Axe https://draxe.com/dandelion-root/

Potential of Dandelion Leaf tincture, 2019: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Amina_Muhammad4/publication/331230498_Asian_Journal_of_Biological_Sciences_Research_Article_Nutritional_and_Pharmacological_Potential_of_Ethanol_Leaves_Extract_of_Taraxacum_officinale/links/5c6d4cf94585156b570ba946/Asian-Journal-of-Biological-Sciences-Research-Article-Nutritional-and-Pharmacological-Potential-of-Ethanol-Leaves-Extract-of-Taraxacum-officinale.pdf

 

NrF2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28026992 NrF2 A study, examines “the neuroprotective effects of ethanol extracts of this plant (ETOW) on glutamate-induced oxidative stress in HT22 cells. Both cell viability and reactive oxygen species (ROS) assays showed that ETOW effectively attenuated glutamate-induced cytotoxicity and ROS generation. Furthermore, our results revealed that ETOW increased the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and promoted the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2). The inhibitory effects of ETOW on glutamate-stimulated cell toxicity and ROS production were partially reversed by tin protoporphyrin (SnPP), an HO activity inhibitor. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ETOW can protect HT22 cells against glutamate-induced oxidative damage by inducing the Nrf2/HO-1 pathways. This study supports the idea that Taraxacum officinale Wigg. is a promising agent for preventing” neurodegenerative diseases. *Various secondary plant metabolites such sesquiterpene, aslactones, triterpenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, coumarins, and steroids have also been found in T. officinale. We analyzed the leaves and roots of the common dandelion (T. officinale) using high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to determine its sesquiterpene lactone composition. The main compound of the leaf extract taraxinic acid β-d-glucopyranosyl ester (1), a sesquiterpene lactone, was isolated and the structure elucidation was conducted by nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry. The leaf extract and its main compound (1) activated the transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in human hepatocytes more significantly than the root extract. Furthermore, the leaf extract induced the Nrf2 target gene heme oxygenase 1. Overall, present data suggest that compound 1 may be one of the active principles of T. officinale.

Dr. David Purlmutter: https://www.drperlmutter.com/pick-dandelion-greens/ Dandelion greens are rich in a particular prebiotic fiber called inulin. Inulin, also found in foods like chicory root, Mexican yam, and Jerusalem artichoke, enhances the gut’s production of friendly bacteria, like the bifidobacteria group. Boosting bifidobacteria has a number of benefits including helping to reduce the population of potentially damaging bacteria, enhancing bowel movements, and actually helping boost immune function. New research demonstrates that higher levels of bifidobacteria may reduce colonic enzymes that may be involved in enhancing the carcinogenic effect of certain chemicals. rich in prebiotic fiber, like dandelion greens to your daily menu.

Culpepper: “cleansing and opening quality” http://www.skyscript.co.uk/dandelion.html

Scott, Timothy Lee (2010) Invasive Medicinal Plants. The Ecological Healing benefits and Healing Abilities of Invasives

Susan G. Komen (2019). Dandelion root and leaf are used widely in Europe for stomach and intestine conditions. Dandelion is authorized by the German Commission E to treat bile duct abnormalities, appetite loss, indigestion, and stimulation of urination https://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/Dandelion.html

On Jupiter: Reference: http://www.skyscript.co.uk/dandelion.html. & http://stariq.com/Main/Articles/P0001553.HTM

*This site is for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anyone or anything.

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