Herbal Profile: Dandelion |
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Herbal Profile: Dandelion

Sarena-Rae Santos May 4, 2016

By Sarena-Rae Santos, contributing writer

What is Dandelion

Dandelions are also known as blowball, puffball, lion’s tooth, Pu gong ying, swine snout, wild endive, or their botanical name, Taraxacum officinale. Dandelions are native to Eurasia but have since been introduced to North America, South America, India, Australia, New Zealand, and other locations where Europeans have migrated (1). Dandelions are bright yellow flowers commonly known as weeds that are easily identifiable by the characteristic of their teeth-like leaves, which point back toward the center of the basal rosette (2). 

Health Benefits of Dandelion

Dandelions aren’t just a weed in your backyard. Actually, in traditional herbal medicine, dandelions are widely acknowledged for their vast array of medicinal properties, including: 

Highly Nutritious

Did you know the entire dandelion, from root to flower, is edible? Not only is it palatable, but it is also highly nutritious. Dandelions can be eaten in their raw form or cooked. They are rich in vitamins A, C, K, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium while also containing small amounts of vitamins E, B, and even folate (3). I recommend Earthley’s Nourish Her Naturally or Nourish Me Naturally for these benefits.

May Support Healthy Digestion

Again, the entire dandelion, from root to flower, is edible. The root of the dandelion is rich in carbohydrate-insulin, a type of soluble fiber found in plants that supports the growth and maintenance of healthy bacterial flora in the intestinal tract (4). Traditional herbal medicine has used dandelions to treat constipation and other symptoms of digestive distress. One study found that dandelion extract significantly increased the rate of stomach contractions and emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine of rats (5). I recommend Earthley’s Digest Support {Digestive Bitters} for these benefits.

May Promote a Healthy Liver

Studies have found that dandelions protect the liver tissue from toxic substances and stress. One study revealed that dandelion leaf extract significantly protected the liver tissue of mice exposed to harmful acetaminophen levels (6). Another study found that dandelion extract may reduce the excess fat levels stored in the liver and even protect against oxidative stress in the liver tissue (7). I recommend Earthley’s Liver Love for these benefits.

Rich In Antioxidants & May Boost Your Immune System

Dandelions are packed with potent antioxidants, which help neutralize or prevent the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. The buildup of free radicals has been linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. Dandelions contain high levels of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is known to protect against cellular damage and oxidative stress (8). Dandelions are also full of other antioxidants called polyphenols, found in the flower’s roots, leaves, and stems (9). I recommend Earthley’s Immune-Biotic for these benefits.

May Help Fight Inflammation

Dandelion is said to be an effective way to reduce inflammation due to the presence of polyphenols within the flower. One test-tube study found that treating inflammation with dandelion compounds significantly reduced cell inflammation markers (10). Another mouse study found a significant reduction of lung inflammation in mice treated with dandelion with artificially induced lung disease (11).

May Aid In Controlling Blood Sugar

Several studies have found that dandelions have two bioactive compounds called chicoric and chlorogenic acid; these compounds are found in all flower parts and may help reduce blood sugar. The blood sugar lowering effect occurs because these two compounds can improve insulin secretion from the pancreas while simultaneously improving glucose absorption in muscle tissue, leading to improved insulin sensitivity and reduced blood sugar levels (12). In one study, chicoric and chlorogenic acid limited the digestion of starchy carbohydrate foods, reducing blood sugar (13).

May Reduce Cholesterol

Those same bioactive compounds that may aid in controlling blood sugar may also reduce cholesterol levels. One animal study found that mice treated with dandelion extract had dramatically reduced their cholesterol and triglyceride levels (14). Another study on rabbits found that adding dandelion roots and leaves to a high-cholesterol diet reduced their cholesterol levels (15).

May Lower Blood Pressure

Traditional herbal medicine has used dandelions for their diuretic effect and is believed to detoxify specific organs. In Western medicine, diuretic medications are used to eliminate the body of excess fluid, leading to a decrease in blood pressure. Dandelions contain potassium, a mineral that can lead to and is often associated with lowering blood pressure (16). One study found that dandelion was an effective diuretic (17).

May Help Fight Cancer

Dandelion can potentially prevent the growth of cancerous cells in many different organ systems. A test-tube study found dandelion leaf extract significantly reduced the growth of cancerous cells, although dandelion flower or root did not have the same results (18). Other test-tube studies found that dandelion root extract did slow the growth of cancer cells in the liver, colon, and pancreatic tissue (19, 20, 21).

Safety Concerns

Trusted herbalist Richard Whelan states that dandelion can be used for all ages, from very young infants to pregnant or breastfeeding women, without hesitation (22).

How to Use Dandelion

You can find dandelions in dried bulk, teas, capsules, powders, extracts, oils, or tinctures.  Tinctures always contain the most concentrated amount of herbs. Teas and soups are also options, especially when following ayurvedic medicine recipes. If you’re a DIY person, some great starter recipes are:

Follow the recommendations of any supplement; some of my recommendations include:

  • Earthley’s Calm and Clarity helps promote a calm mood and mental clarity. Those who could use a little help cutting through brain fog and focusing on a task may benefit from this herbal extract.
  • Earthley’s Cough-B-Gone is an herbal tincture created to help relieve colds, coughs, and congestion. Rather than use synthetic, chemical-tasting cough syrups, nourish your body and support the respiratory system with the natural power of herbs.
  • Earthley’s Digest Support {Digestive Bitters} relieve gas, bloating, and digestive distress. These natural bitters promote better nutrient absorption –alleviating symptoms like gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea.
  • Earthley’s Energy Plus {Herbal Iron}  is made with herbs rich in iron and vitamin C to increase energy naturally. This tincture supports a natural energy boost, endurance throughout the day, and restful sleep at night. Unlike synthetic vitamins, our herbal iron provides natural energy from the earth in amounts your body can adequately absorb.
  • Earthley’s Immune-Biotic is the perfect go-to herbal remedy for when you are feeling under the weather and need something fast. This tincture uses the natural power of immune-supporting herbs to give your body a jump start to fight off a cold. Take for three to seven days and kick sickness to the curb.
  • Earthley’s Liver Love promotes liver health by supporting detox and proper function. The liver is a critical, hard-working organ and this herbal tincture provides 100% natural support.
  • Earthley’s Mama’s Tummy Relief supports healthy liver function, banishes bloating and nausea, and promotes gut health. While it was formulated for expecting mamas, it’s also perfect for anyone with a general stomach upset!
  • Earthley’s Moisturize Me Oily is an all-natural and botanical moisturizer. Formulated with non-comedogenic and hydrating essential oils, this product replenishes skin. Moisturize Me is food for the face that will nourish skin to relieve concerns like acne and dryness.
  • Earthley’s Natural Balance was for women struggling with the ups and downs of hormones. This herbal remedy can help steady hormone levels and provide increased energy, calmness, and sleep quality. It is made with all-natural ingredients without those OTC medications that have unwanted side effects.
  • Earthley’s Nourish Her Naturally is an herbal multivitamin made to fortify, improve, and nurture the female body. This tincture includes herbs packed with vitamins and minerals to help balance hormones, boost energy levels, and promote overall wellness. Herbal multivitamins use the power of nature rather than isolated mega-doses, which can create imbalances in the body.
  • Earthley’s Nourish Me Naturally herbal multivitamin for everyone is the organic way to help your body get the nutrients it needs. Formulated to provide your body with safe and adequate levels of vitamins and minerals it can adequately absorb, made from actual, whole herbs; not isolates or synthetics.
  • Earthley’s Pain Potion is an herbal tincture that helps relieve headaches and other body pains. Earthley combines five herbs to extract their anti-inflammatory, cooling, and soothing properties to help relax muscles and ease the pain. Skip the OTC pills and their dangerous side effects and opt for the natural help that Pain Potion can provide.
  • Earthley’s Postpartum Balance was created especially for mamas to help break down no-longer-needed pregnancy hormones, support hormone balance, and helps to lessen bleeding for an easier fourth trimester.
  • Earthley’s Pregnancy Tea is a nourishing brew to support a healthy pregnancy! Every mom wants to ensure she and the baby get everything they need. Pregnancy Tea can help! This herbal formula contains all the nutrients you may miss in one tea blend.
  • Earthley’s Sinus Saver is an herbal tincture that provides natural support during allergy season and beyond! Enjoy relief from sneezes, sniffles, sinus pressure, watery eyes, and other annoying allergy symptoms. Sinus Saver uses the power of herbs to help clear the body of excess histamines and calm allergic reactions.
  • Earthley’s UT-Relief promotes urinary tract health and relieves symptoms of UTIs. Take it daily as a preventative if you have frequent UTIs or at the first signs of one to reduce pain and other symptoms naturally.
  • Earthley’s Vaccine Detox is an herbal tincture that helps to restore wellness post-vaccination by supporting gut health. Six herbs combine to help heal leaky gut, support liver health, and boost the immune system, while chlorella powder removes heavy metals from the body. Whether you have taken a vaccine recently or in the past, had a vaccine injury, or are simply looking to detox from the toxins around you, this tincture is for you!

Disclaimer: This post is not intended as medical advice.  These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and nothing in this post is intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything.  If you have questions, please do your own research or seek advice from a health professional.

If you have dandelion in your natural medicine cabinet, how do you use it?

This is the writings of:

Sarena-Rae Santos is the founder of The Holistic Hipppie blog, dedicated to natural health and plant-based eating. Her journey to natural health began in 2019 when she swayed away from allopathic medicine after becoming wheelchair-bound due to the side effects of 20+ medications. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and dizziness due to nystagmus were the sources of her many health complications. Sarena's symptoms diminished after adopting a healthier lifestyle surrounding whole foods and herbs, leaving her a fantastic quality of life and a passion for educating people.
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  1. Can you use the flower? If so, how would you go about drying it? Thanks.

    Reply

  2. I make tinctures every year with dandelion and vodka. My husband takes 1 tbsp in 1 cup of water morning and night to help clean his system from the toxic drugs after a stroke. My mother in law uses it to help keep her teeth enamel strong (verified with a dentist). I use it to help keep my liver clean with the effects of type 1 diabetes.

    Reply

  3. […] your liver daily. Supplement in capsule form or tea milk thistle and dandelion root to keep your liver in top shape to detoxify the most it […]

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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