Most of us do all that we can to get rid of those unruly yellow sprouts in our yards. But, when it comes to the health benefits of these common roots, dandelions are more friend than foe. Dandelions can be used in a number of different ways and are particularly effective for treating common ailments like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and immune disorders.
What Are Dandelion Roots?
Dandelion used in the health world is the very same weed that invades your lawn, garden, or even sidewalk. While they do grow in a number of different locales, you won’t want to collect your dandelions from just anywhere. Be sure to either grow your own or find a location where the plants are not exposed to pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemicals.
How Are Dandelions Good for Health?
The sunny plant is a rich source of beta-carotene, which your body uses to convert to vitamin A. The plant is also abundant in vitamin C, phosphorus, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and a number of other nutrients. This common garden “weed” is also a good source of B complex vitamins, trace minerals, and vitamin D. Dandelion even contains more protein than spinach.
What Health Conditions Can Dandelion Treat?
The plant boasts a variety of health benefits that range from reducing inflammation to detoxing the kidneys and supporting digestion. Dandelion can treat a number of common health conditions.
Dandelion contains specific compounds that help regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels.
2. High Blood Pressure
Dandelion is a diuretic that increases urination and lowers blood pressure. It also contains a high concentration of fiber and potassium, which also help regulate blood pressure.
3. High Cholesterol
The innate compounds available in dandelion help lower cholesterol levels. The herb may even increase your good cholesterol levels.
Dandelion contains important fatty acids and phytonutrients. These compounds help reduce inflammation throughout your body and treat problems and blockages with your gallbladder. It also helps relieve pain and swelling.
The leaves of the dandelion are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. These nutrients function to slow the growth of cancer.
What Are a Few Traditional Recipes for Using Dandelion Roots?
You can use dandelions in fresh or dried form.
To prepare fresh dandelion leaves, wash the leafy stem and root of your dandelion and mix them into a salad or other green mixture just like you would any other leafy vegetable.
Dried Dandelion Tincture
To dry dandelions for use, cleanse the leaves like you would for fresh. Then hang the herb from its roots until dried. Once dried, you can grind the herb up and add 1 part dried dandelion root to 3 parts alcohol and 2 parts water. Allow the tincture to sit for 2 weeks, shaking daily. Then strain the tincture through cheesecloth to remove any bits and store in a sealed glass container. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons daily.
If you’ve never looked at dandelion with anything other than contempt, hopefully now you can see that it does have some benefit. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you.