Dandelion is well-known as a sturdy, prolific weed that often grows unwanted in gardens, lawns, fields and playgrounds, but it’s actually an herb that has many benefits. From the dandelion leaves and roots to its stems and flowers, every part of this plant is useful. Read on to find out more about the benefits of dandelion herb and the ways you can use it to your health’s advantage.
16 Dandelion Benefits You Should Know About
Dandelion has a long history of medicinal use, particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as well as traditional Arabic, Indian and Russian medical systems. This herb may be beneficial for your well-being by helping to:
1. Fight free radicals — Studies have shown that dandelion extract contains phenolic components that may help inhibit oxidative damage.
2. Reduce the risk for cancer — According to a study published in the journal Oncotarget, aqueous dandelion root extract may be a safe and effective alternative to chemotherapies, as it “efficiently and selectively triggers programmed cell death pathways.”
3. Lower cholesterol levels — An animal study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences evaluated the potential hypolipidemic properties of dandelion root and leaf extract. Researchers found that it may help improve levels of high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) while reducing serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol).
4. Reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes — According to a study published in the Journal of the Society for Biomedical Diabetes Research, the bioactive components in dandelion, which includes sesquiterpene lactones, taraxasterol (TS), taraxerol, CGA and CRA, may have potential antidiabetic actions.
5. Inhibit inflammation — The sesquiterpene lactones and other phenolic substances present in dandelion have been found to contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. By fighting inflammation, dandelion may help reduce the risk for inflammation-related diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
6. Regulate blood pressure levels — Dandelion may help lower blood pressure levels and reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases with its hypolipidemic property.30 It’s also a good source of potassium,31 which may help normalize blood pressure levels by regulating the effects of sodium and easing the tension of the blood vessel walls.
7. Maintain healthy weight — According to a study published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, bitter herbs like dandelion root may be taken as a liquid or tea before eating to help “stimulate gastric secretions and promote fat and cholesterol breakdown.”
8. Improve digestion — An animal study in the journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility found that dandelion contains compounds that may help decrease the resistance of food moving from the stomach to the small intestine, ultimately accelerating the gastric emptying rate.
9. Boost immune function — Dandelion may help support optimal immune health with its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Alleviate arthritis symptoms — According to an animal study published in the journal Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, the taraxasterol component of dandelion may help reduce the symptoms of arthritis by modulating inflammatory responses.
11. Reduce the risk for urinary tract infections (UTI) — A study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that dandelion extract may be a potential alternative to antibiotics for the management of UTI because of its “antibacterial activity against uropathogenic clinical bacteria.”
12. Support healthy liver function — A study published in the journal Environmental Toxicology found that dandelion leaf extract exerts hepatoprotective properties against sodium dichromate, a pollutant that may cause acute liver damage, hepatocyte necrosis and DNA fragmentation.
13. Promote healthy skin — Based on the study in the Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity journal, dandelion leaf and flower extract may help reduce the risk for skin photoaging by protecting against UVB damage and suppressing the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
14. Reduce the risk for anemia — A study published in the journal Advances in Hematology investigated dandelion’s traditional use for managing anemia by evaluating its effects on the blood cells of mice. Results show that dandelion extract may help increase levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin.
15. Provide natural diuretic properties — According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the ethanolic extract of dandelion “shows promise as a diuretic in humans.” Diuretics are used to help decrease the sodium in your body or to manage water retention.
16. Improve bone health — Dandelion greens are an excellent source of vitamin K and calcium, which are nutrients that may help improve bone density, inhibit bone loss and reduce the risk for osteoporosis and bone fracture.
Source: 16 Health Benefits of Dandelion