Dandelions are sometimes overlooked when people talk about healthy herbs, but they offer a lot more than you might think.
Dandelion (Latin name: Taraxacum officinale) is a flowering plant that means “Lion’s Tooth” (in French). The plant has a yellow flower head, which as we all know, has an interesting phase of its blooming cycle, when the whole head is made of a hundreds of small florets that can be dispersed in the air by the blowing wind, something that we often find very amusing to do ourselves, and make a wish.
But as we said, this fella’s benefits expand far beyond the amusement of blowing its florets, especially when it’s consumed in the form of a highly beneficial tea. Kiss Me Organics have put their efforts into making premium organic dandelion tea, whose flavor and nutritional value is enhanced with hibiscus and cinnamon to delight every fan of the herbal medicine.
Nutrition facts and health benefits of dandelion
Dandelion is rich in both vitamins and minerals. The vitamins included in its structure are: riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, vitamin C (for the record, the herb provides 58% of the RDI for vitamin C), and vitamin E.
Another astonishing fact is that dandelion is one of the best vitamin K sources there is, as a 100g serving delivers around 650% of the recommended daily allowance for this vitamin.
The sweet little dandelion’s hidden vitamin power doesn’t end here, because the herb is also an excellent source of vitamin A, with 338% of the RDI for it.
On the other hand, the minerals found present in dandelion are: potassium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
The leaves of dandelion are a good fiber source (per 100g of plant deliver 8% of the RDA).
Dandelion’s leaves are also loaded with particular anti-oxidant orientated flavonoids like crypto-xanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein, alpha carotene, and beta-carotene.
It’s also worth noting that dandelion root contains certain crystalline nutrients like Taraxacin, and an acrid resin called Taraxacerin, as well as levulin and inulin. All of these compounds contribute to the herb’s therapeutic properties.
Dandelion has a positive influence on eye, skin, and mucus membrane health, because of its high vitamin A content. Furthermore, dandelion milk is very effective against fungal and microbial infections, hence it’s also a good choice when you want something to relieve a skin disease.
Since dandelion is a great natural diuretic, it is very helpful in cleaning the urinary tract and the kidneys from toxins and stones, plus the antimicrobial properties of the flower may prohibit microbes from growing in the urinary system.
The yellow bloomed flower is widely known for its ability to treat liver disorders. First of all, the plant’s high content of particular antioxidants like luteolin and vitamin C, stimulate the liver’s proper functioning and prevent it from premature aging, while other constituents help to treat bleeding within the liver.
Another property of dandelion is its ability to preserve a normal flow of the bile, which on its part also improves the liver health.
Dandelion benefits the gastrointestinal tract. One of the reasons for this is the fact the flower packs a very decent amount of dietary fiber, which as we all know is crucial to keeping a smooth bowel movement and prevent constipation.
Image credit: livestrong.com
Dandelion is a fantastic natural supplement for diabetics. That’s owing to several reasons. First, the plant stimulates the production of insulin from the pancreas, which helps drop the blood sugar levels. Another way dandelion assists in this matter, is via its diuretic property, thanks to which increased urination is incited, and increased urination helps lead excessive amounts of sugar away from the body.
Dandelions are a worthy cancer-preventative plant, because they contain antioxidants such as luteolin and vitamin C, and are efficient as a detoxifying supplement, which may help prevent the formation or spreading of tumors.
Since we already said a few words about dandelion and its relation to bile and the liver, it’s only right to say that the herb is a good jaundice-preventative medicine. By boosting the proper work of the liver and the good flow of the bile, dandelion may help the organ avoid overproducing of bile fluid, which is actually the reason for jaundice.
Among the many health benefits of dandelion is its ability to lower the high blood pressure. It’s no coincidence that some of the modern medicines for high blood pressure are based on this precious plant. Again, to back this, we’ll appeal to the diuretic qualities of dandelion, and the fact it increases urination frequency and quantity (increased urination helps lower blood pressure). Other justifiable reasons for the blood pressure-lowering properties of dandelion, are its high potassium content (potassium helps replace sodium in the blood), and its fiber content (fiber helps lower the bad LDL cholesterol, and as we know, high LDL cholesterol levels are one of the culprits for high blood pressure).
If you are a diabetic and you’re already taking blood sugar-regulating medications, please consult with your health care provider before consuming dandelion internally, as it can interact with the medications, and possibly cause another dangerous condition called hypoglycemia. Secondly, part of the fiber in dandelion is the soluble one called inulin, to which some individuals may have an allergy.