Dandelion: 15 beneficial and 4 harmful properties
Dandelion is a weed that is ubiquitous in meadows, roads, wastelands, and vegetable gardens. The spectrum of medicinal properties of this plant is very wide. Let’s consider them in our article in more detail: composition, preparation, use, recipes.
The medicinal dandelion is a perennial from the Asteraceae family with a rosette of elongated leaves pressed to the ground. All parts of the plant contain a milky sap.
Benefits (medicinal properties) of dandelion
- Regulation of the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. May stimulate gastric secretion and aid in the breakdown of fat.
- Prolongs youth.
- Protect the body from cancer. Because it contains a large amount of antioxidants, , micro and macroelements.
- Boosts immunity. It is worth noting that dandelion flowers are most beneficial when restoring the body after operations, long-term antibiotic treatment and weakened immunity. Promotes rapid and intensive reimbursement of the deficiency of essential substances, improves blood composition, increases the body’s defenses.
- Reduces cholesterol levels. Animal studies have assessed the potential lipid-lowering properties of dandelion root and have a beneficial effect on high-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol) in the blood while lowering serum levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol).
- As a laxative for cholelithiasis. Contains compounds that can aid the digestive process by speeding up gastric emptying.
- Diuretic and choleretic action . Dandelion ethanol extract has a diuretic effect. Therefore, it can be used to treat diabetes mellitus, kidney stones, atherosclerosis.
- Antidiabetic properties. They are manifested due to the presence of biologically active chemical components: sesquiterpene lactones, taraxasterol, taraxerol, chlorogenic acid and chicoric acid.
- Anthelmintic, antiradiation and antitoxic agent – useful in the treatment of paresis and paralysis.
- Strengthens the musculoskeletal system. Dandelion leaves are an excellent source of vitamin K and calcium, which can help increase bone density, inhibit bone loss, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Taraxasterol, found in dandelion, has a beneficial effect on arthritis symptoms by modulating inflammatory responses.
- Wound healing, pain reliever. The property is used to remove warts, inflammation of the skin, bites of poisonous insects.
- Anti-inflammatory property. Sesquiterpene lactones and other phenolic substances found in dandelion have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is why dandelion can help reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
- Normalization of blood pressure levels. Dandelion is a good source of potassium. This means it will help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
- Increased lactation in nursing mothers.
- Toning effect – eliminates the feeling of fatigue.
Interesting: the favorite dish of the great Goethe was a green dandelion salad with nettles.
Dandelion harm and contraindications
- Dandelion medicines should not be used for ulcers and gastritis.
- Overdose can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders.
- Dandelion, due to the same vitamin K, can lead to open bleeding. This is especially important for expectant mothers and nursing women to know.
- May cause an allergic reaction.
Where does the dandelion grow
Dandelion is widespread in areas with disturbed natural vegetation. Especially often seen near housing. It blooms in spring and early summer, sometimes in autumn.
When to collect, how to store
Unfortunately, dandelion has an unpleasant property – to absorb lead from exhaust gases, which makes plants harvested along the highway unsuitable for nutrition. It is recommended to collect it away from industrial areas and roads.
Leaves – in spring, early May, until the plant blooms (young leaves are almost devoid of bitterness).
Roots – the maximum concentration of nutrients is reached in autumn. Rinse and dry in the shade, in a well-ventilated room away from direct sunlight, stirring occasionally.
Inflorescences – during flowering, carefully trimming flower baskets.
It is better to store in paper or cloth bags for no more than 5 years.
The chemical composition of the plant
Dandelion Nutritional Value (100g) and Percent Daily Values:
- calories 45 kcal – 2.7%;
- proteins 2.7 g – 3.6%;
- fats 0.7 g – 1.3%;
- carbohydrates 5.7 g – 2.6%;
- dietary fiber – 3.5 g – 17.5%;
- water – 86 g – 3.15%.
Dandelion is a weed and turns out to be so healthy.
But it should be remembered that from excessive abuse, even the most useful product and the best medicine turn into a poison for the human body. Everything is fine in moderation and it is always worth consulting with your doctor.
Beneficial features of Dandelion
- Regulates the activity of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Prolongs youth.
- Protects against cancer.
- Boosts immunity.
- Reduces cholesterol levels.
- As a laxative.
- Diuretic and choleretic action.
- Helps treat diabetes.
- Anthelmintic, antiradiation and antitoxic.
- Strengthens the musculoskeletal system.
- Wound healing, pain reliever.
- Anti-inflammatory property.
- Normalizes blood pressure.
- Strengthening lactation.
- Toning effect.
- Good for skin and hair.
Harmful properties of Dandelion
- Can trigger allergies.
- Cannot be used for ulcers and gastritis.
- Overdose can lead to gastrointestinal disorders.