If you are an enthusiastic gardener or just love to be outdoors, you may believe like many others that the proliferation of the dandelion plant is the bugbear of the environment.
Dandelion root may be considered by many as the bane of gardeners’ existence, but did you know that dandelion root is a great food choice, that is chock full of medicinal properties that can help treat diseases and even fight cancer?
Studies show this incredibly edible, root (can eat the stems, leaves, flowers and roots) has been used traditionally to treat:
- Anemia (high in iron and zinc)
- Scurvy (vitamin C)
- skin problems
- blood disorders
- Dandelion root is very high in calcium, one of the essential minerals for healthy bones and teeth. It is said to contain 10% of the recommended daily requirement of calcium. It can help prevent tooth decay and reduce muscle tension.
2. Fights Skin Infections
- Studies suggest that dandelion can prevent skin infections and help you get rid of acne and promote healthy skin. It is also used as a skin toner and blood tonic.
- It is believed to help fight fungi, bacteria and pesticides and claims to help reduce irritation from acne, eczema, ringworm, psoriasis and other skin infections.
3. Digestive Aid
Dandelion root is also said to be a digestive tonic that acts as a mild laxative because of its high fiber content.
- It improves digestion and appetite
- Enhances healthy gut flora to reduce gas and bloating
- Increases the release of stomach acids during digestion
- Is good for upset stomach
4. Diuretic Properties
- Dandelion root is also said to have a diuretic effect on the liver and kidneys, by stimulating these organs to help expel excess water and sugar from the system. The liver and kidneys play an important role in filtering toxins out of the system.
5. Good Source of Vitamin A (beta-carotene)
- Contains a whopping 110%of the daily recommended requirement of vitamin A
- Evidence suggests it is one of the most important nutrients to help fight the symptoms of depression due to its high content of vitamin B complex, a mood stabilizer.
- It improves immune function by fighting viral infections, fungi, etc.
- Maintains healthy vision and improves nerve functions
- Helps fight premature aging
6. Controls Diabetes, Hypertension and Cholesterol
- Studies show that dandelion stimulates the production of insulin and keeps blood sugar levels low by reducing fat levels (lipids).
- The fiber and potassium content in dandelion is said to help regulate blood pressure levels by increasing good cholesterol (HDL)
7. Reduces Inflammation
- Dandelion is also rich in Vitamins C, which helps absorb minerals from other foods
- It contains fatty acids, antioxidants, and plant nutrients that help reduce inflammation levels in the body
- Its anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve pain and swelling and treat muscle soreness
8. High in Vitamin K
Studies suggest dandelion root is very high in vitamin K and exceeds the recommended daily requirement of vitamin K. Numerous ongoing studies seem to indicate that the vitamin K in dandelion may play an important role in cancer treatment by retarding the growth of cancer cells and may also help in reducing the risk of prostate cancer and other types of cancer.
9. Improves Liver and Gallbladder Functions
Dandelion has also been shown to improve healthy liver and gallbladder function by:
- Helping to reduce gallstones and other obstructions in the gallbladder
- Increasing bile production to help metabolize fat during digestion; another function of a healthy gallbladder.
Here are some practical ways to maximize dandelion into your regular diet:
- Salads: Increasingly, persons are adding dandelion stems to fresh salads, dips, sauces and seafood to increase nutrition.
- Dandelion tea is also said to be very beneficial: (simply steep the roots & flowers for 30 minutes in boiling water).
- A kind of coffee-like beverage can also be made from roasted dandelion root to make a refreshing drink: (clean the root and chop in a food processor. Place roots on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 300ᵒ for about 2 hours. To use, let the roots steep in boiling water 10 minutes before use).
1 cup of dandelion tea contains:
- 42 milligrams of sodium
- 10% calcium
- 110% vitamin A
- 535% vitamin K
- 5% magnesium
- 32% vitamin C
- 5% vitamin B6
- 7% dietary fiber
- 5% carbohydrates
- 218 milligrams of potassium
This amazing root may be easily overlooked as a superfood. You can grow your own for its nutritional benefits. It is also said to be environmentally friendly, adding nitrogen and minerals to the top soil which can help weaker plants thrive. It is said to also attract pollinating insects and releases ethylene gas that helps fruit ripen.
Adonia Dennis ( @adoniadennis ), by profession a Health, Beauty and Skin Care adviser. She provides solution related to health and beauty problems. She is an independent researcher who researches for all type of skin related issues. She is a featured blogger at huffingtionpost.com and sheknows.com and share her views on health, fitness and diet. Visit Adonia on Facebook , Google+ , and Pinterest .