Dandelion is a plant that should be consumed often for its beneficial effects; all parts of the plant can be used.
The dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, has beneficial effects on the body and it is no coincidence that it has been used in folk medicine for centuries. It can help the optimal functioning of the liver and eliminate excess water.
Many people think of dandelion as a simple weed or, better still, a cute little yellow flower, not knowing that it has many important uses. What makes it special is that every part of it from the root to the leaves, stems and flowers can be eaten.
The health benefits of dandelions
Supportive to the liver
Dandelion root has long been known as a liver tonic in folk medicine, and its effects on liver function have been studied in scientific circles. Dandelion root tea, for example, has been shown to be of great help in the detoxification of the liver. A study performed in 2017 found that it has beneficial effects on liver function thanks to the polysaccharides it contains, and research has also shown that it can alleviate the adverse effects of paracetamol-containing drugs.
In 2010, scientists also found that dandelion tea dramatically increased the amount of detoxifying enzymes in the liver, and in 2015 it was listed in the journal Alternative Medicine as one of the plants with liver-protective effects. In a 2008 study, dandelion was also shown to have a diuretic effect. In the study, participants consumed an extract of the plant’s leaves and had a significant increase in the frequency of their urination.
Water retention can cause bloating, puffiness and swelling, and by shedding excess water you can get rid of some extra pounds – but it’s important to remember that this is not fat loss.
Reduces fat absorption
A Korean study published in 2008 found that dandelion has a similar effect on the body to a dietary supplement called Orlistat. Scientists found that the luteolin flavonoid in dandelion leaves similarly inhibits the production of pancreatic lipase, which plays a role in the breakdown of fats, as an anti-obesity drug. Thanks to this property, dandelion can reduce fat absorption and weight gain.
Uses of dandelion
Dandelion can be used in a variety of ways: its leaves or roots can be consumed as tea, its raw leaves and flowers can be eaten as a salad, or you can make honey or syrup from them.
Take two tablespoons of dried dandelion, consisting of all the parts of the plant, add to half a liter of water and boil the mixture for 1-2 minutes. Then steep in the water for at least 10 minutes more and strain.
If consumed as a course of treatment, it is recommended to drink 1-2 cups per day, and the treatment can be continued for up to six weeks. In case of a chronic illness, it is advisable to consult a doctor before consumption.