Sponsored Linksby Dena Schmidt; NaturalHealth365
Most people think of dandelion root as only a weed that tries to take over their lawns. However, the truth is that both dandelion root and its leaves are bursting with health benefits. For example, did you know that this gift from nature can help protect us from osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and even cancer? (It’s also known for its diuretic and liver detox effects)
Records of dandelion’s use in herbal medicine date back as far as the 10th century. It’s been used to improve bladder and urinary tract health, as well as support liver health. The dandelion has also been used to treat hepatitis, gallstones and jaundice.
Dandelion root offers a natural way to detox the body
Today, those searching for natural cures and herbal remedies are drawn to this humble plant for its many health benefits, including natural diuretic (much safer that prescription drugs) and its protective effects for the liver. A study of mice found that dandelion root extract helped to heal alcohol-related liver damage and cleanse the subjects’ blood of toxins.
While our modern environment brings us many ‘conveniences,’ we are also surrounded by toxins – which are generated by all the unsafe building materials and consumer products on the market today. As a result, the liver works hard to cleanse these toxins from our bodies, on a regular basis, but it can also become depleted and/or exhausted from all the work.
Great news for cancer patients: Dandelion root and its leaves provide much needed support
There is also great excitement about dandelion’s ability to help fight cancer. Canadian scientists found that cancer cells died off after just 48 hours of exposure to dandelion extract. The effect held even for cancer cells that had been found resistant to chemotherapy. This research was published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Another study on dandelions and cancer published in International Journal of Oncology found that dandelion tea was effective against breast cancer and prostate cancer. The compounds in dandelion extracts seem to cause apoptosis, or cancer cell death. In other words, the diseased cells essentially commit suicide. (By the way, dandelion extracts tend to target the cancer cells only – leaving healthy cells intact)
Dandelion benefits include support for the metabolism and our immune system
Other positive dandelion benefits include supplying the raw materials needed for a strong immune system; a natural energy boost plus a positive influence on the metabolism – including more efficient fat burning and weight loss effects.
Both dandelion root and its greens (leaves) offer many health benefits. If harvesting dandelions on your own, be sure they are from an area that is free of lawn chemicals and pesticides. The greens of younger dandelion plants tend to taste better, while more mature dandelion leaves can be quite bitter.
Keep in mind, when harvesting for dandelion root, larger is better. Picking them after a good soaking allows the root to come out of the soil easier. Of course, organic dandelion products can be purchased ready-made in the form of teas, tinctures and supplements. Generally speaking, the ideal dosage for liver health and other dandelion benefits is between 500 and 2,000 mg daily.
Naturally, if you’re dealing with a serious health condition, always consult a trusted healthcare provider before making any change to your diet or supplementation routine.