What is dandelion?
Dandelion is a medicinal herb traditionally used in China, India, and Russia to treat various ailments. Dandelion has recently gained popularity because of its therapeutic properties like anti-diabetic, antioxidant, and liver health-boosting. Dandelion flowers, roots, and leaves are beneficial for health, because of which it has gained its place in dietary supplements and herbal teas.
Dandelion: Benefits & Uses
These are a few science-backed health benefits of dandelion.
- Packed with nutrients: Dandelion is a rich source of many nutrients; because of which it is also eaten as a salad. It contains vitamins C, D and B vitamins, beta-carotene, and minerals like sodium, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium. Dandelion root is rich in sugars, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. It contains inulin and pectin, making it excellent for our gut health.
- Helps manage diabetes: Dandelion contains various anti-diabetic compounds like inulin, flavonoids, and phenols that help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Anti-inflammatory: Dandelion can help soothe inflammation by suppressing the levels of inflammatory markers, which may benefit people with joint pain and minimize the risk of chronic inflammation.
- Antioxidant: The presence of components like vitamin C, coumaric acid, flavonoids, and chlorogenic acid makes dandelion flower and root potent antioxidants.
- Promote healthy liver functioning: Studies suggest that dandelion protects liver damage from oxidative stress and boosts liver functioning.
- Support healthy digestion: Dandelion root is rich in a prebiotic fibre called inulin, which has been shown to promote a healthy gut microbial balance and treat indigestion issues like constipation and gas formation.
- Boost immunity: Dandelion supports our immune system via its anti-microbial, antioxidant and anti-viral effects.
- Strengthen bones: Dandelion is rich in vitamin K and calcium which are vital for bone health.
- Reduce hypertension risk: Dandelion is a good source of potassium that help keep our blood pressure levels in control and prevent them from rising.
- Aid in skin care: Dandelion flower and leaf extract has been shown to prevent skin damage and provide protection from UV rays.
How to choose the right dandelion for you?
- Dandelion is available in various forms like dandelion tea, dandelion root, flower or leaf extracts powder, capsule, tincture or tablet form. One can choose as per the ease of consumption and health goal.
- Prefer dandelion extracts with standardized active ingredients. The product should be free from unwanted fillers or harmful additives.
- Read the ingredient list and warnings carefully if you are allergic to any food substance.
- Opting for a lab-tested certified supplement and buying from a trusted source is advisable.
- Check the serving size, recommended dosage, and it is better to stay within them. If you are unsure of your daily requirement, seek medical advice.
How to use dandelion?
- One can use dandelion tea by steeping tea bags or leaf extracts into the hot water.
- Dandelion supplements can be taken as per the usage instructions mentioned in the pack.
- One can add dandelion powder to shakes, smoothies or baked goods.
Where to buy dandelion?
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Is dandelion safe to use?
Dandelion is generally considered safe to use. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor if you take medications like blood thinner or anti-coagulants or suffer from any medical condition. People allergic to dandelions may experience allergic reactions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the dandelion scientific name?
Scientifically, dandelion is known as Taraxacum officinale.
2. What are some dandelion root tea benefits?
Dandelion root tea may help provide relief from bloating and other indigestion issues. It is an excellent coffee substitute and may boost liver health.
3. What is the right dosage of dandelion?
There are no dosage guidelines by ICMR. However, experts from the European Commission and the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia recommend the following range of doses for dandelion:
- Fresh leaves 4-10 g daily
- Dried leaves 4-10 g daily
- 2-5 ml of leaf tincture thrice a day
- Fresh leaf juice, one teaspoon twice daily
- Fluid extract 1-2 teaspoon daily
- Fresh roots 2-8 g daily
- Dried powder extract 250-1000 mg four times a day