dandelion flowers and greensIt’s time to end the war on those pesky little weeds in the lawn; put down your shovels, your gardening gloves, and the weed killer. Because, dandelions are very useful for your health and well being.

The entire plant is used for herbal remedies. The roots, leaves and flowers. The flowers aren’t usually eaten, but they can be used to make wine. This amazing weed can help with digestion along with other bodily functions.

When the dandelion is gathered early, after the spring’s first warm spell, the leaves and roots are used as a spring tonic and to stimulate digestion and vitality after a long winter.

Dandelion greens also have been used as a diuretic, an agent that promotes the loss of water from the body through urination. This effect the greens have is helpful in lowering blood pressure and relieving premenstrual fluid retention.

Dandelion roots contain inulin and levulin, which are starch like substances that may help balance blood sugar. They also have a bitter substance (taraxacin) that stimulates digestion. With just the presence of a bitter taste in your mouth, it promotes the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder, as well as hydrochloric acid from the stomach.

“Bitters have been used for centuries in many countries before meals as a digestive stimulant. Do you avoid bitter-tasting foods? Many people do, but this may not reflect a balanced appetite. According to Asian philosophies, the diet should contain foods that are sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The few bitter tastes Westerners embrace are coffee, wine, and beer, which may have something to do with the higher incidence of digestive diseases in Western cultures, compared with Asian cultures. Dandelion leaves are also rich in minerals and vitamins, particularly calcium and vitamins A, C, K, and B2 (riboflavin)” (Jennifer Brett, N.D.).

Dandelion roots also contain choline, another liver stimulant. “Dandelion roots make wonderful colon cleansing and detoxifying medications because any time digestion is improved, the absorption of nutrients and the removal of wastes from the body improve as well.”

Many people could use a little extra support for the liver: “We are inundated daily with chemicals and substances that the liver must process. The liver must filter impurities from the bloodstream — car exhaust, paints, cleaners, solvents, preservatives, pesticide residues, drugs, alcohol, and other toxins we encounter can begin to tax the liver. Add a diet high in fat, which the liver must emulsify with bile, and a person could experience physical symptoms from this burden on the liver,” (Brett).

Symptoms for a liver that is over used include: rough dry skin and acne, constipation, gas and bloating, frequent headaches, and premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Dandelions also are recommended for a more natural solution to wart removal. The roots, stems, and leaves of the dandelion exude a white sticky sap when torn, ripped, or damaged. Applied directly to warts daily or several times a day, this substance slowly dissolves them.

Dandelions are very useful in making us healthy, in a very natural way. Too much dandelion, or over using it, or even using it wrong, could lead to health risks. Be sure you are consulting a herbalist with any questions you may have about dandelions.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a licensed healthcare practitioner before use to discuss effects and possible interactions.