Folklore says that blowing the seeds off a dandelion is said to carry your thoughts and dreams to your loved one. It might come as a surprise to some people to discover that dandelion greens aren’t just pretty looking plants we use to make wishes, but they are also a powerful source of healthy nutrients that can support good health in multiple ways.
For centuries, people have utilized the entire plant – flower, leaves, root, and leaves – for healing. All parts are edible. According to Whole Foods, the dandelion is “renowned for supporting healthy liver function…When it comes to good health and good taste, dandelion greens are a perfect choice providing calcium, iron, fiber, Vitamins A, E and K, and powerful antioxidants including beta Carotene and lutein.” (1)
Dandelion greens have anti-inflammatory properties, studies show
Showing great promise in the anti-inflammatory effects of dandelion greens, the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food published a study demonstrating that dandelion greens “extract significantly suppressed nitric oxide, prostaglandins and cytokines, all pro-inflammatory molecules.” (2)
Leah Hechtman, author of the book “Clinical Naturopathic Medicine” says that dandelion greens “inhibit interleukins and other immune molecules that trigger inflammation [and]…may also control inflammation by suppressing COX-2 enzymes, the molecules that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs target.” (3)
Promising research into the anti-cancer protection from dandelion greens
In a study published in the May 2008 edition of the International Journal of Oncology, the anti-carcinogenic activity of Taraxacum Officinale (TO) – commonly known as dandelion – data was provided which suggested that TO extracts “may be of value as novel anti-cancer agents.” Specifically, the extracts of the root flower were found to block invasion of both breast cancer cells and prostate cancer cells. (4)
Dandelion has been used for centuries as a natural diuretic, particularly in Chinese and Ayurvedic medical tradition
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrated the effects of dandelion extract on urinary frequency and volume and showed that “there was a significant increase in urination frequency (p?<?0.05) demonstrated by trial subjects after administration of the extract. The excretion ratio also increased (p?<?0.001). In particular, the 5-hour period after the first dose had a significant increase in frequency and following a second dose, in the second 5-hour period, there was a significant increase in the excretion ratio.” (5)
There are several health conditions where diuresis is crucial, for example in cardiovascular and kidney diseases, because the use of diuretics can reduce edema and blood pressure. (6)
There are numerous ways you can include dandelion greens in your diet or meal rotation, including in salads, smoothies, and teas. Whichever idea you choose to try – you can feel great knowing you are giving your health a wonderful positive boost with these unique greens that are not only steeped in folklore, but in health remedies for centuries!
Antonia is a science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition. She has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. Read more by Antonia here, and SUBSCRIBE!
If all other avenues have been exhausted, the information shared above could be very beneficial. Don’t believe all studies though. Please trust your own judgment, as we are authors and researchers sharing and citing studies that we find online that appear very hopeful, and we are connecting dots where we see them. We can’t be sure any of it will work for anyone. In fact we cannot ensure that any of the research is not financially or otherwise biased. Because of course, you can find studies supporting mainstream treatments as well.
Perhaps it’s more our own belief than anything else that helps “cure” any aliments anyway. If this notion seems reasonable to you, you can dive deeper into that idea here.
Maybe just choose the path of least resistance for YOU. But know for certain… we care about people, and we share this information for the exciting possibilities of a better life for the people we love and care about, which includes you. By emerging yourself into positive news on the topic of health, we feel that the answer that speaks to you the most will surface. While we don’t believe that an apple a day will keep the doctor away, we haven’t tested that theory either. Best of luck in your journey towards optimal health!