Herbaceous plants are one of the most widespread types in the world in terms of gardening and vegetation, they offer a large amount of medicinal components that the body requires and that are ideal for health.

In this text, we will study a herbaceous plant known as the dandelion , in addition to what its functions are in the body, but also what are the side effects of being consumed in excess.

What is dandelion?

With the scientific name “Taraxacum officinale” , the dandelion, a yellow plant, is from the Asteraceae family , which grows in many temperate zones of the northern hemisphere (usually in regions of Europe), becoming a plant with many therapeutic uses. in folk medicine (relating to bitter chicory ).

For centuries, dandelion has been used in different parts of the world in the medicinal field (it is considered part of medicinal plants), it was usually used against liver conditions such as jaundice and bile problems, standing out for its purifying effect. .

Note: As described in one study, the following is known about dandelion “It has been shown to have antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, liver protective and anticancer activity in T. officinale” . (1)

Dandelion properties

The dandelion has been widely used in medicine and the therapeutic field for numerous reasons, in which its medicinal and nutritional properties stand out. We present the most relevant within this plant:

1. Vitamins

Vitamins are relevant to the body, dandelion is specifically rich in vitamin K and vitamin C , highlighting beta-carotene, an element which is transformed by the body into vitamin A and protein.

To highlight: As mentioned in a study, it is known that “Vitamin K is a nutrient that the body needs to be healthy. It is important for blood clotting and bone health, and for other bodily functions . ” (two)

2. Minerals

The most relevant minerals within the dandelion are iron, potassium, calcium and zinc, including others of great value such as phosphorus and magnesium , all these components are important for the organism and its growth.

Important: A study highlights something important “Minerals are part of the structure of many tissues. For example, the calcium and phosphorus in the bones combine to give firm support to the entire body . (3)

3. Other compounds

Dandelion has other great elements, such as phytonutrients (plant-based substances) and beta-carotene , which has an antioxidant effect that prevents premature aging.

In addition, it also houses kynurenic acid, which if properly balanced, this chemical compound has an anticonvulsant effect and can help with neurophysiological processes in the body.

What is the dandelion used for?

You will wonder exactly, knowing the medicinal properties, how can dandelion really help? What conditions? By virtue of these questions, below we present the best benefits that this plant provides you:

1. Supports liver and kidney health

Little care towards liver health can prevent the liver organ from functioning properly and can lead to jaundice or abdominal pain , the same applies to kidney health, where the most popular condition is kidney stones.

In this sense, dandelion has antioxidant properties which can cleanse parts such as the kidney and gallbladder of toxic microorganisms, it can even work to cleanse the blood , thanks to the vitamins it contains.

2. Controls blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar

Blood pressure, LDL (bad cholesterol) and the accumulation of glucose or sugar in the blood can lead to various conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and accumulation of fat in the veins.

Dandelion has a diuretic effect, which can help control the level of blood pressure (or hypertension). Similarly, the dandelion has magnesium, the most famous mineral to control sugar or maintain its balance in the blood (supplemented by chromium).

3. Fight infections

This medicinal plant can fight infections, mainly strengthening in general, which includes the immune system , thanks to the various vitamins present such as vitamin A and vitamin C, including the mineral zinc.

You should know: The immune system is complemented by white blood cells and is the body’s main defense against agents such as viruses or bacteria (known as antigens), which cause various infections in the body.

4. Relieves gastrointestinal disorders

The most common gastrointestinal disorders (related to the stomach and intestines) are gastritis, constipation, cholera and finally amoebiasis. These do not allow their proper functioning and become painful.

Abundant fluid intake is important, something that works with dandelion, where its components such as zinc, potassium, calcium or even various vitamins are soluble in water, therefore alleviating intestinal pathologies.

5. Eliminate fluid retention

Fluid retention or edema is a rather strange state where fluids lodge under the human skin in abundance, leaving peculiar swellings appearing in the layers of the skin.

To highlight: There are several treatments capable of eliminating fluid retention , seen from the nutritional point of view, the capable means are the consumption of foods (or infusions) rich in potassium and proteins, which are found within the components of the tooth of the Lion.

6. Strengthens the bones

Strengthening the bone structure (or skeleton) can prevent quite harmful diseases such as osteoporosis, which is an excessive degeneration of bone tissue.

In this sense, iron is a very necessary mineral for the health and development of bones, as well as calcium, which provides greater strengthening within the bone system and is perhaps the most important component for its health.

Note: Both iron and calcium are found within the components of dandelion, therefore its adequate intake is recommended for strengthening the bones.

7. Improves skin conditions

By having antioxidant properties, which are even closely related to the immune system, dandelion can eliminate housed toxic agents that cause enormous skin impurities.

It is usually bacteria that make contact with the dermis (main layer of the skin), but that can be eliminated or counteracted by the effect of the antioxidant vitamins in dandelion (which also provide hydration and improve health in the dermis).

8. Fights anemia

Anemia is a condition where the body cannot produce enough red blood cells , the red pigment components that carry oxygen to the body’s body tissues.

Iron is ideal to combat anemia in many cases (since its deficiency can cause anemia), as well as the consumption of diets where vitamins are present, occasionally vitamin C that helps in the absorption of iron.

You should know:   It should be noted that both components (iron and vitamin C) are contained in dandelion, making it a great ally to combat anemia.

How to take dandelion?

Dandelion is widely used in traditional medicine, from its young and tender leaves, through its stem and flowers , without excluding the root, which are crushed to be used mainly in infusions .

Brewing is like making a hot tea (or coffee substitute), only the elements of the dandelion need to be combined with boiling water, where you can sweeten to taste and serve neat.

Important:   Dandelion infusions are quite relaxing but their amount of use should not be abused, as it could have side effects.

What are the side effects of dandelion?

Dandelion cannot be used when there is inflammation (especially in the gallbladder) or when taking treatment for it, since its effect could not be positive, but could worsen the patient’s condition. 

This is recognized by symptoms such as heartburn, dry mouth, diarrhea, and burning eyes, which are notorious side effects if you suffer from a dandelion allergy or if you consume the plant in high excess.

Important: It is necessary to go to a doctor when the personal or physiological states towards the components of the dandelion are unknown, in order to prevent allergic reactions that can aggravate the different states or conditions that a person may suffer.

Key Findings

  • The dandelion Taraxacum officinale is a herbaceous plant, known in medicinal plants. 
  • It is rich in properties such as vitamin K or other elements such as zinc, potassium and phosphorus, housed in its leaves.
  • It serves a lot to prevent diseases and to strengthen the organs and tissues of the body.
  • It can be consumed through hot or lukewarm infusions , but it is not recommended for bile infection problems.

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