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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  Dandelion

Benefits and uses of Dandelion

A dandelion is a flower head consisting of many tiny flowers. The dandelion is native to Europe and Asia, and has spread too many other places. It is a weed having culinary and medicinal uses. It is grown as a leafy vegetable, similar to mustard greens and can be eaten raw or cooked in the form of salad and soup. Though the leaves are slightly bitter, they are rich in iron, vitamin A and vitamin C and carry calcium and iron, more than spinach.

The flowers are used in wine production, along with citrus fruits. It is also used to make jam. The roots are utilized as a coffee substitute. This coffee has a stimulative action on digestion and is commercially available as a tonic for liver cleansing and for hepatitis cure. The leaves are nutritious. They have a higher amount of beta-carotene than carrots. The iron and calcium content is greater than spinach. Vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc are available. The root contains the sugar inulin and other medicinal substances.

Dandelion is administered, as per the physician’s guidance. A authentic dose of the product are standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal or health supplements. Take the pills with a full glass of water. Measure the liquid forms of dandelion with a dropper or a cup. Some forms of dandelion can be brewed to form a tea for drinking. Different formulations namely pills, teas, tablets, liquids, and others of dandelion is not advised at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations at the same time could lead to overdose of dandelion. Store dandelion as directed. In general, dandelion should be protected from light and humidity. Dandelion is used to treat inflammation of colon, namely, colitis.

Doses of 2-8 grams of dried root is taken orally in the form of an infusion or decoction. Doses of 4-8 milliliters of a 1:1 leaf fluid extract is also used. Each dose consists of one or two teaspoons of a 1:5 root tincture in 45 percent alcohol. The most common adverse side effect is eczema, skin allergy or increased sensitivity to skin on direct contact. Gastrointestinal symptoms include diarrhea, stomach discomfort and heartburn prevention. Parasitic infection due to ingestion of polluted dandelion affects the liver and bile ducts, and is accompanied by cough, stomach indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and liver cirrhosis.

Animal studies report that dandelion may lower blood sugar levels. Effects in humans are not known. Patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and those on herbs or supplements for blood sugar. Blood glucose levels are identified by a physician. Dandelion may raise the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, such as, aspirin or heparin. Dandelion is a diuretic and lowers blood potassium levels. It is prepared as a tincture with high levels of alcohol. Tinctures should be avoided in pregnancy, nursing or when driving.

Submitted on January 16, 2014