What is Dandelion Root?
Most people think of dandelions as an annoying weed that we should remove from our lawn and garden. But it is also a plant that has been used for a long time in herbal medicine to help with digestion and to stimulate the appetite. You can safely eat the entire dandelion plant, from root to blossom. It has a slightly bitter, chicory-like taste.
The root of the dandelion plant is sometimes roasted to make coffee. When used for medicine, it can be made into:
- Tinctures (liquid made from a plant)
- Decoctions (infusions)
- Poultices (a paste made from plants)
In traditional Chinese and Native American medicine, dandelion root has been used to treat stomach and liver conditions. The herbalist believes that it can help treat many health problems, including:
- High cholesterol
- Gastrointestinal disorders
Some of the claims in this article are better supported by research than others. The benefits of dandelion root will be discussed. Some people use it to boost their health. It will also describe any side effects that you may experience after using it as a medicine.
Dandelion Root Uses
Despite its long history in herbal remedies, there is not much scientific evidence supporting the use of dandelion root as medicine. There have been few human trials.
Dandelion Root and Diabetes
Dandelion root has an anti-diabetic property. Scientists think the reason is because it contains a type of complex carbohydrate called fructooligosaccharide (FOS). FOS helps to grow healthy bacteria in the stomach and gets rid of unhealthy bacteria. This stops spikes in either your blood sugar or insulin levels.
Dandelion Root and the Liver
Dandelion is often taken as a medicine by people. Some people believe that it “cleanses” the liver, but there is not much evidence to support this claim.
Dandelion Root and Cancer
Early research suggests that dandelion root may be an anti-cancer agent. This is because it causes apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death in certain cancer cells. But fo3r some people with cancer, apoptosis does not work – the tumor cells grow and multiply instead of dying off. Dandelion may interfere with the growth of these cancer cells.
Several studies have shown that different dandelion root extracts were able to trigger apoptosis in leukemia and melanoma. Scientists need to do more research on the risks and benefits of dandelion root before they can recommend it for treatment of cancer.
Dandelion Root and Skin Damage
Dandelion root can make a soothing medicine. You can make it into a paste with water. It is good for skin problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rashes. But there isn’t much evidence to say that it cures these problems better than leaving the skin alone. Dandelion also has some anti-inflammatory properties and may help with itching. There is also evidence that it helps prevent sun damage on your skin.
Side effects of Dandelion Root
Dandelion root is usually safe and well-tolerated for adults. Some people may experience side effects including:
- Upset stomach
- Irritated skin
People who are allergic to dandelion root may get skin rash, watery eyes, and other allergy symptoms. Dandelion also contains iodine and latex so if you have an allergy to either of these substances, do not take this remedy. Pregnant women, nursing women, and children should avoid dandelion remedies due to the lack of research into their long-term safety. It is also possible that consuming too much dandelion can reduce fertility in women and testosterone levels in men. This may be because of a substance in the plant called phytoestrogen which mimics estrogen.
Wrapping up the review of Dandelion Root
Most people think dandelions are weeds. But it has been used as a medicine throughout history. People who believe in its healing properties use it as a diuretic, and some research shows that it can help treat acne, eczema, and other skin problems too. Herbalists believe that dandelion can cleanse the liver and treat diabetes. Scientists are still learning whether dandelion does this and if it helps fight against cancer.
Disclaimer: Body Health Outlet nor the author of this blog own the product reviewed above. Nor should the contents of this blog be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician before making changes in your diet plan. This blog should be used for informational purposes only.