Dandelions are considered troublesome weeds for many gardeners; but for centuries, this lovely herb has been one of the most important medicinal plants to have proven its health benefits.
The dandelion is scientifically referred to as taraxacum officinale. Taraxacum is a large group of flowering plants that is native to Europe, Asia and North America. In many cultures, dandelion plants have been used to treat many health disorders ranging from stomach upsets and fever to inflammations and kidney disease.
Dandelions are edible. In fact, dandelion leaves do much to increase the nutritional value of salads or sandwiches. The plant has a significant amount of vitamin A and potassium; some amounts of Vitamins B, C and D; along with some minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Studies from the National Cancer Institute have found dandelion roots to be rich in antioxidants and therefore effective in preventing cancer.
The dandelion is an enormous help as a medicinal herb. The roots are especially important as these are used in treatments of:
Of side effects, there are few which mostly stem from allergic reactions to the milky latex of the stem and leaves. Because a concoction with dandelion root can act as a laxative, it must not be taken together with drugs that have diuretic properties. Neither should it be taken with drugs that lower blood pressure as it already has the capacity to correct high blood pressure. Dandelion root can also lower the absorption of antibiotics, especially those with names that end in “floxacin.” Examples are ciproflaxin and levoflaxin.
As a power herb, the dandelion is on a high rung in the medicinal ladder. Its benefits span those of a food supplement and a drug.
It could be quite beneficial to supplement with dandelion; but, keep in mind that it does show its negative side with other medicines. As with all herbs and pharmaceutical medications, play it safe and consult with your doctor.