Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Overview

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) other names: Blowball, Cankerwort, Cochet, Common Dandelion, Couronne de Moine, Dandelion Extract, Dandelion Herb, Délice Printanier, Dent-de-Lion, Diente de Leon, Dudal, Endive Sauvage, Fausse Chicorée, Florin d’Or, Florion d’Or, Herba Taraxaci, Laitue de Chien, Leontodon taraxacum, Lion's Teeth, Lion's Tooth, Pisse au Lit, Pissenlit, Pissenlit Vulgaire, Priest's Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Salade de Taupe, Swine Snout, Taraxaci Herba, Taraxacum, Taraxacum dens-leonis, Taraxacum officinale, Taraxacum vulgare, Tête de Moine, Wild Endive. 

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) flower

The dandelion is a common garden herb, with easily recognized flowers. During the spring season, the leaves and the root of the dandelion begin to produce mannitol, which is a substance utilized in the treatment of conditions such as hypertension and a weakened heart in continental Europe - where it is often prescribed by herbalist for patients with these conditions. An herbal dandelion tea made using the roots and the leaves of the herb is good to take from about the mid of March to about mid May in the treatment of such conditions. 

A chemical compound known as helenin which is found in the flowers of the dandelion may be the cure for those with a problem of reduced vision in the dark - night blindness, usually treated using large doses of vitamin A. The reports carried by the journal of the American Medical Association for June 23, 1951, showed that the blossoms of the dandelion herb contain large amounts of the vitamins A and the vitamin B2 (riboflavin) beside the substance known as helenin. 

While extensively cultivated in France and Germany, the dandelion herb also grows wild in most parts of the world and is a garden plant in many countries. Spring is the season to start planting the plant, and the dandelion is propagated from stored seeds. Harvesting of the young leaves is carried out in the spring, and these are used in the manufacture of herbal tonic salads and processed as an herbal medicine following storage. Autumn is the time to harvest and remove the root of two year old dandelions - this is used in the manufacture of various herbal remedies.

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Health Benefits

Dandelion is an herb. People use the above ground parts and root to make medicine.

Dandelion is used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises. Dandelion is also used to increase urine production and as a laxative to increase bowel movements. Dandelion is also used as skin toner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic.

The herbal remedies made from the leaves of the dandelion are used as a diuretic, it is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure which it accomplishes by reducing the total volume of fluid present in the body at any time.

As a detoxification agent, the root of the dandelion herb is considered to be one of the most effective and beneficial herbal remedies. The waste products accumulated in the liver and the gall bladder is removed by this herbal remedy and it principally affects the functioning of the liver and the gallbladder. The kidneys are also stimulated by the dandelion at the same time and it enables the rapid removal toxins through the urine produced. The root of the dandelion is known to be a remarkably well balanced herbal remedy, the steady and gradual elimination of toxins accumulating in the body due to infection or pollution is accelerated by the root of the dandelion. In the treatment of a variety of conditions, the dandelion possesses major and effective therapeutic benefits, these include the treatment of persistent constipation, the treatment of various types of skin problems, including acne, and eczema, and diseases like psoriasis. The root also treats other types of arthritic conditions, including severe conditions such as osteoarthritis, and disorders like gout.

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) plant

The gallbladder is markedly affected by both the dandelion root and the dandelion leaf remedies, these herbal remedies can also be used to prevent the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder. If gallstones are already present, then the remedy made from the dandelion leaf may still help, by dissolving such gallstones aiding in their elimination.

Some people use dandelion to treat infection, especially viral infections, and cancer.

Various conditions such as warts, all types of fungus infections, and malignant growths within the body and on the outside, the presence of ulceration in the urinary passages can all be treated using the herbal remedies made from the dandelion. The remedies made from the dandelion possess a laxative action, they can be used to treat disorders in the stomach, and the herb promotes healthy circulation in the body, it also tones the skin, and is considered a cleanser and strengthener of blood vessels. Rheumatism is cured by the remedies made from the dandelion, it can also be used in the treatment of badly affected arthritic joints, and as an herbal remedy it is a marvelous and effective general tonic. A fine herbal wine can be produced from the dandelion, it is furthermore used in the manufacture of a great herbal beer, the dried herb is an excellent substitute for coffee, it is used in the manufacture of an excellent food for birds, it is used to rear bees in apiculture, it is fed to pigs and rabbits in the farm, and even people consume the plant as food.

In foods, dandelion is used as salad greens, and in soups, wine, and teas. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Side effects

Large side effects and significant toxic properties appear to be absent in the herbal remedies made from the dandelion herb. However, a few individuals do tend to develop a reaction in the form of a skin rash - called an allergic dermatitis, which often occurs following the repeated contact of the skin with remedies made from the herb. At the same time, it can be said that, patients in general must not expect any significant therapeutic benefits from the use of any form of herbal remedy derived from the dandelion. Aside from their slight laxative action, the roots of the dandelion affect only positive changes in the body, including the stimulation of the appetite and the boosting of the digestive process. The temporary diuretic action of the herbal remedy made from the leaves of the dandelion plant is also well known, this particular remedy seems to have no other side effects in the body. At the same time, a lot of positive sides exist, and a lot of people do enjoy eating dandelion greens, the plant is as has been mentioned, a fairly good source of the vitamin A - and it can be used in this role itself.

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) picture

It is suggested that individuals with developed gallstones must use remedies made from the dandelion leaves and roots with extra caution. The consumption of dandelion should not be contemplated at all, if the person suffers from any form of physical obstruction in the bile ducts. Dandelion may cause an overproduction of the stomach acids and for people affected by long term and persistent cases of stomach ulcer or gastritis, the use of dandelion should done with extreme caution. Before taking any dandelion leaves, individuals who tend to experience fluid or water retention must make sure that they consult a nutritionally oriented and professional doctor - this must be done to avoid any side effects which can come unnoticed. The supervising doctor of the person taking the dandelion leaves should monitor the potassium levels in his or her patient at all times, during the duration of the supplemental period.

Dandelion is likely safe for most people when used in the amounts commonly found in food. Dandelion is possibly safe when used in medicinal amounts (larger amounts than those found in food).

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of dandelion during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Ragweed allergy: Dandelion can cause allergic reactions when taken by mouth or applied to the skin of sensitive people. People who are allergic to ragweed and related plants (daisies, chrysanthemums, marigolds) are likely to be allergic to dandelion. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking dandelion.