Dandelions: Weed or Medicine?
You see a weed? I see nutritional medicine in a bright, yellow flower! Put down the weed killer. It’s bad for the environment, mucks up our water supply and kills the first food of bees. Put down the weed killer and have a seat. We are going to talk about some of the benefits of dandelions.
How cool is it that you can find this health food in your backyard? It’s got so many benefits other than the ones you loved as a kid like rubbing them on your skin to turn your skin yellow or making wishes on the puffballs. There are lots of benefits but here are my top 5 favorite benefits of this backyard superfood.
5 Benefits of Dandelions
Packed with Nutrition
Dandelions are loaded with nutrition while being low in calories. Dandelion greens are high in calcium and iron. They have lots of antioxidants. They have more Vitamin A then carrots! Plus, they have Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and lots of Vitamin K. They also have a good amount of protein. All this nutrition and it’s low in calories. These nutritional components can support a healthy body.
Dandelions are known for reducing inflammation. Thanks to all the antioxidants, nutrients and fatty acids that can help your body reduce inflammation. This can help if you are in pain or suffer from hidden inflammation. Inflammation is the root of the majority of disease, so fight it with dandelion root.
Dandelions are a natural diuretic. This can help you get rid of the bloat of water weight and help increase urination. Increased urination can also help prevent UTIs. No woman likes UTIs, right? The cool thing about this diuretic is that it also has potassium, which is lost during frequent urination.
With all the nutrients it’s also full of fiber! This will help keep things moving in the digestive area and prevent constipation. Dandelions are also beneficial for relieving symptoms of digestive disorders like IBS. This superfood also supports the liver while protecting against oxidizing stress and inflammation. (1)
Because of the support to the liver and gall bladder this is a great food for supporting your body’s detoxification process. Dandelion root can help boost the bile production in the gall bladder and help prevent gall stones. The fact that it is a natural diuretic can also help support the body’s detoxification process.
Find Some Dandelions and Make a Health Wish
With just these benefits alone there is only one conclusion you can come to on whether dandelions are a weed or a nutritional medicine. Hands down it’s a nutritional medicine! Don’t you agree? Bonus benefit- it’s free!
You can find dandelions in your backyard. Just make sure they have not been sprayed with pesticides or weed killer. Those are both toxic for our environment and people. You might also want to make sure they aren’t frequently sprayed by neighborhood dogs. Harvest greens early in the summer before they get bitter. Wash them off good.
Use the greens in a salad, in a smoothie or on a sandwich. You can also sauté the greens just like your spinach. The roots can be used to make a tea or a coffee substitute or juiced. There are so many ways to use your dandelions and you were groaning when you saw them! If you don’t have dandelions you can purchase a quality supplement or extract.
Are you peeking out your window yet to see if you have your own crop of dandelions? Don’t spray them and don’t worry if your neighbors complain. Just make them a nice cup of dandelion tea.
Written By Dr. Patrick Flynn