Benefits of Dandelion for Anemia, PMS, Cancer and Losing Weight

The benefits of dandelion, the common weed known as Taraxacum officinale, are wide. From the prevention of breast cancer to the help of eczema-like skin problems, this common weed is a miracle plant that shouldn't be ignored.

Dandelions pop up in lawns and fields throughout the world. They are everywhere! Children the world round have spent many an hour blowing the seed heads and counting the puffs to determine the time. However, due to its medicinal properties the dandelion is not seen as a weed to get rid of but rather a herb to cultivate. It is cultivated in China, France and Germany.

Dandelions are interesting plants. Their yellow flowers close up tight when rain is soon to fall and there are a number of variations in leaf characteristics. Some are darker green and slightly furry, with rounded serrations, some are brilliant green, less hardy in hot weather, with sharply-indented longer leaves, but all have the same medicinal value.

In Italy and other European countries well know the benefits of dandelions, and you will see women bent in the fields in spring picking the tender dandelions for salads. And for those growing this herb for herbal medicines the plant is harvested for dandelion tea and tinctures in the early summer before the plant blooms.

Dandelion leaves are used as a powerful diuretic. The root is also used, and usually harvested after 2 years of growth. The root is a blood purifier and helps both the kidneys and the liver to remove poisons from the system. For centuries, dandelion root has been used to treat jaundice.

The common dandelion contains a number of vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining good health. They contain calcium salts, manganese, sodium, sulphur, vitamins A, B, C, D, and that necessary liver-regulating substance, choline.

Benefits of Dandelion and Anemia

Dandelions are a rich source of iron and vitamins, and when compared to carrots, has more carotene than carrots when comparing portions. Dandelions also contain high levels of potassium. For generations, herbalists have used dandelion root to treat anemia to as it has a high iron and zinc content and is rich in vitamins.

Benefits of Dandelion and Bladder Infections and Premenstrual Syndrom (PMS)

Dandelion is a very different diuretic. Most diuretics cause a loss of potassium. Dandelion leaves, however, are rich in potassium therefore, when using dandelion as a diuretic this results in a net gain of this vital mineral. Because of its high potassium levels, dandelion also alleviates leg cramps and muscle spasms. Due to its diuretic properties dandelion helps to relieve fluid retension in premenstrual syndrom (PMS) and counteracts urine retention in bladder infections.

Benefits of Dandelion for Constipation, Hemorrhoids, and Indigestion

Dandelion root is used as a liver cleanser as it stimulates the production of bile which in turn transports potentially noxious compounds to the stool. The increase of bile aids in the relief of constipation without causing diarrhea, and in turn helps with hemorrhoids. If you have gallstones it is advisable not to take dandelion as the increase of bile flow could increase pressure against the stones.

Benefits of Dandelion for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Using dandelion along with 4 other herbs in combination were found in a Bulgarian study to help 95% of the sufferers with the relief of IBS after just 15 days of treatment.

Benefits of Dandelion for Osteoporosis

Dandelion is a rich source of boron, which helps to raise the estrogen levels in the blood, and in turn helps to preserve bone. It is also a rich source of calcium and a fair source of silicon, which some studies suggest helps strengthen bone.

Benefits of Dandelion for Losing Weight

European herbalists frequently suggest dandelion tinctures for losing weight. Many people look fatter than they are through water-retention. As dandelion root is a diuretic is reduces water weight. As it cleanses the liver and stimulates the rate of bile flow, it also helps to improve the fat metabolism in the body.

Benefits of Dandelion and Dandelion Coffee

Dandelion coffee is made from the roots of the plant. They are dug up in the second year of growth, and roasted.

Dig up the whole plant in the autumn. Cut off the leaves, and use in salads, or put through the juicer, or add to the compost heap where they are always very welcome. Then wash and dry the large tap roots (rubbing off the small hair rootlets), and dry in a cool oven till quite brittle. Roast them to a light brown when needed and grind as coffee.

One or two teaspoons brews a cup of a very pleasant tasting dandelion coffee.

Dandelion Beer

Dandelion beer is another option. Pull up one pound weight of leaves and tap roots of the dandelions. Wash well, add rind and juice of 2 lemons, then add 2 gallons of water. Boil for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid over 2 lb raw sugar, add 2 oz cream of tartar, and half an envelope of lager yeast. (You can use 3/4 fresh yeast cake but the taste is not as good. ) Let the liquid stand in stainless steel or ceramic bowls for 3 days, covering lightly. Never use aluminum vessels for making herb beers.

Bottle in brown or dark green bottles, cork well and it will be ready to drink in a week. However, it tastes better after leaving it for two. It has a bitter taste to it, but it is very refreshing on a hot summer's day, and also very good for you in the process.

Use Dandelion with Care

If you are thinking about cultivating dandelions be careful where you grow them. Dandelions expel ethylene gas . As ethylene inhibits the growth and height of nearby growing plants, you will need to place your dandelions well away from the other plants you are cultivating.

However, you can also use this to your advantage. As ethylene is also used extensively in the artificial ripening of fruit,
planting dandelions in your orchard will help aid in the early ripening of your fruit crop .

Although it is obvious that there are lots of benefits of dandelion use there are also some precautions to take.

Dandelion may increase stomach acidity and ulcer pain. If you have gallstones or biliary tract obstructions, you should not take this herb. People with known allergies to yarrow and chamomile should use dandelion with caution.

Never use dandelion as a substitute for pharmaceutical drugs for hypertension . If you are taking diuretic drugs, insulin, or medications that reduce blood-sugar levels, you should use dandelion only under a physician's supervision.

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Dandelion memories 
Growing up in Pennsylvania, we always looked forward to dandelion season - my Mother would gather them, clean them thoroughly and make a delicious salad …

LOVE for Dandelion Plants! Not rated yet
I've been harvesting dandelions, this wild plant, for years. The settlers brought them over from Europe as a staple veggie/greens, and it soon spread …

Consumption Not rated yet
If I dig up a large dandelion root, how do you prepare it so that you can consume it? Brenda Children's Castle Boutique *** Hi Brenda …

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