Dandelions may benefit human health in a number of ways.
This article discusses 10 of its possible health benefits, how to use it, and its possible side effects.
Dandelion is what?
Dandelion is a plant that has flowers that are yellow. The most common type of this plant is called Taraxacum officinale. It grows in many places around the world.
Botanists think that dandelions are plants. People make medicine out of the dandelion’s leaves, stems, flowers, and roots.
11 ways your health could get better
Some of the possible benefits of dandelion are:
1. Giving off anti-oxidants
Antioxidants work to stop the damage that free radicals cause. The body makes free radicals on its own, but they are bad because they speed up the ageing process and the spread of some diseases.
Beta-carotene is found in dandelions. It is an antioxidant that helps keep cells from getting hurt. Research from a Trusted Source shows that carotenoids like beta-carotene are very important for preventing damage to cells.
Dandelion flowers also have flavonoids and polyphenols, which are also types of antioxidants.
2. Getting rid of cholesterol
There are bioactive compounds in dandelions that may help lower cholesterol.
In vivo and in vitro research has shown that dandelion might help lower blood lipids. Lipids, like cholesterol and triglycerides, can be part of this.
Dandelion might be able to help people with high cholesterol, but more research is still needed.
3. Regulating blood sugar
There is some evidence that dandelions have chemicals in them that may help control blood sugar.
In 2016, some researchers suggested that the antihyperglycemic, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory effects of dandelion could help treat type 2 diabetes. But more research is needed before we can say anything for sure.
4. Getting rid of inflammation
Some studies show that extracts and chemicals from dandelion may help reduce inflammation in the body.
In a 2014 study, researchers found that chemicals found in dandelions helped reduce inflammatory responses in some ways.
But the study was only done on cells, not on people. This means that more research needs to be done before we can say that dandelion reduces inflammation in the human body.
5. Getting the blood pressure down
There isn’t much research to back up the idea that dandelion can be used to lower blood pressure.
But the potassium in dandelion leaves is good for you. There is evidence from clinical trials that potassium can help lower blood pressure.
For example, a meta-analysis Trusted Source of 15 randomised controlled trials found that people whose blood pressure was significantly lower when they took a potassium supplement every day. People who already had high blood pressure saw a bigger drop in their blood pressure.
6. help people lose weight
Some researchers have suggested that dandelion could help people lose weight.
Researchers think that compounds in the dandelion plant may help the body use carbohydrates more efficiently and take in less fat.
But there isn’t much evidence to back up this claim.
7. Getting rid of cancer
Some small but promising studies have shown that dandelion may help slow the growth of some kinds of cancer.
So far, researchers have looked at how dandelion affects the growth of cancer in test tubes and found that it may help slow the growth of some types of cancer.
One study that looked at how cancer grows in a test tube found that dandelion extract may help stop liver cancer from spreading. Other studies on colon cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer have found the same benefits.
But, just like with other possible benefits, more research is needed to show how effective dandelions can be as part of a treatment for cancer.
8. Making the immune system stronger
There’s more and more evidence that dandelion tea can help the immune system.
Researchers have found that dandelion has properties that fight both viruses and bacteria. For example, a 2014 study found that dandelions slow the growth of hepatitis B in test tubes containing both human and animal cells.
Researchers need to do more tests, though, to find out how dandelion affects the immune system.
9. Aiding digestion
Some people have used dandelion as a traditional treatment for constipation and other stomach problems for a long time.
A study on rodents that looked at how dandelions affect digestion found that certain chemical compounds in dandelions help the stomach empty faster.
In the study, the rodents’ food had less trouble getting to their small intestines. Now, scientists need to find out if dandelion can do the same thing for people.
10. How to keep skin healthy
Some research suggests that dandelion may help prevent sun damage to the skin.
Ultraviolet (UV) light does a lot of damage to the skin and speeds up the ageing process. A 2015 studyTrustworthy that looked at skin cells in a test tube found that dandelion could make one type of UV light less harmful.
Keeping the skin safe from UV damage can help keep the skin from getting old before it should. To confirm these results, researchers need to test them on real people.
11. Taking care of the liver
According to research, dandelion may help prevent and treat some liver diseases. This includes liver damage caused by acetaminophen (AILI), liver damage caused by not drinking (NAFLD), and liver damage caused by drinking.
But not all of the research was done in real life or on real people, so more research is needed to find out if dandelion can really be used as medicine for these things.
Supplements and dosage
There are sometimes dandelion leaves in salads, but you can’t find them everywhere. It is dangerous to pick dandelions in a backyard because pesticides or animal waste could be there.
But you can buy dandelion supplements or teas and coffees that have dandelion root added to them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States has said that dandelion is generally safe to use in food.
Not much is known about the safe doses of dandelion supplements. Like other supplements, the potency and effectiveness of this one can vary a lot from one manufacturer to the next.
Some people can get sick from taking dandelion supplements. People who are allergic to dandelions or certain other flowers or plants, like ragweed, daisies, chrysanthemums, or marigolds, shouldn’t take dandelion supplements.
People who want to try supplements should always talk to a doctor first and follow the dosage instructions on the bottle.
Questions that are often asked
Here are some answers to questions that are often asked about dandelion:
Is a dandelion safe to eat?
You can eat dandelion. You could put it in soup or a salad, for example. The flowers can also be used to make wine. But it’s best not to eat too much of it. Dandelion can be bad for some people’s health if they eat too much of it. People with diabetes or who take medicines like blood thinners, lithium, or diuretics may be affected the most by this.
Can I eat the dandelion plants in my yard?
People can eat dandelion that grows in their own yards, but they should follow some safety rules. People should never pick and eat plants from a yard that has been sprayed with pesticides or is close to a road where fuel emissions or dust may cover the plants.
Does every dandelion look the same?
The most common type of dandelion is called Taraxacum officinale, but there are hundreds of other types.
There are many possible health benefits of dandelions. But many of the claims need more research to show that the dandelion is good for humans.
Antioxidants are good for you, and since dandelions are full of them, they could be a healthy addition to your diet or daily supplements. As with any supplement, it’s best to talk to a doctor before taking them to talk about any risks and how they might interact with other medicines.