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Taraxacum officinale

This is not a weed

Dandelion is an ancient and most well-known herb in history. Dandelion, which is also called as Lion's tooth, gain the name by the resemblance of the leaves to the canine tooth of lion.

Many people consider dandelion as weed, but this plant is a well-known herb since centuries and it is full of medicinal value. All parts of dandelion are edible, from the flower down to the root.

In Western folk medicine, the leaves have been used in salad, the flowers to make wine & beer and the roots to make medicine.

For detoxification

Dandelion have a taproot, which is a thick long root growing deep into the soil, absorbing the precious minerals from the earth. The root of this herb is the key part of the detoxification properties. Dandelion root is an excellent liver tonic and blood purifier.

Dandelion root stimulates the liver and gallbladder to clear waste products from the body. Dandelion, which is naturally having a slight bitter taste, activates the receptors in the tongue and throughout the digestive tract. This activation stimulates the production of important digestive juices like bile acid, stomach acid & digestive enzymes. Bile plays a crucial role in keeping the liver healthy. An healthy liver can filter the blood from toxic waste properly.

Bile is a very essential digestive liquid needed not only for digesting fat, but also to break fat soluble toxins and steroid hormones such as estrogen & progesterone. If the liver is overloaded with toxic material, it will begin to accumulate the bile which eventually will turn into a thick and gluey material. This substance can be hardened into a stone called as gall or liver stone.

The formation of these bile stones can further congest the liver and create many ill condition. A stagnated liver may not be able to metabolize "old hormones" or "used up hormones" and this will cause excess hormones to circulate in the bloodstream and lead to hormonal imbalances, which can impact for example the estrogen and the thyroid function.

A congested liver will also cause other serious complication such as like fatty liver disease and kidney disease. Dandelion is a great herb to promote liver health by enhancing the formation & secretion of bile as well for removing excess water stagnation in the body resulting from liver congestion.

Improves bowel movement

As dandelion acts upon liver, this will also improve the digestive system. It is because our digestion is pretty much depending on the condition of the liver. A healthy liver is able to produce a healthy bile.

Bile is necessary not only for digesting fat and fat soluble vitamins but also for preventing constipation. Bile is a natural laxative and helps for a smooth bowel movement. A good elimination is equally important as good digestion.

A constipated colon will impair the digestion causing gas and toxic bacterial growth. Dandelion root is also a good source of Inulin which is a type of fiber, serving as food (prebiotic) for the good bacteria (probiotic) in the gut to thrive better. Many plants make this Inulin in order to store complex sugar for their survival in times of cold or drought as a reserve, and dandelion is one of them.

The blossom for eye sight

Dandelion flowers are such a darlings. They bloom in the spring over the green meadow. They are beautiful to be seen everywhere especially at this time of the year. These beauties open up when the sun rises in the morning and close their petals in the evening when the sun goes down.

Dandelion flowers are a great source of nutrients for our eyes. Dandelion flower is a rich source of Lutein, which is a naturally occurring carotinoids that is very beneficial for eye health. According to a German doctor, S. Niedermeier, the dandelion petals contain an eye improving nutrient called helenin that can be used to overcome night blindness.

He says, in order for the helenin to be really effective upon the eye, an additional nutrients such as vitamin A and vitamin B 12 should be given together. He found that both dandelion leaves and flowers are high in both of these vitamin A and B 12 and work perfectly in combination to improve the eye sight.

An interesting fact about vitamin B 12 is, unlike other vitamin B, B 12 can be stored in the liver and muscle tissues. For this reason deficiency of this vitamin B 12 is not symptomatic because the body can still use up from the storage. Symptoms usually develops after 5 to 10 years of not consuming vitamin B 12.

For kidney health

Traditionally, dandelion has been used as a diuretic herb to increase the amount of urine and eliminate extra fluid from the body. Dandelions use in North American aboriginal medicine is well documented and they used the infusion and the decoction of the root to treat kidney diseases and water retention in the body.

Dandelion root has gained a special place in Germany as a certified ingredient to be used in medicinal tea to improve kidney function, especially for diuresis. Diuretic herbs are beneficial for getting rid of extra fluids, toxic materials and extra salts in the body.

People who suffer with high blood pressure, edema and kidney disease can benefit from diuretic herbs like dandelion.

Look for dandelion recipe here.

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