Amazing Health Benefits Of Dandelion Root

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Amazing Health Benefits Of Dandelion Root
. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Background image 1 – Ajale – pixabay.com. Image 2 – Wikipedia (PD)

Dandelion is a perennial plant that thrives at almost anywhere, be it roadsides, wastelands or lawns. Its yellow flowers and “dandelion clock” seed head, covered with silver “parachute” seeds that drift into the wind, are known by every child. But don’t be put off by the fact that too many people call it a weed: It has in fact been historically valued as a medicinal herb due to its remedial properties for over a thousand years. It also boosts a number of culinary uses – for example as a leafy vegetable in soups and salads.

The dandelion has been traditionally utilized as treatment for liver disorders, inflammation, and breast and uterus cancers and is approved in traditional Chinese medicine as a safe herb with remarkable diuretic (i.e., promotes increased production of urine), anti-rheumatic, and anti-inflammatory properties. [1] The plant since ancient times has been regarded as a cure for indigestion, heartburn, spleen and liver problems, hepatitis, and anorexia in the folk medicinal systems of Europe, North America, and China. [2]

Here are a few reports on Dandelion from the world of science:

1. It May Assist Combating Several Types Of Cancer

Melanomas are a malignant type of cancer that bear a resemblance to moles. They are considered the most dangerous form of skin cancer according to the Skin Cancer Foundation and kill approximately 10,130 people in the United States annually. [3] Findings from a 2011 study published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicated that extract from dandelion roots specifically and effectively triggers the death of human melanoma cells without harming noncancerous cells. The study adds that dandelion root extract is “more than a worthy chemopreventive and is fast-acting, nontoxic, and therefore specific in its targeting of human melanoma cancer cells, making it a valuable chemotherapeutic”. [4]

A similar confirmation has been established by a 2012 Canadian study wherein the anticancer potential of dandelion root extract has been demonstrated. Dandelion root extract elicits cell death of human pancreatic cancer cells with no significant toxicity toward noncancerous cells. [5]

Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia is a type of cancer of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow; the disease is aggressive and highly resistant to treatment. A 2012 study from the journal PLoS One showed the potential of dandelion root extract as a nontoxic and effective mode of treatment against this cancer. This study indicated that the dandelion root extract induces cell death of cancer lines; this effect by the extract depends on its dose and time and does not lead to significant harm to normal blood cells. [6]

2. It’s A Good Addition To Your Anti-obesity Diet

A 2010 Swiss study indicated the ability of dandelion roots and leaves to favorably lower lipid levels and exert antioxidative effects in rabbits fed with a diet high in cholesterol. In this study, experimental groups fed with diet incorporated with 1% (w/w) dandelion leaves and roots had better lipid profiles. Additionally, the rabbit group fed with dandelion roots was characterized by a significantly decreased activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), a liver enzyme that is a determinant of liver damage, and increased level of creatine kinase (CK), another enzyme that helps determine muscle damage or injury. Triglyceride level was also significantly lower in the dandelion root group than in the control group. [1]

3. It Promotes Growth Of Good Bacteria In The Intestine

According to a 2004 study published in the journal Fitoterapia, the roots of dandelion have a “bifidogenic” effect. This means the dandelion can particularly enhance the growth of bifidobacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which are health-promoting microbes that confer favorable benefits to their human host. An infusion of dandelion root has been found to induce the growth of 14 strains of bifidobacteria by serving as an important source of carbon and energy for the bifidobacteria tested. [7]

4. It Helps Get Rid Of Extra Water From The Body

A 2009 pilot study demonstrated the utility of dandelion ethanol extract as a diuretic in humans. A diuretic is a substance that can increase the amount of water and salt eliminated from the body through urine, which is an important mechanism in lowering your blood pressure and reducing fluid buildup. In the study, 17 human subjects were instructed to consume high-quality hydroethanolic extract of dandelion. For all tested subjects, a significant increase in the frequency of urination and excretion ratio was observed in the 5-hour period after the first and second doses, respectively. [8]

5. It Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Based on findings from a 2008 study, dandelion exerts anti-inflammatory and anti-pain activities; it does this by inhibiting the production of nitric oxide and the expression of cyclooxygenase-2, an enzyme primarily involved in the process of inflammation. In an air pouch model, the ethanol extract of dandelion was shown to prevent the production of exudate and to significantly reduce white blood cell levels in the exudate. In mice, the extract also demonstrated an inhibitory effect on the permeability of blood vessels and produced a dose-dependent suppression of acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing. [9]

Dandelion Root Herbal Tea Recipe

Here’s a dandelion root herbal tea recipe you may want to try out for indigestion and intestinal gas. The ingredients are fairly easy to acquire, so you’ll have minimal difficulty feeling the health benefits of dandelion roots in no time.

The following are what you need:
● 1 ounce dandelion root, roasted and ground
● 1 ounce dandelion leaves and stems, roasted and ground
● 2/3 ounce fennel seeds
● 2/3 ounce peppermint leaves

Mix all the ingredients and stir in a cup of hot water. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes and then strain it. Drink and enjoy your healthy cup of dandelion tea!

Further Reading:

Harvesting And Using Dandelion Roots

Amazing Things To Do With Dandelions

How To Make Violet And Dandelion “Spring Tonic” Honey

References:

[1] U.-K. Choi, O.-H. Lee, J. H. Yim, et al., “Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits,” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 11, no. 1, p. PMC2820990, 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820990/

[2] K. Schütz, R. Carle and A. Schieber, “Taraxacum—a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 107, no. 3, p. 313–323, 2006. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874106003576

[3] “Melanoma,” The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2016. http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma

[4] S. Chatterjee, P. Ovadje, M. Mousa, C. Hamm and S. Pandey, “The efficacy of dandelion root extract in inducing apoptosis in drug-resistant human melanoma cells,” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, vol. 2011, p. 129045, 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21234313

[5] P. Ovadje, M. Chochkeh, P. Akbari-Asl, C. Hamm and S. Pandey, “Selective induction of apoptosis and autophagy through treatment with dandelion root extract in human pancreatic cancer cells,” Pancreas, vol. 41, no. 7, p. 1039–1047, 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22647733

[6] P. Ovadje, C. Hamm and S. Pandey, “Efficient induction of extrinsic cell death by dandelion root extract in human chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) cells,” PLoS One, vol. 7, no. 2, p. e30604, 2012. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0030604

[7] I. Trojanová, V. Rada, L. Kokoska and E. Vlková, “The bifidogenic effect of Taraxacum officinale root,” Fitoterapia, vol. 75, no. 7–8, p. 760–763, 2004. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0367326X04001972

[8] B. Clare, R. Conroy and K. Spelman, “The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 15, no. 8, p. 929–934, 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19678785

[9] H. Jeon, H. Kang, H. Jung, Y. Kang, et al., “Anti-inflammatory activity of Taraxacum officinale,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 115, no. 1, p. 82–88, 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17949929

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