Dandelion: A “weed” with mighty healing abilities

Dandelion may be considered a “weed”, but the “invasive and pervasive” weed also happens to be incredibly beneficial to health and wellbeing, having been used as a medicinal herb for centuries.

Dandelion roots and leaves are dried and used to make dandelion tea and roasted to make dandelion coffee, each of which contain vitamins A, C and D, and significant amounts of zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. Rich in vitamins and minerals, the dandelion contains more beta-carotene than carrots per serving.

This medicinal plant is also rich in B complex vitamins, trace minerals, organic sodium, and even a trace amount of vitamin D too. Dandelion also contains protein, more than spinach. It has been eaten for thousands of years as a food and as a medicine to treat anaemia, skin problems, blood disorders, and depression.

When detoxing, drinking dandelion tea is often recommended as it has long been known as a “liver tonic” in folk medicine. Dandelion root tea is often used to help detoxify the liver, help with skin and eye problems, and relieve symptoms of liver disease.

Dandelion promotes digestion, stimulates appetite, and balances the natural and beneficial bacteria in the intestines. It can increase the release of stomach acid and bile to aid digestion, especially of fats. It also helps the kidneys clear out waste, salt, and excess water by increasing urine production.

Since it’s a diuretic, dandelion tea has also been used to fight diabetes as it helps the body remove excess sugar that’s stored in the body. It also stimulates the production of insulin from the pancreas and keeps blood sugar levels low.

One cup of dandelion greens has over 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin and supports the immune system. For pregnant women, getting enough vitamin A is vital, especially during the third trimester.

There are a number of ways that you can add dandelion to your diet, to reap the health benefits of this plant. Dandelion tea is readily available from health food stores. Dandelion coffee will give you the same benefits that dandelion tea provides, whilst also working as a caffeine-free coffee substitute. You can also make a salad using dandelion greens.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable lifestyle and living, wellbeing, and entertainments. Rosa also works as a psychic, counsellor, intuitive reader and spiritual life coach helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com

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