Dandelion is an herb. People use the above ground parts and root to make medicine.
Dandelion is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.
Dandelion is used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises. Dandelion is also used to increase urine production and as a laxative to increase bowel movements. It is also used as skin toner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic. Some people use dandelion to treat infection, especially viral infections, and cancer.
In foods, dandelion is used as salad greens, and in soups, wine, and teas. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.
Powerful Antioxidant, Resistant to Swelling
Dandelion contains chemicals whose biological activities are actively being explored for roles in human health. In particular, evidence suggests that dandelion contains antioxidant and redness-resistant compounds.
One study investigated the antioxidative effects of dandelion root in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet. Results showed that dandelion positively affected antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid profiles. Researchers believe this suggests dandelion could protect against oxidative stress related to certain circulatory disorders.
Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the world. Between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 people in developed countries will suffer from this illness at some stage. Given the devastating effect cancer has on sufferers and their loved ones, any new potential treatment is a cause of much excitement. Recently, scientists have examined the potential power of the humble dandelion in fighting cancer by investigating its ability to directly kill cancer cells. It appears that extract of dandelion root may have the ability to trigger cancer cells to kill themselves without causing damage to the surrounding healthy cells and tissues.
Interest in the curative properties of dandelion root began when John DiCarlo, 72, told his doctor that he cured his cancer by drinking dandelion tea. Dicarlo had been admitted to a hospital three years ago with leukemia. His disease did not respond to aggressive treatment and he was sent home to live out his life surrounded by his family.
How to get started
If you would like to try this natural remedy, it’s easy to get started. You can pick up ready-to-go teabags at your local health food store, or you can make your own preparation. Make sure that you harvest a dandelion root from a field that hasn’t been treated with pesticides or other harsh chemicals – it’s best if you look on your own land, so you know what has and has not been used. Dig up the entire root with a sharp spade. Wash it thoroughly with cold water. Chop it finely in a food processor and then dry-roast the resulting product, spread out on a tray, near the top of a hot oven. You should then have dandelion root flakes that can be stewed in hot water to make a delicious, highly nutritious drink that may prevent cancer.