A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
The dandelion is a common garden herb, with easily recognized flowers. During the spring season, the leaves and the root of the dandelion begin to produce mannitol, which is a substance utilized in the treatment of conditions such as hypertension and a weakened heart in continental Europe - where it is often prescribed by herbalist for patients with these conditions. An herbal dandelion tea made using the roots and the leaves of the herb is good to take from about the mid of March to about mid May in the treatment of such conditions. Prepare the herbal dandelion tea in this way, first, boil a quart of water in a pot, slowly reduce the heat and then add 2 tbsp. of cleaned and chopped fresh dandelion roots to the water. Let the water simmer for a minute, keep it covered during that time, and finally, remove the pot off the source of heat, following this, add two tbsp. of freshly picked and chopped dandelion leaves. Let the leaves steep into the liquid for forty minutes. After which, the liquid can be strained, patients can benefit by drinking two cups of the herbal dandelion tea every day.
A chemical compound known as helenin which is found in the flowers of the dandelion may be the cure for those with a problem of reduced vision in the dark - night blindness, usually treated using large doses of vitamin A. The reports carried by the journal of the American Medical Association for June 23, 1951, showed that the blossoms of the dandelion herb contain large amounts of the vitamins A and the vitamin B2 (riboflavin) beside the substance known as helenin. A special herbal tea can be prepared by steeping a handful of freshly picked dandelion flowers in a pint of hot water, let the herb infuse into the water for about twenty minutes. Once the herb has steeped into the water, drink a cup of this herbal tea two times every day as a treatment for reduced vision at night.
The herbal remedies made from the leaves of the dandelion are used as a diuretic, it is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure which it accomplishes by reducing the total volume of fluid present in the body at any time.
As a detoxification agent, the root of the dandelion herb is considered to be one of the most effective and beneficial herbal remedies. The waste products accumulated in the liver and the gall bladder is removed by this herbal remedy and it principally affects the functioning of the liver and the gallbladder. The kidneys are also stimulated by the dandelion at the same time and it enables the rapid removal toxins through the urine produced. The root of the dandelion is known to be a remarkably well balanced herbal remedy, the steady and gradual elimination of toxins accumulating in the body due to infection or pollution is accelerated by the root of the dandelion. In the treatment of a variety of conditions, the dandelion possesses major and effective therapeutic benefits, these include the treatment of persistent constipation, the treatment of various types of skin problems, including acne, and eczema, and diseases like psoriasis. The root also treats other types of arthritic conditions, including severe conditions such as osteoarthritis, and disorders like gout.
The gallbladder is markedly affected by both the dandelion root and the dandelion leaf remedies, these herbal remedies can also be used to prevent the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder. If gallstones are already present, then the remedy made from the dandelion leaf may still help, by dissolving such gallstones aiding in their elimination.
Various conditions such as warts, all types of fungus infections, and malignant growths within the body and on the outside, the presence of ulceration in the urinary passages can all be treated using the herbal remedies made from the dandelion. The remedies made from the dandelion possess a laxative action, they can be used to treat disorders in the stomach, and the herb promotes healthy circulation in the body, it also tones the skin, and is considered a cleanser and strengthener of blood vessels. Rheumatism is cured by the remedies made from the dandelion, it can also be used in the treatment of badly affected arthritic joints, and as an herbal remedy it is a marvelous and effective general tonic. A fine herbal wine can be produced from the dandelion, it is furthermore used in the manufacture of a great herbal beer, the dried herb is an excellent substitute for coffee, it is used in the manufacture of an excellent food for birds, it is used to rear bees in apiculture, it is fed to pigs and rabbits in the farm, and even people consume the plant as food.
Other medical uses
Habitat and cultivation
While extensively cultivated in France and Germany, the dandelion herb also grows wild in most parts of the world and is a garden plant in many countries. Spring is the season to start planting the plant, and the dandelion is propagated from stored seeds. Harvesting of the young leaves is carried out in the spring, and these are used in the manufacture of herbal tonic salads and processed as an herbal medicine following storage. Autumn is the time to harvest and remove the root of two year old dandelions - this is used in the manufacture of various herbal remedies.
The Journal known as the Planta Medica, published the results of a research in 1974, the study confirmed that the leaves of the dandelion plant possess a powerful diuretic action in the human body, however, the exact mode of action of the herbal remedy within the body is still not well understood, even though the property stated has been studied and confirmed in many test subjects. Dandelion leaves are not like many other conventional diuretics in their actions, all other diuretics tends to cause a loss of potassium in the body, however, the leaves of the dandelion are very rich in potassium, and the person using this herbal remedy tends to have a net gain of the mineral following the use of the remedy.
In the year 1959, published German research pointed out that the dandelion root, possesses a very important and noticeable cleansing action on the tissues of the liver and eventually helps to stimulate the production of bile in the organ. The root of the dandelion also functions as a gentle laxative and has a mildly bitter taste.
Many different types of chemical compounds and organic constituents have been chemically isolated from dandelion and chiefly from its parts which lie buried beneath the ground - the rhizome and the roots of the dandelion. While these parts of the plant do contain a lot of chemicals, it is still difficult to connect the therapeutic utility in any of these chemicals to specific identified chemical compounds. For example, some favorable effects on the digestive system seemed to be induced by the undefined bitter principle mentioned previously, this is now identified as the compound taraxacin, but the other chemicals, such as the compound reported to be the cause for the mild laxative action of the herb has not been identified, that the extract from leaves of the dandelion exhibit a pronounced diuretic effect was demonstrated in a recent experiment conducted on small animal, the extracts of the leaves had a diuretic action on the animals in the test, however, the chemical responsible for this action was never identified on the conclusion of the experiment and is still unknown. Another property was recently discovered and a very recent scientific report suggested that the triterpene fraction of an ethanol based dandelion root extract produced very significant anti-platelet aggregation activity in the platelets in human blood.
Doses differ from individual to individual and from one disorder to another, when used as a general tonic for the liver or the gallbladder and when used in a stimulatory for the digestion, about 3-5 grams of dried dandelion root or about 5-10 ml of a herbal dandelion tincture sourced from the root can be used in the treatment, this dose must be repeated thrice every day of the treatment period. As the identified bitter principle tends to be more soluble in alcohol, certain herbal experts also recommend taking only the alcohol-based herbal tincture - it is more effective in treating certain disorders. When the herb is used in the form of a mild diuretic or as a stimulant to awaken appetite, about 4-10 grams of the dried dandelion leaves can be taken mixed in 250 ml or a cup of boiling water. This herbal remedy must be drunk as a decoction whenever symptoms appear. If preferred about 5-10 ml of the fresh juice sourced from the leaves or even 2-5 ml of herbal tincture from the leaves can be used instead, take thrice every day during the treatment period.
Side effects and cautions
Large side effects and significant toxic properties appear to be absent in the herbal remedies made from the dandelion herb. However, a few individuals do tend to develop a reaction in the form of a skin rash - called an allergic dermatitis, which often occurs following the repeated contact of the skin with remedies made from the herb. At the same time, it can be said that, patients in general must not expect any significant therapeutic benefits from the use of any form of herbal remedy derived from the dandelion. Aside from their slight laxative action, the roots of the dandelion affect only positive changes in the body, including the stimulation of the appetite and the boosting of the digestive process. The temporary diuretic action of the herbal remedy made from the leaves of the dandelion plant is also well known, this particular remedy seems to have no other side effects in the body. At the same time, a lot of positive sides exist, and a lot of people do enjoy eating dandelion greens, the plant is as has been mentioned, a fairly good source of the vitamin A - and it can be used in this role itself.
It is suggested that individuals with developed gallstones must use remedies made from the dandelion leaves and roots with extra caution. The consumption of dandelion should not be contemplated at all, if the person suffers from any form of physical obstruction in the bile ducts. Dandelion may cause an overproduction of the stomach acids and for people affected by long term and persistent cases of stomach ulcer or gastritis, the use of dandelion should done with extreme caution. Before taking any dandelion leaves, individuals who tend to experience fluid or water retention must make sure that they consult a nutritionally oriented and professional doctor - this must be done to avoid any side effects which can come unnoticed. The supervising doctor of the person taking the dandelion leaves should monitor the potassium levels in his or her patient at all times, during the duration of the supplemental period.
How it works in the body
The essential mineral potassium is found in very high amounts in the leaves of the dandelion herb, this mineral balances important biochemical functions in the body and the leaves themselves contain other chemicals that function as powerful diuretic agents - the potassium acts as a balancing agent of these diuretics. When compared to conventional diuretics, which always require a supplement of the potassium mineral to balance the total requirements of the body for minerals - the difference between dandelion and these conventional medications becomes apparent. The dandelion plant is used as an herbal remedy for alleviating painful urinary ailments in the Chinese system of medicine. Dandelion roots are used for other forms of herbal remedies and their essential function in the body is different, mostly they are used in the treatment of the liver and are used to bring about improvements in its overall functioning, and also they also find use as a mild laxative. Heat disorders are treated in the Chinese system using the herbal remedies sourced from the dandelion, heat disorders especially those affecting the liver, the symptoms of which can include redness, swelling, and the development of painful eyes are all treated using dandelion, the remedies made from the dandelion are also used in the treatment of damp or heat jaundice in different patients. The gallbladder is treated using a tonic made from both the leaves and the roots of the dandelion - this herb is very useful for such conditions. The dandelion is used to holistically cleanse the body and is an herbal detoxification agent, it is believed that the herb produces beneficial effects by removing the chemical pollutants in the body - thus cleansing it of harmful and toxic substances accumulated over time. Firm and hard abscesses are also treated using the dandelion remedies in the Chinese system, this is especially so, if such abscesses involve tissues in the breast and in the digestive system of the person. Topical as well as internal herbal remedies can be derived from the dandelion to treat a variety of internal and external disorders. Lactation is promoted in nursing women, through the use of specific herbal dandelion remedies during the period of breastfeeding. In the Chinese system, the dandelion is credited with having bitter, sweet and cold properties.
Pour the boiling water on the flowers. Dilute the honey in the mixture. Cut the citrus fruit into cubes and add to the mixture. Allow to ferment in an earthenware jar or in a large glass pitcher in a dark location at 68 F degrees (20 C degrees) for 3 weeks and stir with a large wooden spatula every 2 to 3 days. When fermentation is complete, strain using a clean cheesecloth. Bottle the wine and seal with a cork.