Although most people think of dandelion as an annoying grass, the plant has long been used in herbal medicine to help digestion and help stimulate appetite. The root itself is sometimes baked to create caffeine-free dandelion coffee.
When used for medicine, the dried or fresh root can be made in teas, tinctures, decoction (infusions) and poultice. In traditional Chinese and Native American medicine, the root of the dandelion has been used to treat stomach and liver ailments. Herbalists today believe it can help treat many ailments, including acne, eczema, high cholesterol, heartburn, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and even cancer. It is believed that the diuretic properties of dandelion may have medical uses to help with high blood pressure, heart failure, liver disease and certain types of kidney disease. In folk medicine, the dried dandelion root is often ground into a paste and mixed with water to create a soothing paste for skin disorders such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and boils. The reason for using dandelion in this way is because it is believed to have mild anti-inflammatory properties and action against itching.
Dandelion is believed to have antidiabetic properties due to a soluble fiber known as inulin. Inulin contains a complex carbohydrate known as fructoligosaccharide (FOS), which supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and eliminates unhealthy. This alone increases insulin sensitivity by slowing the flow of sugar from the intestines into the bloodstream, preventing spikes in either your blood sugar or insulin levels. Dandelion is often consumed as a tonic as it cleanses and detoxifies the liver. Preliminary research suggests that dandelion root may be used as an anticancer agent. This is because consuming dandelion appears to cause apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death, in some cancer cells. Apoptosis affects all cells in the body, allowing old cells to be replaced with new ones. With cancer, apoptosis stops, allowing cancer cells to grow unhindered.
*The information given on our website is purely informative and does not replace the advice of your treating physician. Bean & Herb does not support self-treatment.