Although Westerners view commonly dandelions as a type of weed, this plant has several beneficial effects on human health, which Western medicine has just begun exploring. Dandelion was used for centuries both internally and by Asian cultures as a drug used for appendicitis, digestive disorders and problems of the chest (such as inflammation or the absence of the flow of milk) externally. Now, we find this plant studied by Western science for its medicinal value.
The most recent study is a study of German, completed in 2009. This and other German studies dandelion root was approved in Germany, "... the anorexia, dyspepsia and biliary abnormalities," (Garner-Assistant 2009). In the jargon non-medical, dyspepsia is indigestion and biliary abnormalities are disorders of the bile ducts. Bile is essential for digestion. It is a liquid secreted by the liver and gallbladder to emulsify fats for digestion. The researchers found dandelion has increased the flow of bile from 3 to 4 times.
Dandelion root is also used as a diuretic. In addition, a case study on 24 patients found that dandelion can be used to significantly reduce the pain associated with chronic colitis, as well as to help standardize the stool. This plant was also found to have anti-cancer properties, and the ability to decrease, ""... high liver enzymes in patients with hepatitis b."Wow, powerful weed control, no single Western medicine does exist can make these claims in a single pill."
The active substances of the roots of dandelions (those which have medicinal effects) include: sesquiterpene lactones, Phenylpropanoid, polysaccherides, triterpenoid saponins and inulin. Sesquiterpene lactones are found many species of plants and have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Phenylpropanoid appear to have properties of the modulation of inflammation, while triterpenoid Saponins are that act like adaptogen (combat stress), a property of many Chinese plants. The present polysaccherides in the dandelion may have positive effects on the immune system, as polysaccherides are in General, "... intermediate key immune interactions," (Garner-Assistant 2009). Inulin is a type of dietary fibre and we can all use in our food. If this was not enough to make your head spin, roots of dandelions have also been found for a property soothing indigestion. Current studies are underway by using of extract of dandelion for patients with diabetes-results have not yet been finalized, but hoped that the study of regulating the age or advanced finished gycation, harmful chemicals produced by those who have high blood sugar.
The dandelion plant extracts have been labeled as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for use in the supplements and foods, and the root and the leaves can be eaten as food (up to 50 grams per dose). This plant is common in the world and is currently in no danger of overexploitation. However, many people spray with herbicides dandelions in urban areas. Therefore it is better to avoid the dandelions in these areas, which is the case of a plant-based product. So the next time you see this dandelion growth between sidewalk cracks, you know as one of the wonderful medicinal plants of nature, not only unpleasant weed control.
1 Garner-assistant Mr. Re: monograph of dandelion. Integrative. Med. April-May 2009. 8 (2): 34-38. http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbclip/378/review050496-378.html.
Cathy Margolin is an advocate for health licensed acupuncturist and consumer with a passion to teach people to improve their health through Chinese herbal formulas. She enjoys having an impact on the lives of readers from around the world that have not yet experienced phenomenal the ancient wisdom of Chinese herbal medicine health benefits. Currently, she maintains a practice of herbal medicine Acupuncture & Chinese, written formulas herbal for his patients and works in PACHerbs.com.