Dandelions, which are scientifically known as Taraxacum, are flowering plants native to parts of Eurasia and South America. A dandelion usually grows as a wildflower, and it is very beautiful. Dandelions often grow without pollination, and they can also be found in lawns as weeds. Most people get them removed from their gardens, thinking they are mere weeds, but dandelions possess health benefits.
Dandelions are being used since ancient times to cure and to prevent various types of diseases like acne, cancer, and other conditions associated with the liver or the digestive tract. The numerous facts and nutritional benefits of dandelions are listed below.
|Dandelion is the only flowering plant that can represent the sun, the stars, and also the moon. Some interesting facts about dandelions are listed below:
What Part of Dandelion Is Edible?
At first glance, a dandelion(1) might not seem close to being edible, but it is. Every part of a dandelion is edible. Its stem can be used in salads; its flower can be easily eaten. Even its roots are safe to consume. Just make sure that you wash the dandelion before eating it. Dandelion can be eaten in a lot of ways, it can be eaten raw, as a salad, or you can even make dishes out of it. Some dandelions are also used to make fine wine, which is famous all around the world.
7 Ways Dandelion Is Right for You
The list of benefits of dandelion is enormous. It has a lot of positive effects on a person’s physical and mental well being. The people who are aware of the benefits of dandelion get their lawns cleared just to let dandelions grow. The seven significant benefits of dandelion are listed below.
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Surprisingly, dandelion is rich in antioxidants which help the body to synthesize oxygen more efficiently, and also cancel the adverse effects of free radicals in a person’s body.
Beta-carotene, which is a very prominent antioxidant, and promotes better metabolism, is present in abundance in a dandelion. Dandelion also has a vast amount of polyphenols, which can slow down the process of aging.
The antioxidants that a dandelion consists also protect the body from cellular damage, and also strengthen the cells. Dandelions also protect the body from oxidative stress.
2. Helps Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a physical condition during which the body undergoes some changes like swelling, turning red, becoming hot, etc. to indicate the presence of an infection.
Dandelion, however, can reduce inflammation that is caused by diseases. This property of dandelions to fight inflammation is again due to the antioxidants that are contained within a dandelion.
The polyphenols in dandelions are useful when it comes to fighting inflammation(2) because they are compounds that are bioactive. According to various studies that are conducted on the effects of dandelions, consuming dandelions can help to reduce inflammation considerably.
3. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Dandelions are suitable for patients with diabetes because it helps to regulate blood sugar levels in a person’s body. Dandelions promote the secretion of insulin in the pancreas, which is a hormone that helps to synthesize the blood sugar, and also regulate the blood sugar levels.
Hence, consuming dandelions can help to reduce high blood sugar levels. Dandelions are also rich in historic and chlorogenic acids, both of which contribute to lower blood sugar levels.
4. Helps Regulate Cholesterol
This property again is due to the presence of high amounts of different types of antioxidants present in dandelions. Excess of cholesterol can raise the risk of diseases associated with the heart, and consuming a dandelion can help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in a person’s body.
A study conducted on rabbits suggests that the rabbits which consumed dandelions had lesser levels of cholesterols than the rabbits that didn’t. The leaves and roots of dandelions are excellent to reduce the cholesterol levels in a person’s body.
5. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
Potassium, which is an essential nutrient associated with lowering of blood pressure is present in dandelions in adequate amounts. Hence, dandelions help to regulate blood pressure and lower down excessively high blood pressures.
Dandelions also possess the property of detoxifying some organs. Eating a dandelion also reduces the excess amounts of fluid present in the body, which helps lowering down the blood pressure.
6. Helps Strengthen The Liver
As already mentioned, dandelion has a very positive effect on all body organs as it detoxifies them. Consuming a dandelion protects the liver from cellular damage and also relieves it from toxicity.
Dandelion contains bioactive compounds and antioxidants, which are helpful to strengthen the liver. The studies conducted on animals suggest that dandelions are beneficial to make the animal immune to various diseases associated with the liver.
7. Helping Fight Cancer
this is one of the most significant health benefits of a dandelion. Dandelion, which is rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants is beneficial to fight cancer. It also helps to prevent the disease from spreading. The roots are dandelion especially useful to hamper the spreading of cancer in a person’s body.
Now that you know about the significant health benefits of a dandelion, you must also understand how you should eat it. Most people eat dandelion raw after just washing it properly, but some people are not really into the taste of dandelion, so they eat it after boiling it a bit. People also make dishes using dandelion. Here is a delicious dish which you can prepare using dandelions.
The Dandelion Greens Salad
- 2 cups of dandelion stems
- 1 cup of celery
- Five strips of bacon
- ¼ cup wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. of maple syrup
- A ¼ cup of olive oil
- Some black pepper
- Nicely chopped red pepper
- Some saltwater mixed with some vinegar
- Clean the dandelion stems and remove the leaves if there are any. Take the sorted leaves in a bowl.
- Now chop the stems and leaves into pieces.
- Take the celery and chop it into pieces too.
- Cook the bacon until its color changes, and it becomes crispy.
- Take the dandelion greens, celery, and the bacon and toss them to a salad in a bowl
- Heat some wine vinegar for 10-12 seconds, and then add the tossed salad in the vinegar.
- Let the whole mixture cool down for some time, then add some olive oil and salt water. Add the salt water and olive oil in little amounts.
- Serve it on a plate and season it with some salt and pepper.
You can add some other ingredients according to your taste. Just make sure that everything you use is fresh.
Dandelion might have been a nightmare in your young, old gardening days, but it is not at all that useless. As mentioned above, it has a lot of potential health benefits. The best thing about dandelions is that they are easily available. But, ensure you wash them before eating them. If you consume an adequate amount of dandelions regularly, it will help your lifestyle reach greater heights.