The dietary supplement of dandelion: why do a dandelion cure?
Also known as a dent de lion, the dandelion probably originated in Western Europe. It is particularly rich in iron, calcium, manganese, vitamins C and D, fatty acid or even antioxidants. Its use in food supplement is recognized to treat the lack of appetite, the digestive disorders minor, but also to improve the hepatic, urinary and biliary functions. In addition, it helps prevent the development of kidney stones. The appropriate dosage varies depending on the pain to be relieved, which is why it is advisable to consult your doctor before starting a dandelion wax. If you have gallstones or an obstruction of the bile ducts, consult your doctor.
Around the year 1000 AD, Arab doctors already mentioned the medicinal virtues of dandelion in their writings, and several Amerindian tribes such as the Iroquois and the Ojibwe used it to treat several ailments. There is also mention of the use of dandelion in a British herbarium dating from the XIIIe century.
The dandelion has mainly been used to treat liver and gallbladder disorders, but also for anemia, fever, fluid retention, rheumatism, kidney and skin problems. In China we use variety Taraxacum mongolicum for a long time to treat hepatitis, cancer, various diseases of the mammary gland (inflammation, poor flow of breast milk, breast cancer) as well as to improve immune resistance to respiratory tract infections. The use of dandelion is recognized in many official pharmacopoeias (India, Austria, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Germany) and it has already been part of the American Pharmacopoeia.
The French name of the dandelion probably refers to diuretic properties leaves. The English name, dandelion, which comes from French (dent-de-lion), from Greek (leontodon) or Latin (dens leonis), refers to the very serrated shape of the leaves.
In spring and early summer, young leaves dandelions are served in salads or blanched like spinach and have been a human delight for centuries. Traditionally, we harvested flowers to make a wine that was said to be fortifying and that we gladly served to the sick and convalescents. You can also make a coffee substitute by drying and roasting the root.
Dandelion Indications and Benefits
Loss of appetite, dyspepsia, hepatobiliary disorders and increased urine volume
Committee E recognizes the use of the leaf dandelion to treat loss of appetite and certain minor digestive problems. ESCOP recognizes the use of the leaf in addition to the treatment of a disease for which it is desirable to increase the elimination of urine (rheumatism and prevention of kidney stones, for example). Committee E recognizes the use of the leaf and root to improve biliary and urinary functions, treat loss of appetite and minor digestive disorders. ESCOP believes that the root can stimulate bile and liver function, treat minor digestive disorders and loss of appetite.
Scientific data on the effects of dandelion on humans are very limited and most date from the first half of the XXe century. However, animal tests have confirmed, at the same time, some of the traditional beneficial effects of the plant: increased elimination of urine and production of bile, and anti-inflammatory effect in particular.
The authors of a synthesis published in 2006 also point out that data from cellular and animal models confirm the antioxidant, anticancer and antidiabetic properties of dandelion and its compounds. Some rare preliminary clinical trials indicate that certain preparations containing dandelion, among other plants, can relieve intestinal cramps, constipation and diarrhea.
We have not yet elucidated the mechanism at the base of diuretic effect of dandelion leaf. On the other hand, because of its richness in potassium, the plant has a definite advantage over other diuretics. Indeed, unlike most of them, dandelion greens do not cause potassium to be lost from the kidneys, according to animal tests.
Herbalists attribute the beneficial effects of dandelion on the digestive and hepatobiliary systems with the bitter principles it contains. In addition, its leaves and root contain an astonishing variety of minerals, vitamins and other compounds that may explain some of the properties traditionally attributed to it.
In addition to its high potassium content, dandelion contains good amounts of iron, calcium, copper, silica and manganese. As for the root, it contains, in addition to the bitter principles, inulin and complex sugars, substances which promote the multiplication of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Dandelion also contains fatty acids, choline (an important nutrient for the liver), vitamins of the B complex, vitamins C, D and K as well as flavonoids and carotenoids.
- In case of gallstones or obstruction of the bile ducts, consult a health care practitioner before taking dandelion.
- People allergic to plants of the Asteraceae family (aster, daisy, chicory, etc.) may be sensitive to dandelion. Note, however, that the pollen allergy from these plants does not automatically cause an allergy to their other parts (leaves, roots). On the other hand, skin sensitivity can manifest itself even on contact with herbal teas.
- Rarely, latex from dandelion stems can cause skin allergies.
With plants or supplements
- None documented in humans.
- The diuretic effects of dandelion leaves could be added to those of other diuretic plants.
- None documented in humans.
- One case has been reported in animals: the administration of dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum – leaves and root) caused a reduction in the absorption of ciprofoxacin (broad spectrum antibiotic) in rats.
- The diuretic effects of dandelion greens could be added to those of diuretic medications.